How effective is IPL laser for covering a white spot?

I have Vitaligo and had a coloured tattoo over white spots - how effective is IPL laser for this? I have had 1 treatment so far and it is slightly lighter - my beautician says that another tment wont really have any more effect because there is no pigmentation left - how true is this?

ps. the tattoo started turning from a beige/brown to a pink/orange

Doctor Answers 5

IPL for a white tattoo?

Hi anon.  We have seen this situation before and once the permanent makeup ink oxidizes (turns orange or pink) a q-switched alexandrite laser is the best tool.  Look in your local area for a practice that has this type of laser and if he/she has performed this type of work before.

IPL will likely make your situation worse and does not have enough power to remove this pigment.  You should ask for your money back from whomever offered you that treatment as they do not understand laser and light based technology at all.

Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

What is best to help remove a tattoo?

Intense pulsed light or IPL is generally not a good option for treating tattoos. Flesh colored tattoos can be problematic as sometimes they can become oxidizes with the application of laser energy turning them black. I would make sure you see a board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist who specializes in tattoo removal.

Jeffrey Kenkel, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

IPL laser for covering a white spot

Very risky not seeing boarded derm but proceeding with further IPL treatments. You may be very sorry. Do not listen to a non medical provider. From MIAMI Dr. Darryl J. Blinski, 305 598 0091

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

IPL is not effective for removing tattoo pigment

In fact, if an improper laser is used for flesh-colored tattoo removal, it will darken the pigment not lighten it.  You need to see a dermatologist who specializes in laser tattoo removal.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

IPL is not for tattoo removal

If you are hoping to remove the tattoo covering your vitiligo, then you need to be treated with the proper laser.  IPL is light therapy, not laser, and isn't typically used for tattoo removal.  I suggest that you see a dermatologist or plastic surgeon who performs tattoo removal regularly.

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 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.