15 FAQs about Tattoo Removal Answered by Beverly Wilshire Medical Centre


Surveyed Q&A about Tattoo Removal with specialist medical team from Beverly Wilshire Medical Centre. You asked: Can I remove my tattoo by myself? Can my tattoo be removed completely? Here's what the doctors say.

As popular as tattoo inking is, tattoo removal is also one of the most common procedures sought after in the field of skin and cosmetics.

However, there are many misguided advices about tattoo removal both on and off the internet. How do we make sure the information we know about tattoo removal is accurate?

So I got in touch with the verified medical team of doctors from Beverly Wilshire Medical Centre with a compilation of questions you often ask about laser tattoo removal, because if we're looking for answers, why not get them from the doctors themselves?

You asked, we have the answers.

All information and answers are provided by certified and verified doctors from Beverly Wilshire Medical Centre.

Beverly Wilshire Medical Centre (Kuala Lumpur)


Licensed by the Ministry of Health Malaysia, we offer an extensive menu of cosmetic procedures, aesthetic treatments, and health services to enable you to attain your desired perfection – in beauty, health, and wellness. With the expertise of a team of highly skilled specialists, supported by the industry’s leading technologies and world-class facilities, you can be assured of professional guidance and customized treatments towards the desired outcome. Whether you seek the ideal skin, face, body or wellbeing, you need look no further.

  1. Centre of Excellence for Cosmetic Surgery, Aesthetic Medicine and Healthy Aging
  2. Backed by registered and board-certified plastic surgeons
  3. All cosmetic and aesthetic procedures are administered professionally by licensed doctors
  4. Registered with the Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) to promote medical tourism
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1. Can I remove my tattoo on my own with acid peels?

Can I remove my tattoo with acid peels

The common methods used to remove tattoo without any medical interventions are acid peeling and salt scrubbing.

Acid peel is like chemical peel, like a home remedy chemical peel, actually.

It is not precise. The peeling penetrates through your skin to interact with your ink.

The ink may or may not fade, but the moment the acid penetrates into your skin, it can damage the skin around it. There is no guarantee on the removal of tattoo ink with acid or chemical peel.

2. Can scrubbing salt on my tattoo make it fade?

Can scrubbing salt on my tattoo make it fade

As for salt scrubbing, basically the theory is to rub salt against the superficial (outer surface) part of your skin, which wouldn't work because tattoo ink is usually deposited in the inner layers of our skin.

Besides, you will get skin tearing on the surface of your skin. Hygiene may also be an issue.

The only FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) approved solution is to use laser treatments from verified doctors.

3. Is it possible to remove my tattoo completely?

Tattoo removal

When it comes to the question of completely removing a tattoo, some say yes and some say no.

Basically, it actually depends on your skin type, the color of the tattoo, and the type of ink that was being used to ink the tattoo.

Certain tattoos can be completely removed but this might result in the formation of white patches. We call this condition hypopigmentation.

So, prior to any laser tattoo removal treatments, the patient would have to be able to accept the fact that his or her skin will most probably not appear as flawless as before.

So yes, a complete removal of the tattoo ink is possible, but with some side effects to the skin.

4. How to remove my tattoo safely?

How to remove tattoo safely

The only FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) approved solution is to use laser treatments from verified doctors.

For example, in BWMC, there are 3 different FDA approved machines for tattoo removal - Revlite, Medlite, and Fotona.

These laser tattoo removal methods are safe and effective if used by a verified aesthetic doctor, and they have minimal downtime and side effects.

5. Are old tattoos more difficult to remove?

Are old tattoos more difficult to remove

Contrary to popular belief, it is actually easier to remove older tattoos than newer ones.

This is because we remove the tattoo from the surface of the skin. So for older tattoos, the ink has sunk in, and on the surface the ink has faded.

Compared to newly inked tattoos with vivid colors and ink on the surface of the skin, older tattoos can be removed more easily.

6. Are black ink tattoos more difficult to remove?

Are black inked tattoos easier to remove

For tattoo colors, black tattoo ink is easier to remove compared to colors like red and green.

Some of us also have multiple layers of tattoo, one on top of another. In cases like this, it will be more difficult, and may take more treatment sessions, to remove the layers of tattoo.

