Why are some colors easier to remove than others with laser tattoo removal?
Why the differences between colors?
The information provided by medical professionals in the Q&A is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for individualized medical advice,
diagnosis or treatment by a qualified health care provider.
Replied on 1/13/2010
By: Celibre Medical Corporation | Laser Tattoo Removal
Different tattoo colors absorb light in different ways. We will relate it to the way a t-shirt absorbs sunlight to illustrate our point. When walking outside on a sunny day with a black t-shirt, you will get very warm because dark colors absorb light very easily. You might get
somewhat warm with a red or green t-shirt and you would be the coolest in a white t-shirt because white reflects light easier than any color. The same goes for tattoo colors. The darker colors absorb laser light most easily. For this reason, blue, black and brown are typically the easiest color to remove. Orange, yellow, green and light blue are the
most difficult to remove because they do not absorb a light easily and they are also best suited for q-switched alexandrite lasers, which are not the most common type of tattoo removal laser.
More Questions on Laser Tattoo Removal
Can very densily pigmented black tattoos be completely removed? (6 answers)
I understand that black tattoos are the easiest to remove because they absorb the entire spectrum of light that the Laser outputs, but I was wondering, can very dark (heavily pigmented tribal tattoos) be completely removed from lower legs? I realize it will obviously take more sessions, but how many?
After each laser session when is the time-frame in which the lymphatic system is removing the most ink? (5 answers)
I was wondering after each laser session, which is the time-frame in which our immune system/lymphatic system is removing the most amount of ink that was broken up during the laser session? Would it be during the first or second session, a week after or other?
My small wrist tattoo has been treated 8 times, is the ink too deep to be removed? (4 answers)
I've had my small wrist tattoo treated 8 times, but the outline is still present (grey looking). I know extremities take longer, but could it be impossible to remove the tattoo considering the depth/placement?
Did 3 lasers treatments, faded significantly, but not gone. Will it ever go away completely w/out surgery? (4 answers)
Are there any supplements to increase the effectiveness of tattoo removal? (3 answers)
Will drinking water, vitamin supplements, no alcohol, etc.. help with the removal process?
Can tattoo eyeliner be removed? (3 answers)
Would covering a colored tattoo with black ink work better than Laser Tattoo Removal? (3 answers)
I've had 15 sessions of tattoo removal on my rose but it has only faded. I was wondering if I got a black tattoo over the top would it work better?
How does tattoo removal look on African American skin? (3 answers)
What type of scar is left on African American skin after either regular or laser tattoo removal?
Is it possible to remove Tattoo Eyebrows by Laser Tattoo Removal? (3 answers)
I tattoo my eyebrows three years ago. They were to be brown, but turned out to be ashing in color. I would like to have them removed by laser. How many treatments are needed?
Laser removal turned eyebrows red. (3 answers)
I just had my first laser treatment today on my brown eyebrows. The ink has turned red. Is this going to be permanent or will it fade?
Why is laser tattoo removal causing my black tattoo to fade into a brown hue? (3 answers)
As my black tattoo is being treated, it is fading into a brown hue. A once black outline has not turned brown. Does it still need treatment of a different wavelength to target the brown? Why is this? Will it go away and if so, how long will this take?
Can laser tattoo removal get rid of any tattoo? (3 answers)
I have a highly pigmented tattoo on my lower leg that I got a few years ago and I’d like to have removed. Are all tattoos removable? What makes a tattoo easier or more difficult to remove?
Does laser tattoo removal hurt more than other options? (3 answers)
I really want to get rid of my tattoo but I’m afraid of the pain. Does laser tattoo removal hurt?
Can laser tattoo removal get rid of just a part of my tattoo? (3 answers)
I have a large tattoo with a name in the center of it. I really like the tattoo, just not the name (anymore). Can laser tattoo removal isolate a small area of a tattoo to remove, and can I have another name tattooed in the same spot?
Does ethnicity alter the effectiveness of laser tattoo removal? (3 answers)
I am African-American, and have a tattoo I’d like to have removed with laser tattoo removal. I’ve heard that the laser removal doesn’t work as well on people of color. Is this true, and if so, are there better tattoo removal options for me?
Can laser tattoo removal treat tattoos on the foot? (2 answers)
Is it harder to remove tattoos on the foot/ankle area than other areas of the body? I heard laser tattoo removal works best on more fleshy areas.
In laser tattoo removal, how does the laser remove the ink? (2 answers)
I don't get how the laser bleaches out the tattoo. Where does the ink go?
How much does Laser Tattoo Removal Cost? (2 answers)
Is it common for facilities to offer low-cost tattoo removal for those wishing to remove gang-related tattoos? I've heard that some will. What factors determine the cost?
Can laser tattoo removal be used on acne prone skin? (2 answers)
My son has a tattoo that needs to be removed, but the area it is on (shoulder) tends to have a lot of acne. Is this a problem? Will it make the acne worse, or cause it to scar?
How soon after a tattoo is placed can I start laser tattoo removal? (2 answers)
Do I need to wait a certain amount of time before removing it? I got the tattoo about 3 months ago, big mistake, also, will it take more sessions to remove because it is new?
