Is It Possible to Remove Old Tattoo so That I Can Replace with New Tatto in Same Location?

I want to laser off my tattooed half sleeve because I'm not satisfied with the work ... but I want to get a whole new sleeve on top of the same area where I want the old tattoos removed ... is this possible ? Or is it dangerous and bad for the skin ?

Doctor Answers 8

Undergoing Laser Tattoo Removal Prior to Getting A New Design

Yes, many patients opt for laser tattoo removal in order to replace their old design with a new one. This will require a series of treatments spaced about 4-6 weeks apart. After the skin has healed from your very last treatment, it is fine for you to get a new tattoo.

In many cases, however, outlines and traces of your old tattoo are often still visible. Keep this in mind when you get your new tattoo done. 

Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Getting another tattoo over one that has been removed with laser...

Many patients get a tattoo and then are not happy with the results and seek removal.  Laser works great in the removal of these tattoos.  You will undergo a laser treatment appoximately every 4-6 weeks for about 6 sessions.  How quickly it is removed can depend on the ink coloring; black being the easiest where as green being a little more difficult and possibly requiring more sessions.   When complete you should be left with close to the same skin you had prior to the tattoo.  You may then get another tattoo over that area.  Even if the tattoo is not completely removed, you can put a new tattoo over the old one.  It is not dangerous nor will it harm the integrity of your skin.  I would contact a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options.

Andrew Miller, MD
Edison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 204 reviews

Can I Remove my Old Tattoo?

Hi D.  Absolutely you can remove your old tattoo.  We do this very commonly for Orange County patients looking to get rid of their tattoos or to cover over them with another.

The color of your tattoo, type of ink, depth of placement, laser used and quality of the practitioner will all have an effect on how many treatments the tattoo takes to remove and how much it will ultimately cost.  

Finally, make sure to choose an experienced practitioner, as we have seen several patients recently that have been scarred from tattoo removal.  If you follow the link below, you will be able to learn about our tattoo removal program and schedule a free consultation.  

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Old tattoos can successfully be lightened or removed.

With the right laser treatment, it is possible to lighten or remove an old tattoo in order to have a new one put in same location.  This has been done many times in our practice.  Be aware that certain tattoo colors are difficult to remove completely (light blue and yellow).  However, a good tattoo artist can cover or mask what’s left behind.

Missy Clifton, MD
Bentonville Dermatologist
3.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Laser therapy can successfully remove new and old tattoos

New and old tattoos can be removed successfully.  Usually this is performed to restore the skin's normal appearance, but sometimes removal is performed so that a patient can replace the existing tattoo with another.  The types of lasers available and the physician experience with laser surgery play important roles in clearance rates and success.  Often Q-switched Ruby, Q-switched Nd:Yag, and Q-switched Alexandrite lasers are used to remove pigment.  Sometimes fractional resurfacing lasers are incorporated to remove less common tattoo pigments.  I encourage you to have a consultation with a physician who specializes in laser surgery to discuss your options.

Robert T. Anolik, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Tattoo removal

It is possible to do so. But in general tattoo is not agood thing healthwise to have. There are a number of complications & problems can arise from tattoo.

H. Eliot Y. Ghatan, MD
New York Dermatologist

Removing tattoos and replacing

One can remove tattoos and replace with another tattoo. However this process can take between one half a year to a full year. It also depends on the colors of the original tattoo if they are amenable for removal. It also depends on the colors you have in the new tattoo . For example if the new tattoo utilizes lighter colors, some remnants of the previous tattoo may show through. It also depends on the number of treatments, the skill and aggressiveness of the Dermatologic laser surgeon, which laser devices are being used, the skin type of the patient, and other factors. I would strongly suggest an in-depth consultation. I would also think very carefully about any new tattoo as you may consider removing that one also at a future date.

Joshua L. Fox, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Laser tattoo removal can be difficult depending on the color and depth of the ink.

If your tattoo comes off without damaging the texture or pigment , it may be possible to put on another tattoo .  Laser tattoo removal often requires a year of more of relatively painful laser treatments.  If you get the tattoo off that you don't like, you may want to consider quitting while you are ahead.

Mark Taylor, MD
Salt Lake City Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 18 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.