7. How does laser tattoo removal work?

How does laser tattoo removal work

Prior to starting a laser tattoo removal treatment, we apply a layer of numbing cream on the treatment area because the treatment procedure may be a bit painful, so a layer of numbing cream is needed to ease the pain for a comfortable treatment session.

After about 30 minutes for the numbing cream to take effect, as we begin the laser tattoo removal treatment, a cooling machine is used to blow out chilled air at the treatment area to relax the skin area and provide comfort for you.

The laser treatment starts by targeting the tattoo ink sitting beneath the skin. The ink will absorb the energy from the laser light and it gets shattered down to millions of tiny ink pieces.

These tiny shattered tattoo ink will then be absorbed by our body immune system and then get excreted from our body naturally.

8. How long does laser tattoo removal take?

How long does laser tattoo removal take

The duration of the treatment process depends on the size of the tattoo. Normally it takes about 10-15 minutes for a session of laser treatment.

9. Is laser tattoo removal painful?

Is laser tattoo removal painful

Many people misunderstand that laser tattoo removal is done the same way as when a tattoo is inked on our skin with a gun.

However, in a laser tattoo removal process, the laser handpiece actually doesn't touch the skin. It is held 1-2 inches away from the skin, and the laser beam will penetrate into the skin without any physical contact on the surface.

Hence, the laser in itself does not cause any damage to the skin.

During the treatment, you would feel a sensation like an elastic band repeatedly tapping onto your skin, with the addition of a little heat.

Other than that, the treatment process is pretty smooth sailing, especially with the cool air blowing onto the skin as the treatment goes on.

10. How many sessions of laser tattoo removal do we need?

How many sessions of laser tattoo removal do we need

Usually 6-12 sessions of laser tattoo removal are needed to remove your tattoo completely from your skin.

11. Does a tattoo disappear immediately after laser tattoo removal?

Will my tattoo disappear immediately after treatment

Immediately after the treatment, you will experience a bit of redness and swelling on the skin. The tattoo ink may also appear whitish or greyish depending on the color of the ink.

These would fade away after some time.

The number of sessions needed for the tattoo to disappear completely depends on a few factors.

12. Why has my tattoo gotten darker after a laser tattoo removal?

Why has my tattoo gotten darker after a laser tattoo removal

Especially after the first treatment, please do not be alarmed if you find your tattoo getting darker in color.

It depends on the color of the ink. If the ink is in a dark color, chances are it may get darker after the first treatment.

But don't worry as this is part of the removal process.

After the ink particles have absorbed the laser energey, they are broken up into tiny particles. These tiny particles appear dark because they rise to the surface of the skin.

After a few sessions, these particles will fade and the tattoo will lighten. After 2-3 sessions, you should able to notice it fading.

13. Is laser tattoo removal safe?

Is laser tattoo removal safe

Many beauty centres and unverified centres these days offer laser tattoo removal which may not necessarily be safe.

This is because even though laser machines may be aplenty these days, only those that are FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) approved are safe to use for treatments.

Most lasers that are FDA approved are very specific in their indication. Before undergoing any treatment, always make sure that the clinic is licensed, and that the device or products used by the clinic are FDA approved.

For example, in BWMC, there are 3 different FDA approved machines for tattoo removal - Revlite, Medlite, and Fotona - and they can only be operated by licensed physicians.

14. Is laser tattoo removal ineffective on dark skin?

 Is laser tattoo removal ineffective on dark skin

For darker skin, we have to use a lower laser setting on the skin. This is because darker skin types has a higher risk of the occurrence of hyperpigmentation. 

But due to this low setting of laser, we will need more sessions for the tattoo to disappear completely.

15. Can laser tattoo removal cause scarring?

Can laser tattoo removal cause scarring

Laser scarring is rare.

With the correct settings, laser scarring should not happen, unless you are prone to keloids (which you should let the doctor know beforehand), or you pick your scabs during the after care.

So make sure you choose the right clinic, the right medical practitioner, and your medical practitioner will help you choose the right laser for your treatment.

Getting a wrong treatment, or if the medical device is mishandled by inexperienced and untrained hands, not only causes the treatment to be ineffective, but can also cause permanent scarring on the treatment area.

If you wish to talk to an experienced aesthetic doctor about your tattoo removal needs , you can send an enquiry to Beverly Wilshire Medical Centre here, and they'll reply you within 3 working days!

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