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How To Safely Remove Cosmetic Tattoos

Have you ever noticed people with blue, grey or red eyebrows that look really out of place, as they don’t match their complexion or hair tone? Chances are that they have had cosmetic eyebrow tattooing and the colour has faded to a different colour over time. Or they have tried to have them removed but have been left with a different colour, or darker eyebrows. This can happen to all cosmetic tattoos as the ink used in this form of tattooing is different to traditional body art tattoos.

There are only a few laser systems, that are FDA approved for the safe removal of cosmetic tattoos. Using any other system risks removing certain colours and leaving others behind, meaning you could be left with any shade of tattoo or even scarring.

Why Islaser tattoo removal the Safest Option?

The Q Switched laser uses an ultra-fast shockwave that shatters the tattoo ink into the tiniest particles, which are small enough for the body’s immune system to eliminate through its natural cleansing processes. The treatment when performed by a tattoo removal specialist is a fast process with minimal downtime.

Why Are Cosmetic Tattoos Different To Traditional Tattoos?

The ink used in cosmetic tattoos is different from traditional body art tattoo ink. When cosmetic artists need to get just the right colour, they mix various different pigments together to get exactly the right shade. This means you could have two, three, four or more pigment colours in the ink used for your tattoo.

With lasers, different wavelengths target different colours and some lasers are incapable of treating certain colours. You may be left with a colour that your clinician cannot remove simply because their device is not capable.

Next Steps

For safe and complication-free cosmetic tattoo removal in Sydney see the Tattoo Removal Institute – we are specialists in cosmetic tattoo removal and we are home to the only technology approved for effective removal of cosmetic tattoos of all colours.

Simply book your complimentary consultation and we will analyse your tattoo(s), give you a quote and explain what to expect before, during and after your treatment.

To find out more email [email protected]

Call1300 490 390 or click below to book online.

6 Possible Laser Tattoo Removal Side Effects and How to Deal with Them


Laser tattoo removal is often the solution that comes to mind when the topic of erasing body art arises. And why not? Medical professionals and tattoo-removal specialists approve of the process. Throw in the fact that most clinics and hospitals offer the service, and you’re in for a convenient ride.

As with every medical procedure, laser tattoo removal has its own set of side effects and complications. Though hailed safe by health authorities, individual makeup still comes into play as far as outcomes are concerned.

Thus, it pays to be a step ahead by reading up on the side effects commonly encountered after the process. That way, you’ll be armed and ready in the event you happen upon any of them yourself.

1. Swelling

Merriam-Webster Online defines swelling as “an abnormal bodily protuberance or localized enlargement.” This is one of the readily observable phenomena after laser tattoo removal, and is expected to occur immediately after the procedure.



See, the human body is equipped with an internal protection system that kicks off every time it senses an assault is about to take place. Using laser to erase ink from your body isn’t exactly assault in the conventional term, but your body doesn’t think of it that way. Anything that hurts your body is the enemy, and to survive, biological protective mechanisms must set in.

How to Deal

First, determine the swelling isn’t an allergic reaction. Once that’s out of the way, keep the swelling under control by placing ice packs on the area. Do this right after the procedure, and every few hours after that, to keep swelling at bay.

Do note this should go away a full day, at most, after the operation. By then, your body has figured out it isn’t under attack, after all, and will lower its physiological defenses.


2. Frosting

Frosting, like swelling, is one of the immediate side effects of laser tattoo removal. It’s nowhere near as good-looking as it sounds, but its presence post-procedure can mean a good thing for your skin.



This effect is called as such due to its resemblance to—you guessed it—cake frosting. When the laser lands on the pigmented section of skin, the heat produces a chemical reaction with the ink.

The high temperature brings about the formation of gas or plasma, which are then released into the more superficial layers of skin. In these layers, the gas or plasma become carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide interacts with the tattoo. The tattoo puffs up and turns white, taking on the appearance of cake frosting, hence the term. In most cases, this occurs for up to 30 minutes after a session.

How to Deal

Frosting may not be very pleasant to look at, but don’t let appearances fool you. That your tattoo turns white and puffy is a good thing, as it means the laser has penetrated into your skin and into the tattoo pigment.

There’s no cause for alarm here, though. The effect generally goes away on its own, give or take several minutes after the laser tattoo removal session. It’s most evident after the first procedure; once you’re several sessions down, frosting no longer appears as much.

3. Blistering

Ever stayed under the sun for so long you got a sunburn and formed blisters? Well, if you have your tattoo erased through laser, expect to go through that same sensation all over again.



In the tattoo-removal process, the intense heat in the laser causes the ink pigments to disintegrate. When this happens, the surrounding blood vessels break, resulting in the formation of superficial blisters.