Can tattoo artists perform laser tattoo removal? (2 answers)
Or are only doctors allowed to use the laser devices?
Does laser tattoo removal work on lip liner? (2 answers)
Can permanent lip liner be removed with the laser treatment?
Can laser tattoo removal target certain colors? (2 answers)
But then leave other colors unfaded? Or will it remove all pigments, regardless or color?
How long has Laser Tattoo Removal been around? (2 answers)
And is it FDA approved?
Why does laser tattoo removal take so many sessions to get rid of tattoos? (2 answers)
I heard that it takes 4 or 5 sessions minimum to remove a tattoo with laser tattoo removal. Why does it take so many? Is there anything I can do to make it take fewer sessions?
What kind of professionals are needed for laser tattoo removal? (2 answers)
I heard that tattoo removal clinics should have both a certified laser specialist and laser safety officer on site. Is this true? It seems a little extreme.
Can laser tattoo removal treat permanent make-up tattoos? (2 answers)
I had my eyebrows tattooed as a teenager, and now would like the ink removed for a more natural, softer look. Can laser tattoo removal eliminate cosmetic tattoos?
How long does it take to see results from laser tattoo removal? (2 answers)
I’ve had two laser removal sessions, and the tattoo is a bit lighter, but how many more sessions will I need for the tattoo to disappear?
What happens to the ink during laser tattoo removal? (2 answers)
How does the laser remove the ink from skin? Is it sucked out of the skin or pushed deeper, so that you can't see it from the surface? Does it burn it off? Thanks!
Does laser tattoo removal work on elderly skin? (2 answers)
I am over 65 and have a tattoo I've wanted removed for decades. Is laser tattoo removal safe for older people? What are the risks? Will it work on my looser, aged skin? Thank you very much
How long does laser tattoo removal take? (2 answers)
How many sessions will be needed before my tattoo is removed? What factors influence how long it will take?
Does laser tattoo removal work equally on all body areas? (2 answers)
Are there any areas of the body that laser tattoo removal wouldn't work on? i.e. fingers, facial, genital areas?
Can laser tattoo removal be used on facial areas? (2 answers)
I have a tattoo on my eyelids and i dont want this any more, its something i can do???, the color of the tattoo is beige. thank you very much.
Does the type of laser affect laser tattoo removal effectiveness? (2 answers)
I have had 2 treatments with a laser (candelesend) I do not know if this is the right spelling. I have some fading, but minimal at most. The laser is not doing much in the area of removal. What do you have for information on lasers that work?
Could laser tattoo removal treat moles? (2 answers)
I have a tattoo I'm going to have removed with LTR, but right next to it I have two flat dark moles and I was wondering if treating the moles with the laser would lighten/remove them as well?
Does laser tattoo removal hurt more than getting the tattoo? (2 answers)
I heard it's really painful.
How long does the laser tattoo removal take on a large tattoo? (2 answers)
I have a large tattoo across my upper back. Are the laser tattoo removal procedures broken up into short sessions, or will the whole area be treated at once?
Does laser tattoo removal damage the skin? (2 answers)
Is the skin damaged in any way after laser tattoo removal? Can exposure to the laser cause skin cancer?
Does the wavelength of the laser used to remove tattoos matter? Can the Picosure rid ink that is really deep? (2 answers)
I am concerned that my small tattoo will not be gone. It was treated 8 times w/ a q-switch laser, and I'm now considering the Picosure. I have read that the Pico's wavelength is shorter, does that matter? I think the ink I have left is really deep.
Can macrophages engulf more than just 1 particle of ink at a time, or is it one macrophage per ink particle? (2 answers)
I know that the Picosure laser breaks the ink into smaller particles and by doing so, the body can remove them faster. Can macrophages engulf more than just 1 particle of ink at a time, or is it one macrophage per ink particle?
Why do I still have bumps 5 weeks after my first laser tattoo removal session? (2 answers)
I got my first removal session just over 5 weeks ago. I have black and red ink. There are bumps ranging from small to sort of large clusters (seems swelled) in the red part of the tattoo. It's not painful, just slightly tender and gets itchy. Ideas?
What is the danger of sun exposure after laser tattoo removal? (2 answers)
I had a black ink tattoo removed in three phases via laser tattoo removal. My last treatment was performed in March 2012. I'm planning a vacation after three months of healing. Do I need to keep the treated area covered? What do you recommend?
Can Microderm work to get rid of my scar which was left from having a tattoo removal? (2 answers)
I had a large tattoo removed by laser several years ago and the skin is still quite scarred, with some hyperpigmentation. Could microderm treatments work to correct the skin, or fraxel?
I've had 33 treatments. The laser isn't working, what else can I try? (2 answers)
I've had 33 treatments over 5 years on my tattoo at a very good laser center. I know they're using the best lasers for the job. It's faded, but it just won't go away. I'm so frustrated. Is there anything I can try besides the traditional approach?
