Regardless of the type of laser treatment or the type of laser, there is always some inherent risk of a negative outcome or side effect and this goes for laser tattoo removal as well. Anytime your are undergoing laser tattoo removal, there is a possibility of scarring. But, when done properly, the chance of scarring from laser tattoo removal is greatly reduced or almost non-existent. A good laser dermatologist or laser nurse will do everything possible to minimize this risk by understanding the technology, skin type, and utilizing appropriate and safe laser tattoo removal methods.
Scarring related to laser tattoo removal treatments usually involves one of two things, hypopigmentation, hyperpigmentation or texture changes. Scarring may be related to tattoo removal treatments that are too aggressive, a lack of sunscreen or sun protection to the treated area, not enough time between treatments, inappropriate technology based upon skin type, or poor healing response.
Hypopigmentation refers to skin that has lost pigment (color). This condition may or may not be permanent, and is usually avoided by using proper sun protection, appropriate laser tattoo removal energies, and allowing the skin time to to re-pigment before additional laser treatments are performed if and when this condition should arise.
Scarring that involves textural changes to the skin is usually associated with laser tattoo removal treatments that are too aggressive or performed without enough time between visits. Laser energies that are to high may lead to quick removal of a tattoo, but can also lead to bumpiness or pitting in the skin related to the healing process after the laser treatments. In addition, performing laser tattoo removal treatments too close together can lead to texture scarring because the body has not been given enough time to heal.
Hyperpigmentation is a term that refers to a temporary darkening of the skin surrounding the tattoo. Sometimes this reaction may occur even when all of the appropriate steps were taken to minimize this outcome. Usually, medium to darker skin types have a higher rate for this side effect. It is imperative that the practitioner utilize the correct tattoo laser technology and laser settings to avoid this potential side effect.
Patient compliance with post laser tattoo removal treatment care is vital in helping the treated area heal without negative side effects. Always practice good sun protection measures and follow the instructions provided to you by your laser practitioner. Make certain that you are made fully aware of who will be performing your treatments and that they are licensed, skilled, and knowledgeable regarding your skin type and condition. The rate of side effects like the ones described above are extremely low when performed by an experienced and skill laser practitioner.