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Despite the growing popularity of elaborate tattoos, it is estimated that approximately twenty percent of people with tattoos have regrets about getting them in the first place. There are many reasons why you would like to remove old tattoos. There may be an association with the tattoo that you would like to forget, it no longer reflects who you are now, or simply it has faded and is no longer cosmetically appealing. Before the process of laser tattoo removal was pioneered, the only options for removal were dermabrasion, cryosurgery or surgical excision. These approaches were painful, and carried with them a high risk of scarring and infection. However, current modern laser technology allows for laser tattoo removal that is without scarring and relatively painless. 

Dr. Michele Green is a world class expert in cosmetic dermatology and tattoo removal. She has been safely and effectively removing tattoo ink with laser treatments for over two decades in her boutique Upper East Side NYC office. Dr. Green treats patients who have unwanted tattoos from the entire New York area, as well as international patents who fly in for her laser removal services.

Best Tattoo Removal in New York

Laser tattoo removal can be a lengthy and time consuming process. Modern laser tattoo removal is the most effective method for removing these ink particles which make up a tattoo. While laser technology is clearly the most effective method for removing the tattoo, it still can take multiple treatments to clear the tattoo. Since different tattoo artists use different types of ink, and there is no way of knowing exactly which ink was used, it can take six to ten treatments to remove some difficult, multi-colored, tattoos. It is impossible to predict how many treatments will be needed for a specific laser tattoo removal because of the variations in inks and colors utilized today. Certain colors of ink, and types of ink, are much more difficult to remove than others. Because of this difficulty in laser tattoo removal, there are expedited methods of laser treatment and advanced laser technology which can help effectively remove a tattoo more easily.

AlexTrivantage laser for tattoo removal, 8 treatments

Q-switched laser tattoo removal in NYC and Manhattan 

The Candela Alex TriVantage is a unique Q-switched laser tattoo removal which treats all skin types. The Q-switched laser is considered the gold standard in laser tattoo removal. This Alex TriVantage laser can be used for tattoos on every area of the body, including the neck, face, arms, legs, and back. The Q-switched laser is a high-intensity pulsed beam light, which pushes laser a billionth of a second. The Q-switched lasers shatters the microscopic particles of ink and releases the pigment into the skin, so that it can be naturally reabsorbed and removed by the body, and the tattoo gradually fades out. This same laser technology is effective at removing pigmented lesions, brown spots, sun spots, and age spots from the face and body.

One of the advantages of the Q-switched laser for tattoo removal is that it can remove all ink colors in tattoos. The number of laser tattoo-removal sessions varies depending on several factors, including size and the type of ink colors, for its complete removal. One of the advantages of the Alex TriVantage laser is that it can be used on all skin types. In the past, laser tattoo removal could only be used on light skin tones. With the new Q-switched laser technology, laser tattoo removal can be performed on all darker skin tones, including Asian, Hispanic, and African American skin, with safe and effective laser tattoo removal results. In some patients, Dr. Green uses a combined approach to maximize tattoo removal. By using both the Candela Alex Trivantage and Hoya ConBio C-3 tattoo laser, she is able to remove a greater amount of pigment than by using a single machine. In addition, Dr. Green often combines the Fraxel laser with the Q-switched laser to have faster results in removing these unwanted tattoos.

R20 Tattoo Removal Laser

One of the more recent advances in laser tattoo removal at Dr. Michele Green’s NYC office is the R20 method of removing tattoos at a quicker rate. The process involves treating the tattoo with the Q-switched laser and waiting 20 minutes for another treatment during the same day. This method allows the pigment to be targeted directly after the initial treatment without having to wait for another 8 weeks for the next session. Four treatments in total can be accomplished in a single visit using this method, to increase this laser tattoo removal. This R20 tattoo removal treatment is safe and highly effective and an option for patients who need prompt removal of their unwanted tattoos.

Consultation for laser tattoo removal in NYC

Between seven and 20 million people in the United States are estimated to have at least one tattoo. Many of these millions of people regret the decision to have the tattoo since it can interfere with professional opportunities, or it has simply outlived its time. Unfortunately, removing the tattoo can take many more sessions than having had the tattoo created in the first place.  The consultation for the laser tattoo removal involves documenting the size and ink colors used and goals in its removal.  Some patients merely want 2 to 3 laser tattoo-removal sessions to lighten its appearance to have a new tattoo made to cover-up the previous tattoo. Other patients need the tattoo completely removed for professional reasons such as a career in the military. A treatment plan will be created and the schedule of treatments reviewed. Most tattoo laser treatments need to be scheduled 8 weeks apart in between each treatment session. 

