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  • Writer's pictureZak Lockhead

The side effects of Laser Tattoo Removal

Updated: Apr 2, 2022

So maybe you have finally decided to remove that horrid tattoo. Or maybe you’re thinking about it. Well good news, laser tattoo removal is fantastic and works brilliantly. However, there are a few side effects that you must know before you embark on your tattoo removal journey.

1. Blistering

Probably the most common side effect of tattoo removal. Your tattoo will most likely blister following the treatment session. Don’t worry, this is completely normal and is a good thing (it shows us that your body is healing fine!). These blisters shouldn’t last too long, usually just a few days. Do not pick them, this will only prolong the healing process.

Laser tattoo removal side effects
Example of the blistering that is common following Laser Tattoo removal.

2. Swelling

Again, another common side effect. Swelling is a part of the body’s immune response and simply just shows us that the body is healing correctly. Not something to be worried out.

3. Scarring

Scarring following laser tattoo removal is something you should know about. However, using a good machine with the correct settings can most definitely reduce this risk. It is also possible that the scarring has been caused when the tattoo was actually done, and we are just making this scare more visible when we remove the ink.

Laser tattoo removal scarring
Example of the scarring left behind when a tattoo has been removed.

4. Hypopigmentation

It is worth knowing that laser tattoo removal can possibly whiten the area where the tattoo once was. This occurs because the melanin in the skin (the component that gives skin its colour) can absorb the laser light and be destroyed. Avoiding UV exposure for 2 weeks before and after, and also wearing a high SPF sun cream can help to prevent this.

Side effects Laser tattoo removal
The Red box outlines a paler patch of skin where the tattoo used to be


5. Infection

This will only ever happen if the correct procedures for laser tattoo removal are not followed! For example, if laser tattoo removal is completed in an unhygienic studio. The treatment studio and device should be thoroughly cleaned between clients to prevent this.

6. Discomfort

I am not going to lie, laser tattoo removal is painful. However, this pain only lasts during the actual tattoo removal session which is usually very quick. To avoid this, you can wear a numbing cream (i.e. ametop gel) during the laser tattoo removal session. However be warned, that numbing creams have been shown to reduce the efficiency of laser tattoo removal by approximately 30%.

7. Bruising

Bruising is a highly common side effect with laser tattoo removal. Bruising happens when blood that has leaked from blood cells collects near the upper surface of the skin. If you happen to bruise following laser tattoo removal, don’t worry this is normal.

Example of bruising that can occur following laser tattoo removal.

Thank you for reading my list of side effects associated with Laser tattoo removal. For all device or training enquiries, please contact me today for a free consultation

Dr Lockhead

0113 418 0464


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