I just got a tattoo. It's mostly black and no bigger than I business card. I really want it removed! Any suggestions? (photo)

What's the best method? How many treatments would it take at what cost ? What are the side effects?

Doctor Answers 4

Tattoo Removal

You would be a great candidate for the Alex Trivantage laser. This laser is the only one on the market that can target colors.  The multiple wave lengths can target all the colors in the tattoo with 4-6 sessions.  You should contact a board certified dermatologist as soon as possible.

Tattoo Removal -- Pico/Q Switched Laser

You can begin the tattoo removal process at any time. Tattoos should be removed with q switched or pico lasers, we will often combine with fractional lasers to help speed the process. No matter the device it will take several treatments to see the outcome depending on your response and the technology. Please see a laser expert. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Black tattoo, size of business card. I want it removed!

Hello, thank you for your question and for including a photo.  Sorry to hear that you do not like your new tattoo.  Laser tattoo removal is a very successful procedure for tattoo removal. The way a laser rids the body of unwanted ink is it shatters the ink into tiny particles and your body absorbs those ink particles. It is definitely going to be multiple treatments no matter what kind of device you have available. The latest technology is pico-second technology. The PicoWay Laser (Candela/Syneron) uses photoacoustic impact/pressure waves rather than photothermal/heat.  This process has less heat, therefore it is more comfortable and the chances of hyperpigmentation are less.  The Pico-second pulse shatters the ink into even smaller particles, allowing the body to more easily absorb the ink. This pico-second technology can usually remove a tattoo in about half as many treatments as the traditional Q-switch devices.  Black ink is the easiest color to eliminate, and your tattoo does not look to be very dense in ink, you should be able to get good results.Good Luck!

Mark A. Blair, MD
Phoenix Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

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Laser Tattoo Removal

I am sorry to hear that you are unhappy with your tattoo. Pico lasers are the most advanced technology for laser tattoo removal. I utilize the PiQo4 laser which has 4 Pico wavelengths making it possible to remove 96% of ink in as little as 4-6 treatments. I also utilize the Picosure for a total of 5 Pico wavelengths. Tattoos are removed faster and safer with Pico lasers and there is less risk of scarring. It is important not only to seek the best technology but an experienced laser tattoo removal provider. Cost varies based on size of the tattoo, location, physician's fee, and technology being used. I have been practicing tattoo removal for almost 20 years. 

Daniel J. Ritacca, MD
Chicago Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.