Dear Dr. Langdon:

There is a slight orangy outline left over from touch up over faded brown eyebrows. Will laser tattoo removal work, or can IPL (light therapy) fade the tattoo away, without down time? Would love to hear what your thoughts are. Thanks so much!

Dr. Langdon Says:

Most cosmetic tattoos, such as those used to enhance the eyebrows, are composed of iron oxide pigments. As with all tattoos the best and safest method of removal is with a Q-switched laser. IPL treatment can overheat the skin and cause side effects.

Q-switched laser treatment of an orange color iron oxide tattoo will usually cause an immediate color conversion to a dark or black color (this is the result of a chemical alteration of the iron oxide material). Although the medical literature includes reports of such tattoos being difficult to remove, in my experience these tattoos are very responsive to Q-switched laser treatment and will fade satisfactorily after a few treatments.