Are there any side effects from laser tattoo removal?

All procedures come with a small amount of risk. The risks of laser tattoo removal include:

  • Scarring
  • Hypo-pigmentation
  • Hyper-pigmentation
  • Infection

Scarring from tattoo removal

This tends to be very low but if it does occur then it is usually due to the fact that the patient is prone to scarring or has picked at the scabs during the recovery period. A silicon based scar-reduction gel can help to reduce the risks of scarring.

Hypo-pigmentation from tattoo removal

This is a loss of normal skin colour: during treatment the laser will affect the pigment colour of your skin or melanin as well as the colours used in the tattoo. This has the effect of 'bleaching' out the skin, giving it a pale appearance or manifests itself as pale patches on the skin. It usually returns to normal although it can take months possibly years to do so. In some cases the treated tattoo never matches the colour of the skin surrounding it. This is more of a risk for people with darker skin or who have undergone several treatment sessions.

Hyper-pigmentation after tattoo removal

Similar to the above except in this case, there are dark patches of skin around the tattoo. This can also resolve itself although there are skin products available to ensure a more even match between the two.

Infection from tattoo removal treatment

This is likely to occur if the treated area is not cared for after the procedure. It is vital that the skin is kept clean and bandages applied as per the clinic’s instructions.

How do I know if the treated area has healed?

If the blisters and scabs are dry then it has healed and is ready for further sessions. But if the area appears "wet" or shiny then healing is still taking place. The risk of infection is high during this time. If you follow the advice given to you then there is minimal risk of infection. But if it does occur then contact your clinic or practitioner.

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