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Unwanted Tattoos

Medically, tattoos are regarded as a deep type of pigmented lesion. Laser surgeons target the ink particles in the same manner as they treat pigment in brown lesions. High-powered lasers with intensely focused energy blast tattoo pigment particles into smithereens, creating much tinier entities that the body can eliminate or hide. Lasers specifically target the ink particles in the skin, sparing adjacent cells from harm. In general, different lasers are used to remove different-colored pigments. Tattoos of the same color may not always react in the same way because tattoo pigments may have different chemical compositions. Some tattoo pigment naturally degrades over the years, so there is somewhat less pigment to remove in older, more faded tattoos. Older tattoos also typically require fewer treatments. Many different types of tattoos (professional, amateur, medical, cosmetic, traumatic) can be removed with lasers. Cosmetic tattoos (often containing iron oxide inks) often require microneedling or ablative laser treatment.

Possible Treatments


Pigment Laser

The Picoway laser is a laser treatment that can be used to remove unwanted tattoos and improve the appearance of pigmented lesions, such as sun spots and brown birthmarks.



Microneedling involves application of a specialized, motorized tip with thin needles to the skin. The treatment is used to minimize wrinkles, scars, stretch marks, and enlarged pores in all skin types and body locations.


Fraxel Laser

Fraxel is a laser treatment that can improve the appearance of photodamaged skin (wrinkles and/or discoloration), as well as scarred skin by evening out skin texture and tone.

Book a consultation with one of our board-certified dermatologists today to determine the best treatment plan for you.

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Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery