Signs of Scarring After First Laser Tattoo Removal? (photo)

Hi! I had my first laser tattoo removal treatment 4/5 weeks ago and now parts of the lettering in my tattoo have become raised and bumpy. I sent a picture of this to my laser tech and he said that this was just part of the process. What do you all think? Should I go in for a second treatment or go to a new clinic? I’m very worried that because this is the first treatment by the time i’ll be finished the whole tattoo will be a scar...what’s going on? Thanks for your help!

Doctor Answers 3

Tattoo removal

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I looked at your photo and it is difficult to tell what is going on.  I can't tell if part of it is clear of if it has a keloid.  I would suggest you return to the doctor and show her before your next treatment.  Be certain to go to a board certified dermatologist who has a great deal of experience with tattoo removal.  Please let me know what happens!

Go see a dermatologist. Q-switched lasers are unlikely to cause a scar when used for tattoo removal.

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Check with a dermatologist who can assess your reaction to laser tattoo removal. Q-switched  lasers are unlikely to cause scarring.   If you have a tendency toward hypertrophic or keloid scars, you may be reacting abnormally.

Mark Taylor, MD
Salt Lake City Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Laser tattoo removal and training needed to use laser

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The pictures you included are grainy so hard to see if there is scar tissue but if you are saying there are firm elevated areas in the tattoo at 4-5 weeks after the first treatment those are likely scars. When you say laser tech, what exactly are the qualifications of the person performing the treatment. The lasers used for tattoo removal are extremely powerful and can be very dangerous if used by an untrained individual. Also some people say they are trained but they spend a half a day with the person who sold them the laser or take a weekend course. Scarring is indeed a risk of laser tattoo removal but advanced knowledge of laser physics, something a board certified dermatologist gets in their residency, can help minimize the chance of this. Sometimes, people tend to go to spas or places that offer tattoo removal but don't have the proper training to perform the procedure in a safe and effective way, these places are often cheaper but come with a higher risk of complications in my opinion.

Omar Ibrahimi, MD, PhD
Stamford Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.