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Tattoo Removal Side Effects and Risks

Tattoo Removal Side Effects and Risks

Everyone wants to express themselves and show off their styles, and a tattoo can be a great way to achieve that. But as time goes by, we do encounter tattoo regret. Sometimes, those tattoos also end up fading and they don’t look good. That’s why it’s a great idea to learn about tattoo removal treatments. And, aside from that, figure out any tattoo removal side effects as well.

A lot of people are wondering is tattoo removal safe or not, and we are here to help. While generally tattoo removal can be safe, you are taking some inherent risks and problems. That’s why you want to address those issues as quickly as you can.

Importance of Understanding Side Effects and Risks

It’s extremely important to realize that certain tattoo removal side effects and risks can be dangerous. Others, however, will just end up leading to discomfort rather than serious issues. But it’s imperative to know these potential risks, so you can address them in a more effective manner. We are here to help guide you and understand tattoo removal complications or potential risks. That way, you can see whether tattoo removal is a good option for you. Plus, then you can choose the best solution that fits your requirements.


Common Side Effects

There are many different side effects that have become quite common if you engage in tattoo removal. These common side effects are not bad per say, but they can lead to certain issues down the line. Here’s what you can expect.

Pain and discomfort

Pain can sometimes be a problem when it comes to tattoo removal. When you have tattoo fading problems, removing it can be a good idea. Some go for temporary coverage or permanent makeup. But if you choose tattoo removal, you might have pain and discomfort. That’s one of the risks of tattoo removal, so keep it in mind. Most treatments take around 15 minutes per session, but it can be painful nonetheless. Or it will at least cause some discomfort.

Redness and swelling

Swelling and redness can also appear, because you are forcing a lot of pressure on your skin. That’s common and it will be a problem since your skin deals with damage. Thankfully, these small issues are temporary. You might still experience them, but they will fade within the span of a few days.


Blistering is also a natural side effect. In fact, it’s a natural response from our body. When the immune system filters the degraded ink particles, it’s common for us to see blistering. Thankfully, this is something we just experience temporarily, so it’s not a major issue. Instead, it’s a more common reaction to ink being removed from your body.

Scabbing and crusting

Another thing that can happen due to tattoo removal is that our body will sometimes have a more violent reaction. That means it’s possible our skin gets damaged to the point where we will see some scabs. Or, in some cases, our skin will start crusting. It’s not the most common problem, but it does appear and we need to ensure we treat it accordingly. Working closely with a dermatologist is crucial here.

Hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation

It’s also possible for our skin to experience changes due to tattoo removal. In some cases hyperpigmentation can appear, and the skin will become darker. Or it can go the other route, where the skin is actually lighter. Both effects are temporary, which is a good thing, because you can get rid of them eventually. Adequate aftercare and limiting sun exposure can help alleviate any tattoo removal issues like these.


Since ink gets removed from your skin, it’s possible to encounter some itching. In certain cases, ink particles will remain there and your body gets rid of them naturally. That’s when it can start itching quite a bit, so you have to make sure everything is managed accordingly.


Serious Risks and Complications

While certain side effects can be easy to handle, there can also be some serious risks of tattoo removal as well. Here you can see what complications and serious risks can arise, and how you can navigate such problems.


When you undergo the tattoo removal treatments, it’s possible that you will be dealing with infections. The important thing to keep in mind here is that infections can appear in many different forms. The best thing you can do is to monitor the treatment with the dermatologist. He can identify pigmentation problems, scarring or any start of an infection. In doing so, you can treat things before it’s too late.


Scarring is certainly challenging, but it can be avoided. Usually, tattoo removal treatments will not generate scars themselves. However picking off scabs, popping blisters or applying cosmetics early can lead to scarring. That’s why you want to stick to the designated after-care solutions. Once you do that, you can protect your skin and not experience scarring.

Allergic reactions

There are people that have sensitive skin and who will sometimes have allergic reactions to tattoo removal. If you know you have sensitive skin, then it’s actually a very good idea to talk with a medical professional. Allergic reactions can appear right away, or with time. That’s why monitoring skin reactions is vital when it comes to tattoo removal.

