ZocdocAnswersCan you get back pigment lost in tattoo removal?

Question

Can you get back pigment lost in tattoo removal?

I had a tattoo on my upper arm removed, and now the skin is a totally different color than the skin around it. It's much lighter. Is there a good way for me to bring it back? Is this a common problem? I definitely wasn't warned that this could happen.

Answer

There are different ways to have a tattoo removed. The most common method is using a laser to heat the ink allowing it to break up into particles that the body can absorb. The best type of physician for you to consult about this problem is a dermatologist. Laser removal of tattoos often causes changes in the pigmentation (color) of your skin near that area. Thus, what you are experiencing is not uncommon. Most of the time, the pigmentation of your skin should begin returning to normal on its own about a half year to a year after the removal. However, sometimes the skin pigmentation takes longer to return or does not completely return to normal at all. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with a dermatologist, especially if it has been more than 6 months since you had the tattoo removed. If you have pictures of your arm shortly after the tattoo removal then bring them along for the doctor to look at. If you just had the tattoo removed, then start taking pictures of the area once per month and schedule your appointment once it has been 6 months. This will help the dermatologist determine if the pigmentation of your arm is returning or not. Good luck.

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