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  • Writer's pictureZak Lockhead

Can Laser or IPL treatments cause cancer?

Updated: Apr 1, 2022

It is not unreasonable to be scared of Laser tattoo removal and IPL treatments. Because of this, you probably have several questions (or maybe hundreds of questions like some of my clients). One of the main questions I get is ‘Well does the laser or IPL cause cancer?’. It is a very reasonable question! Because of this, I have decided to write this article to answer this question. In short, the use of Laser and IPL devices does not cause cancer and I will provide evidence of this below.

My view

I would bet anything that Laser and IPL does not cause cancer (at least when used correctly with a correct functioning machine) and I will explain why.

Firstly, we must consider what the Laser and IPL device actually does. In simple, these machines emit wavelengths of light that are absorbed in the skin (i.e. tattoo ink or hair follicles). As you can see in the figure below, light can be harmful and harmless depending on its wavelength. Luckily for us, the tattoo removal device and IPL devices emit safe wavelengths in the range of 400-1320nm and use a very advanced function to filter out any harmful wavelengths (i.e. UV light) making the device much safer.

Reason 1: The light emitted by Laser tattoo removal and IPL devices only emit harmless light

Laser removal and cancer

Secondly, these machines emit very short pulses of light! So for instance, if we fire the machine at a tattoo, the ink will absorb the light and heat up. However, because the machine fires this shot very quickly, the heat only stays in the tattoo particle and does not cause trauma to the surrounding skin/tissue which decreases the risk of developing cancer.

Reason 2: The machine has been purposefully built to release light very fast to prevent damage to the human body

Finally, anecdotal evidence provides the most compelling evidence for the lack of cancer development using laser tattoo removal and IPL devices. For example, people have been having these treatments for 20+ years and I have yet to see any evidence of any cancer development.

Reason 3: Limited evidence of cancer development despite many years of Laser tattoo removal and IPL treatments.

Health authorities view

Laser tattoo removal and IPL devices are regulated by the government in the United Kingdom, and all health organisations and medical professionals agree that the use of these machines does not increase the risk for development of cancer. Furthermore, all the machines I supply have been MDD CE certified, ensuring that they meet the rigorous UK and EU regulation. If these devices caused cancer, they would not hold such certification.

As always, thank you for reading. For all your training and machine needs feel free to contact me for a free consultation.

Written by Dr Lockhead.

0113 418 0464


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