How to Remove a New Tattoo

by Contributing Writer ; Updated September 28, 2017

Remove a New Tattoo

A tattoo is an essentially permanent mark on the skin, made by injecting pigment into the skin. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to remove a tattoo, even if the tattoo is brand new. Generally speaking, newer tattoos are slightly easier to remove than older tattoos, however, there are many exceptions to this depending on the ink used, the location of the tattoo and the tattoo artist's skill level. You can remove a new tattoo in the same ways you would remove an older tattoo. No method is completely foolproof but you can achieve nearly full removal.

Items you will need

  • Certified laser practitioner
  • Dermatologist appointment
  • Fade cream
Step 1

Consult a laser practitioner regarding laser tattoo removal. The practitioner will use lasers on your tattooed skin, which release intense pulses of light. The light breaks down the ink in the tattoo into very small pieces which are then absorbed into the body. With each session, more ink is broken down until you see a fading effect over time. Complete removal is not likely, however, the tattoo will fade considerably through the use of lasers. Be aware that laser tattoo removal is painful, expensive and requires repeated visits. The practitioner will be able to give you an estimate of how many visits you will need as it is dependent upon the size, location and type of tattoo you have.

Step 2

Apply fade cream to your tattoo. While it does take a long time to see results, you will notice some fading of the tattoo with regular use. The cream reacts with the tattoo's ink and begins to break it down. The broken-down ink is then eventually reabsorbed into the body via the immune system. While there are many fade and lightening creams on the market, you should choose one that is specifically designed to treat tattoos.

Step 3

See your dermatologist about chemical tattoo removal. The doctor will apply chemical solutions which will penetrate the top layers of your skin. The chemicals react with the skin and peel away the top layers. If done repeatedly over several months, the tattoo will noticeably fade. Expect your skin to be red and irritated after the treatments, with possible flaking and blistering.

Step 4

Discuss dermabrasion with your dermatologist. Dermabrasion is often used to remove tattoos. It involved sanding the skin down to remove the surface and lower layers, hence removing the tattoo. Like all methods of tattoo removal, this can be uncomfortable and effectiveness varies.

Step 5

Consult your doctor about cyrosurgery as a means of removing your tattoo. Cyrosurgery involves freezing the entire tattooed area prior to performing dermabrasion. Cyrosurgery usually leads to less bleeding, allowing the skin to heal more quickly after the procedure.

Step 6

Talk to your dermatologist about removing the tattoo via surgery. A dermatologic surgeon can cut away the tattooed portion of the skin and then suture the skin back together. In some cases, skin grafts can be taken from another part of the body and sewn over the area where the tattoo was.


  • Be aware that all tattoo removal methods are very painful, time-consuming and expensive. You will likely not be able to completely remove your new tattoo but you can achieve significant fading, thus making the tattoo much less noticeable.


  • Never try to remove a tattoo yourself. While some people suggest using acids and steel wool to scrub away new tattoos, this is highly dangerous. It will likely result in severe skin damage and not remove the tattoo. Assess your finances. Laser tattoo removal is not cheap. Expect to pay significantly more for the tattoo removal than you did to get the tattoo. You will likely have to see the practitioner several times to complete the process. If your tattoo was done by an amateur tattoo artist, it is more likely to be removed easily. If your tattoo is on an area where the skin is thin such as the inner wrist or ankle, you are more likely to scar from the laser removal than if the tattoo were on an area of thicker skin such as the bicep or buttocks. If you can't afford removal methods, consider getting another tattoo to cover up the one you want to remove. This is only an option if you don't mind having a tattoo but just dislike the one you have. You will be limited in your choices since you'll likely have to employ the use of only darker inks as lighter inks are not effective at covering up other tattoos.

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