Tattoo removal

Tattoo ink is placed beneath the top layer of skin. That makes tattoo removal more complicated — and expensive — than the original tattoo application. If you're no longer satisfied with your tattoo, however, tattoo removal might be possible.

Common procedures for tattoo removal include:

  • Laser surgery
  • Dermabrasion
  • Surgical removal

If you're interested in tattoo removal, consult your dermatologist about the options. Don't attempt tattoo removal on your own. Do-it-yourself tattoo removal creams and other home treatments aren't likely to be effective and can cause skin irritation or other reactions.


Why it's done Risks How you prepare What you can expect Results

You might consider tattoo removal if you regret a tattoo or you're unhappy with the appearance of your tattoo. Perhaps the tattoo has faded or blurred, or you decide that the tattoo doesn't fit your current image. Tattoo removal might also be important if you develop an allergic reaction to the tattoo or other complications.

© 1998-2015 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. Terms of use