Can I Re-tattoo over a Laser-Removed Tattoo?

I got a tattoo that turned out crooked, and I am getting it lasered off once it heals. When i'm done with my treatments will I be able to get another tattoo over that same area? Or will there be scarring??

Doctor Answers 11

Can I re-tattoo over a laser-removed tattoo?

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Of course you can — get the tattoo to where you want the treatments to be, wait several months to let any under-the-skin inflammation calm down, and do what you want. The risk of scarring should not change any. And if it ever is a problem with your new tattoo, we will be ready to take that one off too.

Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

You may tattoo over an area that has had a tattoo removed by laser

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once the tattoo you don't like is removed with laser, you may, once the inflammation calms down, have a different tattoo placed. The risk of scarring should be the same whether you had a previous tattoo or not.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Yes, it’s fine to have another tattoo done in the same area that you had laser tattoo removal done.

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Yes, it’s fine to have another tattoo done in the same area that you had laser tattoo removal done. There will be no increased risk of scarring. In fact, many people opt not to have their previous tattoo completely removed, but instead fade it enough that a new tattoo can be done as a cover-up. Make sure you see a board-certified dermatologist with experience in tattoo removal for the best results.

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Tattooing over a lasered tattoo.

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Absolutely you can tattoo over a previously-lasered tattoo.  In fact laser tattoo removal is often used to lighten up unwanted tattoos for better cover-up.  Of course you must be careful to not cause too much scar tissue in the removal process since scars don't take up ink as well as normal skin.  To avoid excessive scarring, I would recommend seeking out a professional with the latest laser technology like a pico-second laser.  Best of luck!

Re-tattoo over a removed tattoo?

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Yes, it is absolutely possible to re-tattoo over a laser-removed tattoo. In fact, many tattoo artists will recommend tattoo removal treatments before attempting to cover it up.

David L. Robbins, MD, FACS
West Des Moines Plastic Surgeon


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yes you can definitely tattoo over skin which has previously undergone laser tattoo removal.  We often will treat a tattoo with only 4 out of 6 treatments if a patient want to do a "cover-up" tattoo

David S. Rosenberg, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Tattoo over lasered area

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You can certainly get another tattoo in that area but  I would be certain to wait several months until the treated area has healed up from the laser removal.  For tattoo removal please consult with a board certified dermatologist with experience with tattoo removal.

Best thing to do, this is safe.

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Absolutely, this is by far the best method of removing a tattoo, what we call laser assisted cover ups. Dermatologists fade the tattoo to a point where by your tattooist can be confident of placing another tattoo over the faded ones. This, in my opinion is the best method of 'partial removal' as less treatments are needed for fading compared to removal. 

Working in with your tattooist is the key to success. This is where a dermatologist works with a tattoo artist in a team to achieve the best results in the shortest and least possible sessions. 

Tattoo Removal

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In order to remove a tattoo, you must wait 6 weeks from the time it has been placed. We are unable to tell how many passes over the tattoo it takes, it depends on your bodies ability o break to the tattoo and get rid of the ink. Every patient is different. We know that black does better than color, smaller is better than larger, non-smokers do better than smokers, older tattoos do better than newer and tattoos close to the heart does better then on the extremities.
The R20 means that the tattoo can be removed in less visits to the office.
You will be able to fade the tattoo with laser to get a cover up. Some patients have a chance of scaring with any laser but there are different techniques that cna minimize risk of scars. 

Eric Schweiger, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

In general it is safe to retattoo over an area previously treated with tattoo laser

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Your tattoo artist will likely have some thoughts on this as well, but in general it is considered safe to tattoo over an area that has had previous laser tattoo removal provided it has healed well. Make sure that the reason you wanted it removed in the first place aren't duplicated with the new tattoo!

Daniel Berg, MD
Seattle Dermatologic Surgeon

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.