You have a tattoo that you wish you could get rid of for good. The only thing that’s stopping you from getting laser tattoo removal is your anxiety over long-lasting side-effects. You don’t want to remove an image of a flower or zodiac sign only to replace it with an angry-looking scar. Read ahead to find out the truth about laser removal treatment side-effects:

What Are the Possible Side-Effects?

A great way to prevent complications like scarring is to book your laser treatments in downtown Toronto at a medical clinic. That way, the tattoo removal will be performed by a trained physician using high-quality equipment.


Here at Baywood Clinic, we have dealt with more than 30,000 tattoo removals. None of our patients have finished their treatment with scars. When patients have come in from other tattoo removal locations with scarring, we have offered options to remedy the problem. Luckily, one of the 8 ways a laser clinic can benefit you is reducing scar tissue and improving skin texture. 

Pigment Changes

Hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation are the most likely complications that you can suffer. The term hyperpigmentation means a part of your skin gets darker than the natural tone. The term hypopigmentation means a part of your skin gets lighter than the natural tone. Before you panic, these occur in less than 5% of cases and can be resolved with medication.

The pigment in your tattoos can also change throughout the treatment. Tattoos containing white ink might look darker after an appointment because the titanium dioxide reacts to the laser. This side-effect can be remedied in future treatments.

Here are some temporary side-effects that you could see after a tattoo removal appointment:

  • Sun-burnt sensation
  • Redness
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Crusting
  • Itching
  • Pinpoint bleeding
  • Tattoo raising
  • Blisters

The specialist will discuss the potential side-effects, your treatment preparation and your aftercare plan with you during your consultation. By following their professional advice, you can ensure that your healing process goes by smoothly. If you don’t want to wait for your appointment, you can get more information about our tattoo removal services by exploring the FAQ sections on our website. You can also call us at 416-515-0007 or send us an email.

Practice Proper Aftercare

Another way to prevent undesirable side-effects after laser tattoo removal is to practice proper aftercare. It’s no different than getting a tattoo. If you don’t want to deal with bad results or infections, you have to take good care of the affected area.

Cover it up

Right after the appointment, you will want to cover the tattoo with sterile gauze bandages to stop germs from reaching it. You will need to do this for the first three days after treatment. Apply a healing ointment onto the area several times a day, replacing the bandage after each application.

Reduce Swelling

To reduce inflammation, you should gently apply a cold compress to the covered area and then take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory. Choose an anti-inflammatory with ibuprofen or naproxen. Do not take Aspirin because it could encourage bruising and bleeding.

Showering Properly

If you have to take a shower after your appointment, you will want the water temperature and pressure to be mild. It’s not terrible to get the area wet, but you don’t want to overheat or soak it. After the shower, carefully pat it dry with a clean towel and then cover it with the gauze again. 

Take Care of Blisters

Blisters will likely form on the area between 8 to 72 hours after the laser removal appointment. Don’t panic. It’s completely normal. Picking, popping and scratching them could cause scarring, so resist the temptation to touch them. If they burst, apply the ointment on top of them and leave them alone until they heal. The broken blisters will soon scab over.

Stay out of the Sun

When the area has healed enough to remove the bandage covering, you need to start a strict suncare regimen. Exposing the area to UV rays heightens your chances of developing hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation, depending on your skin tone. The Canadian Dermatology Association’s Expert Advisory Board recommends using this list of sunscreens because they have an SPF 30 or higher and they carry low potentials for skin irritation.

Stay Healthy

In the weeks after your laser treatment appointment, you’re going to want to stay as healthy as possible. The laser tattoo removal process breaks down the ink in your skin through light pulses and incites your immune system to respond. When the particles are small enough, your macrophages (white blood cells) break them down and remove them from the body. Your immune system is essentially absorbing the ink particles and excreting them.

A healthy body will break down the ink faster. Get your necessary hours of sleep, drink plenty of water, do moderate exercise and try to avoid getting ill if you can.

Wait for Your Next Appointment

Typically, Baywood Clinic tattoo removal appointments are set 4 to 8 weeks apart. Amateur tattoos take an average of 4 to 6 treatments for removal. Professional tattoos can take up to 10 treatments. So, if you have a large professional back piece, it could take over a year to complete all of your appointments. If you’re impatient to get the tattoo off, that schedule can feel long, but there is a very good reason why you can’t make ten sessions back-to-back.

Your body needs time to heal from the treatment and absorb the ink particles. If you ignore the recommended timeline and try to speed up the process, you heighten your risk of developing complications.

When Should You Avoid Laser Tattoo Removal?

Laser tattoo removal isn’t the answer for everyone. If you endured an allergic reaction when you got the image tattooed to your skin, having a laser break down the pigment to absorb into your immune system isn’t the best idea. The method will likely incite another allergic reaction.

A weak immune system could also disqualify you from using this method of removal. If you are not capable of breaking down and eliminating the pigment particles safely, the procedure puts your health at risk.

You can click here to learn more about Baywood Clinic and all of the laser therapy services available to clients. The services include tattoo removal, hair removal, acne treatment and rosacea treatment.

When you go to the right laser clinic and follow the right aftercare steps, you don’t have to worry too much about treatment side-effects. Your chances of dealing with any permanent damage are incredibly slim. If this anxiety was the only thing keeping you from making an appointment, you can breathe easy and book a consultation as soon as possible.