Removal or possible cover up of an already extremely large tattoo (which is a cover up itself)? (Photos)

Filled with dark and bright colours as it was originally a cover up itself. Haven't had the best luck! Looking for as much information as possible. I hate the orange at the bottom. Also sick of being asked 'what is it'. Because it's a horse. But the head starts right at the top of my bikini line. I was unprepared and didn't do my research. I just went with the artist suggestions and now I have this on my leg forever. I would still have a tattoo this size, just different! Thanks in advance

Doctor Answers 7

Picosure Laser the Best Option

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Hello and thanks for your question.

This is a difficult and heart breaking problem. Picosure Laser would be best option, although this will be difficult to say the least.

Wishing you all the best,

Dr Murray from Absolute Cosmetic Medicine

Removal of Large Tattoos Takes Time

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The PicoWay laser can effectively remove colored as well as black inks. It will take at least five and possibly as many as 10 sessions to fade your tattoo. You may want to get advice from a tattoo artist ahead of time so you'll know at what point your tattoo is faded sufficiently for a re-do. Please consult a board-certified dermatologist to see if you are a good candidate for PicoWay.

Laser Tattoo Removal

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When it comes to a laser tattoo removal, your tattoo can be removed with optimal results. The worrisome colors are orange and teal. Newer Pico second lasers are more effective at removing colors such as teal and orange but it may not be possible to have complete removal. It is hard to give definite professional opinion just from looking at the picture, so I advise you to consult with a laser tattoo removal expert.

Hardik Soni, MD (not currently practicing)
Summit Emergency Medicine Physician

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Tattoo Removal

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Thank you for your question in regards to tattoo removal. A handful of laser tattoo removal treatments will help lighten your current tattoo. If you are looking to have it covered up (again) the number of treatments/how much it has lightened up will be determined between you and your tattoo artists decision as a cover-up idea. To be sure what is best for you, see two or more board-certified providers in your area for a complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have treatment. I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
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Laser Tattoo Removal -- Takes a series of treatments

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This can be removed with laser tattoo removal. It will take a series of treatments. I recommend getting a consultation with a laser tattoo removal expert for best outcomes. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Large tattoo on leg

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This needs a high power laser. One that has both QS and Pico lasers. It also must have multiple wavelengths. I think the Piqo4 is a great choice for this. The Enlighten is another choice. 

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
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Removal of large tattoo

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It may be possible to remove your tattoo, especially if your goal is to cover it with something new.  However, you should be prepared for it to take a significant amount of time, multiple treatments, and possibly incomplete removal.  Double ink is going to be more difficult to remove completely than if it was just applied once.  The orange will also be difficult to remove.  You often do not know how it will ultimately respond until you begin treatment and see.  Even if it is not able to be completely removed, it can probably be lightened enough to cover it with something else.

Jeffrey Gosin, MD, FACS
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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.