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Getting a New Tattoo While Removing an Old Tattoo By Laser

Is It Okay to Get a New Tattoo While Removing an Old Tattoo? The question was asked by someone on the phone who wanted to ask the question but not share details. She was not my patient, and so I had no way of knowing whether she was getting laser to remove her old tattoo, or if the person she was being treated by was using some other process to remove it.


I do laser tattoo removal, so I will only speak to the question with regard to laser. Yes, it would be acceptable to get another new tattoo while I am lasering to remove your old tattoo, as long as the old tattoo is not in the vicinity of the new tattoo. While my laser shoots accurately, there can be some spread of energy to adjacent tissue causing ink nearby to be shattered as well. Hence, this spreading of energy is the reason people who get only a section of their old tattoo removed require a touch up on the ink near to the removed section.


From a physiological perspective, the fact that I have shattered your old ink when I laser your tattoo, should not cause a big enough difference in your immune system to warrant us worrying about how your new ink will be affected.


Which leads me to another question that has been posed by another potential patient: If a person has an immune disease (think of diseases like Lupus, AIDS, or organ transplant), is laser tattoo removal safe? Here I err on the side of safety, and my advice would be NO. If your immune system is already a bit out of order by a disease process that is throwing things into overdrive or underdrive, let’s not shock it more by lasering your tattoo and asking your lymphatic system to work even harder.

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