Will This Tattoo Ever Go Away? (photo)

I got my first tattoo 10/8/11 and immediately regretted it. I scheduled my first appointment for laser treatment using a Medlite C6 laser to get it removed on 10/11/11. It has been over a year now and the tattoo is still there. I want to know if it will ever go away? Is there anything else I can do to speed up the process? It has been 10 sessions so far and my next one is in April. I am hispanic, my skin is very tan and the tattoo is on my right lower hip bone. I am starting to become very discouraged.

Doctor Answers 6

Tattoos take time and proper treatment

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Your tattoo should fade with proper treatment and time.

The Medlite is a fine unit, and with proper treatment energies and intervals you should see continued improvement.

We typically expect about an 80% lightening after about 6-8 treatments-- though that number can vary widely depending on the tattoo characteristics.  And 90% lightening is quite common.  100% Complete elimination is NOT the rule, but can occur, and we counsel our patients about this from the beginning.  

Also-- extending the length between treatments will give you more bang for your buck.  For the first 4-5 treatments we typically treat every 2 months to give the body time to remove the tattoo ink.  After that, when often encourage a 3-4 month waiting period.


Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

PicoSure - Tattoo Removal

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Thank you for your question and photograph. This tattoo can fade completely with proper treatment. Picosure laser is a good option to have this tattoo removed as it is safe and effective and there is a low risk of scarring. This treatment works best on dark inks like black and dark blue which gives you an effective permanent result. I recommend you see an expert in order to determine the best treatment plan for you. All the best!

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

Tattoo removal is simpler with the newer Yag lasers

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Now that we have separate lasers for the different colors, it is easier than ever to remove tattoos.  The black tattoos are easier than the colored tattoos.  It is best to wait at least one month or more in between treatments.  Each time you have the laser treated, it should lighten up.  There is no reason to have an excision anymore with the technology available today.

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Tattoo removal

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the tattoos can be lightened with lasers and it is oneof the safest methods of treatments available. with that said, laser treatments do not "remove" the ink from the body but rather mobilize it to the nearby lymphnodes. your tattoo seems liek it is responding well tot he laser treatments its just that no one knows how many more sessions you will require. other options for you might be to consider a surgical procedure to have the tattoo completely excised. this procedure will remove the tattoo completely in one treatment but you will be left with a line scar.

Misbah Khan MD, FAAD, FACMS
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Difficult tattoos

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Hi Mariab20-

Some tattoos are proving very hard to remove.  It looks like part of your tattoo responded to the treatments that you have had.  The "outline" my contain other colors mixed together which may need several different wavelengths to remove- do you know if this has been done?  Also we are getting some good responses to using fractional CO2 lasers as part of our treatments for tattoos and this may help you as well.

Margo Weishar, MD
Philadelphia Dermatologic Surgeon

Laser tattoo removal

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Tattoo removal is very variable and depends on a variety of factors. May I ask what type of provider you saw for laser tattoo removal? I would recommend you see a dermatologist with expertise in laser surgery if you are not currently. The Medlite C6 is a very good laser if it is properly maintained, however, the skill of the laser operator is also critical. Also, I am a little surprised that the place you went to treated your brand new tattoo right away as in my experience I find it pays to wait some time before commencing laser tattoo removal as you get better responses. 

Omar Ibrahimi, MD, PhD
Stamford Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 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.