Is this 'brown smudge' that my tattoo turned into after my third laser removal session temporary? (laser used Q-Switched) (2 answers)
I had my 3 laser tattoo removal session before 2, 5 weeks, but unlike previous times, it hasn't been healed yet and it looks like a brown smudge. My doctor said that the laser had to go deeper this time so the burning was deeper. I'm scared, is it normal?
3 treatments and faded, but... (2 answers)
I've had 3 laser treatments on my tattoo which just has dark blue color. It has been 3 years now and it has faded quite a bit. Will it ever ALL go away or will I carry this "ghost" forever? Would 3 more sessions do it?
Is swelling a common side effect of laser tattoo removal? (2 answers)
I had my first session a couple days ago, and the treatment area is super swollen and painful. Is this normal? What can I do to take away the swelling?
I just got a tattoo with dark purple, black, green, a little yellow, and a little teal. Would this be removable? (2 answers)
I am looking into laser removal and the place I would like to go has a Trinity by Astanza which they claim can remove all of the colors in my tattoo. The tattoo is on my ankle and is about the size of my hand. They claim they can completely remove it. Is this true?
How does dermal thickness affect the success of Laser Tattoo Removal? (2 answers)
I was wondering how dermal thickness affects the number of treatments necessary for complete removal. Are tattoos placed in more fleshy areas such as calves easier or harder to remove than a tattoo placed just below the ankle, for example? Why would that be? Can you explain?
Red Tattoo ink on black skin (1 answer)
Hi there. I am wondering how "safe" it is to try to remove red ink from the face of an African American. I understand the 532nm wavelength is the correct treatment protocol, yet this isn't typically advised for skin tones over IV. Thoughts?
Does all natural tribal tattoo ink fade faster than others after laser removal? (1 answer)
I would like to remove a rose tattoo that was done with natural ink. I was told it was tribal ink, but I'm not sure what that means. Can this type of ink be removed with laser tattoo removal?
Can a diabetic patient get laser tattoo removal without a problem? (1 answer)
Can laser tattoo removal be harmful if you are a Type 1 diabetic?
Is it possible to remove ultraviolet tattoos with laser tattoo removal? (1 answer)
I have an ultraviolet tattoo that I'd like to have removed, but I heard that laser tattoo removal can't break down this unique pigment. Is this true?
How long does the ink stay in the body? (1 answer)
After the treatment, how long does the ink stay in the body before the blood cells carry it away?
I would like to move forward with tattoo removal treatments, but I am planning to get pregnant in September, when do I stop the treatments to be safe?
Is Medlite c6 a good laser? (1 answer)
Is Medlite c6 a good laser to remove tattos?
I developed 3 enormous blisters after having the Picosure laser tattoo removal procedure. Is this normal? (1 answer)
I have developed 3 enormous blisters after having the Picosure procedure, and I'm growing more concerned now that my ankle is swelling. It's 3x bigger. It doesn't make any sense, especially since it was my calf that was treated and not my ankle. Is this normal? I have no pain.
Can I smoke after my session of laser tattoo removal of my inner lip? (1 answer)
How long does it take to remove an inner lip tattoo with laser tattoo removal? (1 answer)
Approximately how long would it take for an inner lip tattoo to be removed or lightened with laser tattoo removal? How long would it take to heal? The tattoo consists of six letters and is already fading.
I had my eyeliner tattoo laser removed, how can I reduce the swelling quickly? (1 answer)
Could the laser used in laser tattoo removal burn me? (1 answer)
How safe is it?
Will laser tattoo removal get rid of hair near the tattoo? (1 answer)
Hi I have a tattoo at the base of my skull; I got it when my head was shaved. You can see half of it on my neck (below hairline) and half in hair, I'd like to get it removed but I don't want a permanent bald spot. Will Laser TR get rid of the hair?
Can laser tattoo removal be used multiple times? (1 answer)
I had a portion of a tattoo removed with LTR and another name tattooed in the same spot. Now I want the whole tattoo off, but I'm worried that the part I had previously laser treated might be a problem.
What kind of post treatment care is needed after laser tattoo removal? (1 answer)
How should I take care of the skin?
Can laser tattoo removal be used on the inner lip? (1 answer)
Or is the area too sensitive? I have a small tattoo of a name on my inner lower lip.
What is the best type of laser to use for laser tattoo removal? (1 answer)
Are certain medical lasers better than others? What should I ask my specialist about the laser(s) their facility uses?
Can Laser Tatoo Removal work for pigmented scars? (1 answer)
I have a thin, dark red scar on my arm and was wondering if laser tattoo removal could make it lighter? Its really red.
Is it possible to get burned from laser tattoo removal? (1 answer)
Could the skin get burned?
How long have lasers been used for tattto removal? (1 answer)
Have safety tests or clinical studies been done?
Can laser tattoo removal remove other unwanted pigmentation? (1 answer)
My friend has laser tattoo removal and swears that the freckles/moles/age spots in the area are now lighter. Is it possible for the lasers used in tattoo removal to lighten unwanted skin pigmentations?
Can you drink alcohol the after you have your tattoo removed? (0 answers)