Any suggestions for black tribal tattoo removal!? (photos)

The day I got my tattoo I've regretted it its on my right shoulder and about 7 inches long across my shoulder. I really need it gone, I've been depressed and really anxious and just don't want to do anything. It makes me feel awful.

Doctor Answers 4

Black early tattoo

This needs a 1064 laser, either Q Switched or Pico. It is very thick ink so it will require 8 or more treatments. There are several pico lasers out there but make sure it has the 1064 wavelength.


Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

PicoSure for tattoo removal

Thanks for your question and photo. Unsure of the date the tattoo was done but it still looks fresh. You should wait until the tattoo has completely healed before removing it; up to 6 months at times to avoid scarring. The PicoSure laser is approved for use on nearly every tattoo ink color and pigment color. It’s always best to have an in-person consultation with a board certified dermatologist to determine number of treatments.. Hope this helps. Best, Dr. Katz

Bruce E. Katz, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Tattoo Removal/White Ink--Laser Tattoo Removal --PicoWay--Takes a series of treatments

This can be removed with lasers in a series of treatments. The PicoWay Laser would be a good choice. Please see an expert for a formal consultation. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

​Use the Best Technology Available

Thanks for your question.  Tattoo regret is very common.  We have our patients wait 6-8 weeks after getting their tattoo to allow the skin to completely heal. 

Q-Switch or nanosecond lasers came out about 20 years ago.  Picosecond laser came out about 3 years ago.  The majority of former Q-Switch patients we see have significant hypopigmentation (ghosting) around and under their tattoo.  The Q-Switch lasers have trouble differentiating between the melanin in your skin and ink.  The technology uses heat to burn the pigment out of your skin.  In addition, we have seen patients with raised scars as if they have been branded.  Both of these condition are irreversible. 

Picosecond lasers (like the PicoWay & PicoSure) fire 1000 times faster, using a pressure wave rather than heat to shear the ink molecules apart.  After using the PicoSure for almost 2 years, we have only seen pinpoint hypopigmentation in a very small number of patients usually of darker skin tones.  We cannot say it is impossible to get burned with a Picosecond laser, but it is highly unlikely.  We tell every PicoSure tattoo patient to expect at least 6 treatments, but don’t be surprised if it takes 10 to 12.  Patience is the key for our patients.  We typically see our tattoo removal patients every 6 to 8 weeks initially.  If they have more time than money, we encourage them to come every 6 months as the tattoos seem to continue to fade while they wait.

We recommend waiting 6 weeks until your tattoo is healed and then finding an experienced physician in your area.  Treatment prices vary by market.  The cost for picosecond treatments will be higher, but you should need less than half the treatments compared to a nanosecond laser.

Laura Riehm, MD
Fort Worth Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.