In most cases, the laser tattoo removal treatment leads to satisfactory fading or complete removal of the tattoo without significant side effects. Serious side effects are very rare. The most common problem with laser tattoo removal treatment is incomplete fading or incomplete removal of the tattoo. This is mainly an issue with complicated multicolored tattoos with inks at different levels or mixed color inks. Not all tattoo inks respond to the laser energy pulses and rarely certain colors can get darker after laser light exposure. This is mostly a problem with flesh-colored, tan, and white inks, and a small test area can be done to detect this problem. High volume darkly colored ink, multiply layered professional tattoos in particular may not completely fade.
Although true scarring is very unlikely using the PicoSure®, there can be some mild change in the texture of the skin (perhaps 1-2% of cases). But mostly this is a pre-existing texture change in the skin caused by the tattooing process itself. Please tell us if you have a tendency toward forming unusual scars after trauma.
There can also be some loss of the treated area to become tan over time, which usually improves with time. You can reduce the chance of irregular tanning by protecting the tattooed area from sun exposure. People of color like African, Asian and Mediterranean people can have their tattoos safely treated without changing the surrounding skin color with the PicoSure® laser.
Allergic reactions can occur after treatment, especially if you are already having an allergic reaction (redness and itching) in your tattoo. Allergic reactions are rare, and can usually be treated with Benadryl. Allergic reactions are usually caused by metallic dyes. Unlike medications and cosmetics, tattoo pigments have never been controlled or regulated, and the exact composition of a given tattoo pigment is only known by the manufacturer. In most cases, the tattoo artist and the tattooed patient has been given any information about the composition of the tattoo pigment.