Tattoo Damage from Laser Hair Removal
If you have any tattoos in the area that you are hoping to treat with laser hair removal, then keep in mind that your laser hair removal technician cannot treat within 1 inch of the tattoo borders. This means that if you are a woman with a large tattoo on your leg, that area will not be able to be treated completely in your laser hair removal procedure. Likewise, if you are a man treating your back and have a large tattoo, the hair cannot be removed within this area. Lasers can also be used to remove tattoos at other settings, but at the settings needed to remove hair this danger exists.
The reason for this is that the laser is attracted to black pigment. Regardless of the color of your tattoo, the laser will be attracted to it, and it will release an excessive amount of heat energy if it hits it. If you have a color tattoo, the laser can turn the tattoo completely black, and it will also cause a blister or scar on top of the tattoo. This can be incredibly painful, and it will also ruin any tattoo work that you may have gotten done.
These days, technologies have advanced significantly when it comes to tattoos and permanent makeup. Your laser hair removal technician should ask you if you have any tattoos at all, and you must be honest and truthful if you do. Many women have very realistic looking cosmetic permanent makeup, so if you have your lip liner tattooed, blush tattooed, or even eyebrows tattooed, you need to tell your laser hair removal technician right away so that they can mark the area accordingly to avoid it.
If the laser does hit any tattoos, they will turn black completely and cause a potential blister. This can become incredibly unsightly if you have permanent makeup and are receiving a laser hair removal treatment on your upper lip. You can only imagine how disappointing it would be to have your permanent cosmetic lip liner turn completely black and blister around your lip area! These are real side effects that come from precautions not being taken to avoid tattoos within a laser hair removal treatment.
A laser works best on lighter skin tones with darker hair to penetrate heat energy into the hair follicle to kill it completely. In the same way, the laser can also be attracted to your tattoo, and it will release heat energy to cause a severe blister on the surface of the skin. This is a permanent side effect, and it will cause lasting damage to any tattoo work that you may have gotten done within your laser hair removal site.
To avoid hitting a tattoo with the laser and causing a blister, your laser hair removal technician will draw a large circle and an X over the tattoo site with a washable marker to make sure that it is avoided completely. Serious precautions need to be taken with any tattoo, especially if it is realistic permanent makeup that can often be overlooked in a laser hair removal environment. As the previous example stated, if you do have permanent lip liner, then you cannot treat one inch around the tattoo site. This means that you will not be able to treat the hair on your upper lip if you have permanent lip liner because it could risk turning the tattoo black and causing blistering and scarring.
In a very mild case of laser hair removal treatment over a tattoo, the ink will simply disappear. This means that you could have a blank spot on your tattoo, or the tattoo will be erased completely. This is a permanent result, and it will cause you to have wasted money on any tattoo work that you have had done. On top of this, lasering over a tattoo can be very painful, and you will normally feel stinging and burning wherever the laser touches the tattoo. If it does not cause a blister immediately, it will cause instant fading to the tattoo, potentially at 75 to 100%.
To avoid burning your skin, causing a blister, and causing permanent scarring, be sure to clearly inform your laser hair removal technician of any tattoos that you may have, especially if they are cosmetic permanent makeup. This will prevent any excessive pain within your laser hair removal treatment, and it will also preserve any tattoo work that you may have had done. The point of the matter is that the pigment within tattoos attracts the laser, but when safety precautions are taken, your tattoo and surrounding skin will remain safe and intact!
This article was written by Bethany North. Bethany is a licensed esthetician with experience in hands-on experience in chemical peels, microdermabrasion, facials, laser hair removal, makeup applications, skin analysis, waxing, spray tanning, and product ingredient assessment. She has also worked as a salon sales and training consultant, as well as a consultant for beauty and hair care product lines in branding and marketing.