Debra Price MD PA Board Certified Dermatologist

Medlite Laser: Laser Tattoo Removal


The MedLite laser can safely remove a wide range of tattoo pigments by delivering very fast, high intensity pulses of laser energy that selectively shatter ink pigments in the skin causing them to disperse and eventually be eliminated.

Are certain tattoo pigment colors more effectively removed with the MedLite laser?

Different wavelengths of laser energy are required to remove different tattoo pigments. The MedLite laser is most effective in eliminating black, blue and red ink pigments.

Can all red, black and blue tattoo pigments be eliminated with laser therapy?

While the MedLite laser is highly effective at removing many tattoo pigments, not all tattoo pigments can be improved or eliminated with MedLite laser therapy. While most patients with black, blue or red tattoos will experience improvement or clearing of their tattoos with MedLite laser treatments, sometimes MedLite laser treatments are unsuccessful at removing or lightening tattoo pigments even after multiple treatments.

How many treatments are required for resolution of tattoo pigment?

The number of laser treatments required for tattoo pigment resolution varies. A test treatment session is performed one month prior to laser treatment to determine the optimal treatment parameters and the likelihood that your tattoo pigment will improve with MedLite laser treatments. Most patients require multiple treatments to each area for maximal resolution of tattoo pigment. On average five to fifteen sessions are often required. A one to two month interval between treatments is generally recommended before retreating the same area, however adjacent areas can be treated sooner.

What does the skin look like after treatment?

The treated tattoo will initially turn white and may appear pink or red and swollen. Sometimes pinpoint bleeding will be visible. Occasionally the skin will develop a bruise or a purple discoloration. If the treatment is successful, during the ensuing weeks and months the tattoo pigment will gradually lighten.

How painful are treatments with the MedLite laser?

While pain sensation is variable, most patients will experience some discomfort with tattoo laser removal. Prior to treatment your doctor may apply a topical anesthetic or inject a local anesthetic to decrease discomfort.

What are the risks of MedLite laser tattoo removal?

The most common risks of MedLite laser tattoo removal are unsuccessful or incomplete removal of tattoo pigment or temporary or permanent lightening or darkening of the pigment of the skin. An allergic reaction, skin infection, burn or scarring including elevated and keloidal scars are other potential risks of Medlite laser treatment. Certain tattoo pigments can darken with laser treatment. Patients with a history of abnormal or keloidal scarring, who have taken Accutane in the past year or who are taking medications or have health conditions that may compromise their ability to fight infection may not be candidates for MedLite laser tattoo removal.

What should I do before treatment with the MedLite laser?

It is important to avoid sun exposure and to use a broad spectrum sunscreen for two weeks prior to treatment. You should also inform your physician of any health problems or history of abnormal scarring.

Is there any special care required following treatment?

It is important to avoid sun exposure and to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen to the treated area for a minimum of three months following each treatment. If you develop a blister, crust or sore following treatment you should apply Aquaphor healing ointment to the site and contact your physician. You should not apply makeup to open, crusted or sore areas.

Is laser treatment of tattoos covered by insurance?

Laser treatment of tattoos is considered a cosmetic procedure and is not covered by most insurance plans.