Does Laser Tattoo Removal Have Any Side Effects?

Laser treatment has become the gold standard in tattoo removal, because it produces dramatic results with very little risk of scarring or other side effects. Laser therapy is much safer than excision, dermabrasion, or salabrasion (rubbing a salt solution over the tattoo to abrade the site) because the laser’s precision leaves surrounding skin tissue undamaged.

While unusual, there is a risk of infection at the treated site, and a risk of permanent scarring. Scarring can frequently be attributed to poor care and hygiene of the treated site caused by client oversight. Hypopigmentation, when the treated skin becomes paler than surrounding skin, may occur, as well as hyperpigmentation, the darkening of treated skin. Generally these occurrences are only temporary. Transient changes in skin pigmentation may occur, but skin will return to “normal” within 6-12 months. In very rare instances, skin changes will be permanent. There is also a chance that laser tattoo removal may not result in any pigmentation fading or removal.