Does ethnicity alter the effectiveness of laser tattoo removal?

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?

Answers from doctors (2)


Brooklyn Laser Tattoo Removal, Inc.

Published on Apr 22, 2016

Typically, the best results are on light skin with dark ink, but tattoos on African American skin can be lightened too with lasers. Before undergoing a treatment, you should find a tattoo removal specialist who knows skin physiology and is trained/experienced in using lasers. Someone of this caliber should know how to treat African American skin with the appropriate lasers, for not all lasers can be used on every skin or ink color. Also, ask to see before and after pictures of patients with African American skin. This will give you an idea of what you can expect after treatment.

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Answered by Brooklyn Laser Tattoo Removal, Inc.

Typically, the best results are on light skin with dark ink, but tattoos on African American skin can be lightened too with lasers. Before undergoing a treatment, you should find a tattoo removal specialist who knows skin physiology and is trained/experienced in using lasers. Someone of this caliber should know how to treat African American skin with the appropriate lasers, for not all lasers can be used on every skin or ink color. Also, ask to see before and after pictures of patients with African American skin. This will give you an idea of what you can expect after treatment.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Celibre Medical Corporation

Published on Apr 22, 2016

Yes, African Americans can have tattoo removal just as easily as other skin types, but there are two caveats. The first is that the type of laser matters. A Q-switched Nd:Yg laser is most appropriate for your skin type. If you have colors like red, light blue, yellow or green, this raises the issue of having to use a wavelength other than 1064, which could lead to hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin). If your tattoo is dark ink, it is very straightforward to remove and you should find an experienced practice with the Q-switched Nd:Yg laser.

//imgs-origin.edoctors.com/imageresizer/image/user_uploads/58x58_85-1/doctors/6573_1439482825.jpg
Answered by Celibre Medical Corporation

Yes, African Americans can have tattoo removal just as easily as other skin types, but there are two caveats. The first is that the type of laser matters. A Q-switched Nd:Yg laser is most appropriate for your skin type. If you have colors like red, light blue, yellow or green, this raises the issue of having to use a wavelength other than 1064, which could lead to hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin). If your tattoo is dark ink, it is very straightforward to remove and you should find an experienced practice with the Q-switched Nd:Yg laser.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


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