Does Laser Tattoo Removal Cause Skin Discoloration?

Laser tattoo removal is the most popular tattoo removal technique today because of its effectiveness and lessened side effects. However, you may experience minor side effects from the laser tattoo treatments depending on your skin type.

How Laser Tattoo Removal Causes Skin Discoloration

Before beginning laser removal treatments, it’s best to manage your removal expectations and understand laser tattoo removal technology. Tattoo removal works by using a laser to target the tattoo ink in your skin — essentially, the laser light is attracted to the darker tattoo pigment in the skin and breaks it apart. If you have lighter colored skin with less melanin, the laser can more accurately target the darker pigment. For those with darker skin, the laser can have difficulty differentiating the pigment from the skin.

The lighter your skin, the greater success you’ll most likely achieve during the laser tattoo removal process. Because the laser can more easily target the darker pigment from the lighter skin tone, the laser technician can program the laser to higher settings to remove the ink. Overall, this typically means fewer scheduled sessions. If your skin has a higher melanin content, to protect the skin against additional scarring, burns or blistering and pigment changes, your technician will program the laser to a lower setting. To completely remove the ink, you’ll most likely need more sessions as a result of the lower laser setting.

Common Laser Tattoo Removal Skin Discolorations

While researching the right laser tattoo removal specialist for you, ask if they have extensive experience removing tattoos from patients with different skin types. Also, ensure they have the best tools available to remove your tattoo to avoid unwanted side effects. When having a tattoo removed by an inexperienced technician, common side effects include:

Hypopigmentation: This effect is a temporary lightening of skin and often takes longer to heal than hyperpigmentation. Luckily, this result can be reversed by following proper aftercare instructions.
Hyperpigmentation: As a result of the laser treatment, hyperpigmentation is the formation of additional melanin — typically found in patients with medium skin tones. Like hypopigmentation, this side effect can be reversed over time.

Laser Tattoo Removal Side Effects

Choosing laser tattoo removal as your removal option means you’ll experience far fewer side effects than other removal techniques like dermabrasion, salabrasion or surgery. However, like with any procedure, there is the opportunity for side effects to occur.

Side effects only occur in two percent of patients and commonly include itching, swelling and scabbing. As long as you follow the aftercare instructions provided by your laser removal technician, like keeping properly hydrated and practicing healthy living habits, you most likely won’t experience any scarring or discomfort.

Call MEDermis Laser Clinic Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

MEDermis Laser Clinic has been the premier laser tattoo removal clinic in San Antonio and Austin, TX since 2006. We have nearly 300,000 successful tattoo removals and use the best laser system available — the Spectra laser — to safely and effectively remove any tattoo pigment with minimal side effects.

Schedule your free consultation today, and we can help answer questions you might have as well as determine the number of sessions you’ll need to remove your tattoo. Set up your appointment today by speaking to one of our technicians in Austin (512-637-5277) or San Antonio (210-402-4030) or get in touch with us online.