Often, these blisters are made up of water and tattoo ink. They’re quite painful, but they tell you the healing process has kicked in.

How to Deal

When dealing with blisters, there is one cardinal rule: never pop them! They serve to protect your skin from infection, and with proper care, they’ll disappear completely sans complications.

For intact blisters, leave them as they are. For cracked blisters, cover them loosely with a bandage, making sure the surface of the bandage hovers a few millimeters above the wound.

Religiously apply antibacterial ointment to the affected area (especially for open blisters). Refrain from touching them directly with your hand. Limit physical activity to keep sweating to a minimum.

Also, be on the lookout for signs of infection. These include fever, pus-filled blisters, and enlarged lymph nodes. If these are present, contact your doctor immediately.

4. Itching

Laser tattoo removal isn’t exactly a pain-free process, so itchiness after the procedure is common, expected even. Fortunately, there are methods you can do to keep yourself from losing it over the maddening itch.



Itching indicates your immune system has begun to knit the tattoo-removal breaks back into place. Your body sets into gear an intricate healing process involving blood clotting, skin knitting, and scarring.

This uncomfortable sensation can also be due to dry, dehydrated skin. Laser, being a source of intense heat, zaps up your skin’s moisture. This leaves skin feeling parched, and dry skin is practically synonymous with itching.

How to Deal

You can say itching is a battle of wills. The temptation to do so may be massive, but you must not scratch the affected area! Scratching can break the sensitive skin, and this could lead to a host of problems down the line.

Ditch the itch by slathering on some fragrance-free moisturizer or cream after your daily shower. Consult your tattoo specialist or dermatologist for a trusty brand or variant that’s safe to put on your lasered skin.

Put your hot-shower habit to rest while you’re going through laser tattoo removal sessions. Hot water too drinks up the moisture from your skin, causing the itching to worsen.

5. Scabbing

Scabbing takes place after blister formation, and is one of the better indicators of skin healing.
Sometimes dryness and crusting occur with scab formation, and this combination may convince you to scratch away. But nope, no scratching allowed.



A scab refers to the “coat” placed over your skin to cover up the exposed area as your body heals the wound by creating a new layer of skin. They offer a protective function as new skin is created, so it’s a must you do not pick at them.

How to Deal

The best way to deal with scab formation is to leave the crusts alone. That’s it. The ball’s in your body’s court now; your role is to ensure it heals in as little effort as possible.

Wait for the scab to fall or come off on their own. Scabs should disappear within 2 weeks. Of course, you can undergo laser tattoo removal and not have scabbing. If this sounds like you, well, lucky you!

6. Hyperpigmentation/Hypopigmentation

As you go through laser tattoo removal, maybe you’ll notice slight or distinct changes in the skin on or surrounding the target area. Though this looks alarming, you’ve really nothing to worry about, as changes in skin pigmentation are usual when tattoo removal is involved.



Skin discoloration is classified into 2: hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation.

In hyperpigmentation, you’ll notice patches of darkened skin—that is, skin that’s shades darker than your original color. In hypopigmentation, the opposite occurs. Patches of lightened skin appear, meaning it’s in a shade lighter than your skin tone.

These pigment-related changes happen due to the various light wavelengths present in laser. Laser doesn’t only dissolve the ink pigments in your skin but also affects your skin’s melanin production.

Melanin is a naturally occurring pigment found in both human and animal structures, like the skin and hair. With laser in the picture, your skin’s ability to create melanin either increases or decreases.

The higher the melanin content, the higher the likelihood of the skin experiencing adverse reactions to the procedure.

How to Deal

Hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation aren’t life-threatening, nor do they have a direct impact on your health. The discoloration can be quite bothersome to look at, but other than that, you’ve no cause for worry.

If the sight affects you a great deal, you can opt to use cosmetic products to even out your skin tone. The effects are temporary but will do in instances you think you need to cover up the different-hued patches.

Fortunately, these changes in skin color will eventually resolve on their own. Do note it can take months, sometimes even years, for your skin color to return to normal. There have been instances too wherein the pigment change never did go away. However, most folks agree they’d rather deal with hyper- or hypopigmentation than the actual tattoo they had removed.


Laser tattoo removal is a safe and regulated procedure, but it’s not 100% risk-free. Before you undergo the procedure, make sure to keep in mind these 6 side effects you’ll likely encounter.
Should you chance upon any of them, at the very least, you’ll know what to expect and how to ride out each complication smoothly. It helps to follow their aftercare tips as well for a speedier recovery.
In addition, if you come across a side effect you find alarming or worrisome, always consult your doctor or tattoo-removal specialist before attempting anything.

Turning a bad decision into a business


More Australians are getting linked than ever before – and more are growing to regret their decisions. For one entrepreneur, that smacked of a business opportunity.