There are two main types of tattoos which patients may have, amateur tattoos and professional tattoos. Amateur tattoos are composed of ink or carbon and the pigments are usually thinner than those used by professionals, making them easier to remove. Generally, amateur tattoos can be removed in five to six laser tattoo-removal sessions. Professional tattoos are composed of organic pigments and they vary in particle size but are mainly deposited in the dermis. Professional tattoos are much more difficult to remove than amateur tattoos and can take between 6 and 10 treatment sessions to clear the tattoo completely. 

Before and After Photo, Laser Tattoo Removal

Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?

Dr. Green uses these lasers to safely penetrate the skin and target the tattoo at its core. When tattoos are created, the ink used is placed deep into the dermis of the skin. In order to remove the tattoo, the tattoo ink absorbs the laser energy, which in turn breaks down the tattoo ink into microparticles, which are eventually eliminated through the body’s natural processes. Laser tattoo removal, like other laser treatments, is performed based on the principle of selective photohermolysis. The darker the color, the more absorption by the laser, and the easier it gets destroyed. Over time, the ink particles are  removed from the body’s immune system over the next few weeks.  Because the laser delivers the energy so precisely, Dr. Green can trace the design of the tattoo without damaging the surrounding skin.  For this same reason, lighter tattoo colors such as green or pink, can be more difficult to remove than ones which are strictly black in color.

Laser tattoo removal feels much different than the tattoo application itself, like the snap of a rubber band followed by a feeling of warmth. Dr. Green will numb the area of the tattoo with a topical numbing cream, one hour before your laser tattoo removal, to help you feel more comfortable. After the first few treatments, you’ll notice a temporary whitening of the treated area. Over time, the tattoo fades and the skin returns to its natural color.

Before & After photo: AlexTrivantage for tattoo removal

The process of tattoo removal takes much longer than getting the tattoo created. Most patients need at least six treatment sessions, depending on the number of colors, the size of the design and the type of ink. Black tattoos are easier to remove than multi-colored designs, but all tattoos must be treated with the proper laser settings. Older tattoo can sometimes be more difficult to remove since the pigment may have penetrated too deep in the dermis for the laser to successfully penetrate and remove all of the tattoo pigment. This is why it is so important to consult an expert in tattoo removal for the best cosmetic results.


Picosure operates based on photomechanical pressure wave technology, which uses short-pulse furring to break up the tattoo into tiny ink particles, which are easily eliminated from your body. Picosure’s energy is delivered rapidly which reduces the build up of heat. These waves initiate an enhanced inflammatory healing response, which leads to increased collagen production without thermal injury. The Picosecond laser is fast, shatters the tattoo ink, and is designed to be able to treat every skin type. The Picosure laser also treats all skin types and safely treats dark spots such as freckles, age spots, sun damage, and acne scars.         

How much does laser tattoo removal cost in NYC?

The cost of a laser depends on the size, location, and color of the tattoo. Generally, the price for a small tattoo can start at $500 and increase in price as the size of the tattoo gets larger. Tattoo removal costs more when a board certified dermatologist, like Dr. Michele Green, performs the laser tattoo removal herself. If a patient chooses the R20 method of laser tattoo removal, multiple sessions are completed in a single day and the tattoo removal cost is increased to remove this unwanted ink. Ask about our free consultations which get applied to your first test spot for your laser tattoo removal.

How many Tattoo removal sessions will I need?

The number of tattoos removal treatments depends several factors:

  • The type of ink 
  • The ink colors in the tattoo
  • The size of the tattoo
  • The depth of the tattoo
  • Your skin color

Laser tattoo removal is a gradual process as you do not want the skin to scar from the laser treatment. In general, laser tattoo removal can take six or more sessions. If you choose to have R20 performed, the number of laser tattoo removal sessions may be reduced significantly.

What are the side effects from laser tattoo removal?

Immediately after your laser tattoo treatment, you may notice some bruising, redness, or crusting. These side effects generally resolve after approximately one week.  Dr. Green will provide each patient with aftercare instructions for you to use after your laser treatment. Proper skin care about your laser treatment is essential for the desired results. Other possible side effects of laser tattoo removal are blisters or reactions to the ink being lasered, and a skin whitening effect.

How to choose the best laser tattoo removal in dermatology?

Dr. Michele Green has performed laser tattoo removal in her Upper East Side Manhattan, New York office for the past two decades. Patients who consult Dr. Green live locally, whether in midtown manhattan or the surrounding boroughs. Dr. Green does consultations for laser tattoo removal treatments for her international patients as well. It is most important to consult a board certified dermatologist, who is trained in cosmetic laser treatments, for the safest and most effective results. Dr. Green does all of her own laser tattoo removal treatments in her New York office and has testimonials from both local and international patients.

If you’re unhappy with the appearance of an old, outdated or unwanted tattoo, laser tattoo removal can help. Find out more and contact Dr. Green via this form below, or call our NYC based location at 212-535-3088 to learn more about whether laser tattoo removal may be right for you. 

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