Does laser tattoo removal really work?

I imagined my tattoo would look different and now I regret getting it. However, from what I've read, there's a lot of people who feel the same way, since 11% have them removed. I've seen some after photos which show a faded tattoo, but still a tattoo. I want mine removed completely, not just faded. Can I count on lasers to remove pigment completely?


M, 32, Virginia

Tags:man age 25-34 unwanted tattoo laser tattoo removal

If you get a good laser technician the chances are huge that your tattoo ink will be mostly removed.

While there are some possible complications like the tattoo not being able to be completely removed and scarring, there are great chances that you can have it taken off. It might take up to 15 sessions sometimes depending on how big your tattoo is, your skin tone, and whether or not is it’s professionally done. But if you're dead set on it I highly encourage you to give it a try.

There's also the option of having it redone. If the outline is pretty good and the details are the problems a gifted tattoo artist will be able to fix that and it will cost a lot less than having it removed.

I have several professional tattoos that I have gotten over the period of almost 20 years. I have loved almost every single one of them, but there was that one that just really did not look good anymore. Yes, there are laser tattoo removals that do work.

Recently there was a new type of laser created that has had much more success. It is a picosecond laser where in the past doctors used nanosecond type lasers. I had also seen the pictures of just faded tattoos, but not removed tattoos.

Thing of it is, you have to be patient if you are using laser tattoo removal. I had a lot of color in my tattoo. It took almost a year for the ink to be completely removed. Each time you get a treatment, you have to wait 8 weeks until the next one. If you stick it out, yes, laser removal will work.

I wondered the same thing at first, because who wants an ugly tattoo or one that they don't like anymore? I know some of the older types of laser treatments didn't always work that well, but there is a new type of laser that doctors can use now either alone, or in conjunction with the older type.

I was able to get a treatment that used both the old kind (nanosecond laser) and the newest one which is the picosecond laser. I don't have just a faded tattoo or a tattoo that is almost gone. I can't even tell there used to be ink there, and not many believe that I once did.

I didn't have a super simple tattoo, but I did have a few colors that covered an area about the size of my palm. Laser tattoo removal treatments take a lot of time. Mine took almost a year. I didn't have any complications that would have made me need more treatments. Although, I did have some orange and a little bit of the blue would not go away with the first few treatments.

Keep in mind that a lot of the before and after pictures you are seeing might be just after the removal process starts. For me, it took a bit of time to see results. After the swelling and redness from a removal session went down, the tattoo pigment would look noticeably lighter. However, it would still gradually lighten in the month after the treatment as my body removed the old bits of ink. After several sessions, the tattoo was gone completely. The effectiveness of the treatment might depend on your tattoo though. From what I've heard, red and black ink are the easiest to remove completely. Mine had some light blue ink which was much trickier for them to remove with a laser. You can ask these questions in your initial consultation with a technician. Just remember to have realistic expectations.

It depends on the color of the pigment you want removed. If it’s a black or red pigment, there’s a high chance that it can be completely removed. If it’s something like blue or green or different colors, you’ll probably be stuck with a more faded shade that you’d have to get covered up. For example, I got a light-blue tattoo in my past and it’s still with me. It’s a lot more faded thanks to the laser treatment, but it’s still there. There are, however, some newer laser types that will remove different pigments better, but I personally can’t justify the price to get another laser removal treatment. I would definitely try laser removal, because I’ve seen a lot of success. And, if it doesn’t fully work, there are other removal methods that you can look into. I’ve heard that dermabrasion has a pretty high success rate.