Matt Orlic knows what it’s like to have a tattoo you regret. He has an arm full of them, which he jokes he was inspired to get after seeing soccer star David Beckham’s tattoos.

“Everyone had it you know, it was a thing, everyone had a sleeve.”

After a bad experience trying to get them removed, he sensed a business opportunity.

“I had blisters and my arm was so swollen, couldn’t put my shirt on for a couple weeks. So it came to mind that something had to be done,” Matt says. “No matter what we did, research we did, whoever we were speaking to, competitors – it was more or less about price and how quick they could do it… So we combined a skin rejuvenation technology using a fractional laser – that’s the first process – then the second process is when we actually use the tattoo removal treatment.”

He launched his business, the Tattoo Removal Institute, in Parramatta last year.

With specialist laser machines ranging from $150,000 to $300 000 dollars, start-up costs in this line of business are substantial, and getting financing isn’t easy.

Matt says banks aren’t interested in providing loans for the purchase of laser machines.

“It’s a risk category for them,” he explains. “We’re pretty lucky we’ve got a history, several other businesses that are guarantors, which helped us. We still leased a small portion of it but a lot of it we paid up front.”

Regulations are also less strict in the removal industry, compared to the tattoo sector. Because the procedure doesn’t penetrate the skin – the way a tattoo needle does – it’s not regulated under the New South Wales Public Health Act. While that may make it easier for removal businesses to operate, consumers need to do their research before choosing a clinic.

After six months in operation, Matt says the Tattoo Removal Institute is averaging 30-40 clients a week, and is expecting turnover of a quarter of a million dollars by the end of this financial year.

With an average of ten sessions required to remove a tattoo – and each session costing anywhere from $50 to $750 (depending on a number of factors), it’s a pricey process.

For Allysse Tait, it’s worth it. As she rolls up her sleeve to show a tattoo she’s having removed on her upper arm, she laughs. “It’s pretty ironic. [It reads] ‘learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”

Her second tattoo reads ‘spero’ on her wrist. “Latin for hope,” she explains.

Allysse says both tattoos were done by the same person, badly. “After a week, once it was starting to heal, I realised the ink had bled so it looked like a quite a big bruise surrounding the tattoo.”

She’s representative of many of the business’ clients. Tattoo removal technician Edit Pali says 60 percent of those who come through the doors are young adults.

“The reasons [they come] are far and varied but what’s coming though most is either it’s a bad tattoo, originally has been a bad art. And then some of them, things change in your life.”

Nevertheless, the tattoo trend continues – as does the demand for removals. Owner Matt Orlic is now organising franchisees and he’s confident his removal business has more permanence than the ink on his skin.

Tattoo regrets removed with the flash of a laser


Tattooed words and phrases are amongst the most commonly removed by clients at the Parramatta Clinic.

Broken hearts across the nation rejoice.

Those ex-lovers and mementos of relationships-past etched onto your body can now be removed as easily as they were once drawn.

Tri-laser technology is now available in Parramatta to provide a fix for those everlasting love notes you would rather not remember.

Laser technician Edit Pali knows all too well the burden of a bad tattoo and has gone into business to make life a little easier for others to get theirs removed.

“A bad tattoo can really impact your life, your job prospects and your relationships,” she said.

“The most frequent clients are those with broken hearts, with tattoos of ex-lovers who want to get them off as soon as possible.”

She says while most inking incidents were “a good idea at the time” the light of day can be a rude shock for many.

“We’ve had people come in the day after they get their tattoo, asking for a removal.

“We help to make sure there’s no regrets.”

The removal process varies depending on the age and depth of tattoos, a client’s age and where it is on the body, but most can be removed in six to 12 sessions.

With the number of Australians opting to get inked on the rise, our attitudes towards the practice are becoming much more relaxed.

Research by Mccrindle shows one in five Australians has one or more tattoos and that increases to one in four for Australian women.

“Nowadays people are making impulsive decisions about getting a tattoo but that can lead to regret,” Ms Pali said.

“I think people make more hasty decisions on getting inked because they know they can get rid of it.”

The clinic has been open in Parramatta for the past three months, and Ms Pali said it has been mostly twenty-somethings coming through the door.

Tattoo removal clinics are largely unregulated and those thinking of amending their prior decisions are urged to check testimonials and shop around.


Edit Pali removes a tattoo from Rachael Moltzen at the Tattoo Removal Institute at Parramatta.

Australian tattoo trends

1 in 5 Australians has one or more tattoos

For the majority (72%) of tattooed Australians their most recent tattoo was a picture or symbol. For 1 in 5 it was a phrase or a word

More than 1 in 4 say they regret getting a tattoo

Fifteen per cent have looked into tattoo removal