Permanent skin texture changes

Sometimes, due to the intensity of the tattoo removal methods you use, you can experience skin texture changes. These are not very common, but they can appear. Some methods are more effective, others can have side effects like this. For example, regular tattoo removal can lead to skin texture changes or discoloration. But laser tattoo removal for example, that will be much safer more often than not.

Risk of incomplete removal or persistent shadows

You can sometimes find situations where not the entire tattoo can be removed. Incomplete removal is a risk, but it doesn’t happen often. However, it is possible to have persistent shadows that appear due to the tattoo removal method. These issues can be treated in some cases with a dedicated skincare routine. But there is a chance these shadows can remain there in the long run.


Factors Influencing Side Effects and Risks

There’s no denying that no two tattoo removal methods are identical. That also means you will have certain factors who will influence how good the tattoo removal process is. Or in some cases, they can lead to inherent risks.

Skin type and tone

Some skin types such as light skin or sensitive skin are more prone to risks or side effects. They have a higher chance of encountering tattoo removal risks, so try to keep that in mind.  Knowing what kind of side effects can arise is crucial, and you also want to protect your skin. That means taking specific protective measures, just to ensure everything is fine.

Tattoo characteristics

There can also be specific factors that will have a negative impact and lead to risks too. The size of tattoos matters, with larger tattoos being more problematic. And then we also have the tattoo colors, those can also add a certain degree of challenge and complexity. Plus, if the tattoo is older, that makes it more difficult to remove. The ink droplets are ingrained in your skin, and that alone can be a very challenging thing.

Health conditions and medical history

Some other things can add to the complexity of tattoo removal as well. If you have a known medical history of skin problems or you are suffering from those issues, that’s something you need to keep in mind. You always want to make sure that you are addressing these conditions adequately, and doing that can help quite a bit.

Expertise and experience of the practitioner

You always want to work with a professional that you can trust. Making sure you work with a vetted expert is very important, because they can navigate any potential side effects. So, is laser tattoo removal dangerous? Laser treatments are less dangerous, and those are the ones you should go for. But regardless of the method, you always want to work with someone that you trust. Check the track record of the practitioner to ensure the treatment will be ok.


Alternatives to Traditional Tattoo Removal

If you don’t want to go through with a tattoo removal treatment, there are also some alternative ways to get rid of an eye-sore tattoo. These alternatives will vary based on risks and challenges, but they might actually come in handy, depending on the situation.

Cover-Up Tattoos

Cover-up tattoos can sometimes be a good option if you don’t want to undergo a painful removal process. You basically add another tattoo on top of the old one. However, you are restricted when it comes to the ink that can be used. And yes, you will also be restricted in regards to the design. That’s because you have to build up from the older tattoo.

Makeup and Concealers

Concealers and makeup can help, but the truth is that they will only hide the tattoo. And on top of that, you have to apply them often. While it might not be a major issue, it will certainly become a problem in some cases, so you have to consider this approach as well. Make sure that you use only concealers and makeup that fit your skin tone, otherwise you will have certain side effects and issues that arise. You can try out permanent make up if that applies to your tattoo area and your particular case.

Tattoo Lightening

Tattoo lightening is one of those treatments that can be a great alternative to tattoo removal. Simply put, hydrogen peroxide is used in order to lighten the skin and remove parts of the tattoo. It won’t fully remove the tattoo, but parts of it will be harder to see. Ideally, you want to go for tattoo removal, but this could be an option if you have sensitive skin.

Final Thoughts

It’s very important to work closely with a professional and ensure all safety measures are in check before taking any risks like this. That’s because tattoo removal can be dangerous, based on the method that’s used. You need to do your own research and have realistic expectations about the outcome. However, we should note that using a tattoo removal machine can be one of the best options for a lot of people. Yet still, talking with an expert can help navigate all options and help you find the best one for yourself!