5 Failed Tattoo Removal Horror Stories

Do you regret that tat? You’re definitely not alone, because the Journal of the Academy of Dermatology found that about 34 percent of people who get tattoos eventually feel the same way about at least one of them. But there’s definitely something that’s a lot worse than needing to get a tattoo removed – and that’s if it’s yet another case of tattoo removal gone wrong.

Choose your laser tattoo clinics wisely!

The good news is that laser tattoo removal is extraordinarily safe and effective – especially when a trained and experienced professional is at the other end of that laser.

And when the ‘professional’ is not so professional? While laser tattoo removal gone wrong is exceedingly rare, when things do go wrong the results can be truly awful. And those of us in the industry have most certainly heard of some truly horrific tattoo disasters:

1. When the tattoo became even more vibrant

We’ve heard of a case in which the laser technician was unfamiliar with the nuances of how to adjust the settings for a particularly colourful, vibrant and intricate design. As a result, the wrong laser wavelength was selected – and the results were disappointing. The trend continued for several more sessions until it became clear that what was happening was that the tattoo was actually becoming even more vibrant – except the previously intricate design was distorted and ruined.

HOW TO ENSURE IT DOESN’T HAPPEN: You should thoroughly research the laser clinic you’re going to visit, asking about the technicians’ experience with different tattoo pigments and requesting before-and-after photos of similar treatments.

2. When the scars were permanent

Turn that laser energy up too high, though, and the result can be intense heat – and burns. We’ve heard of quite a few cases in which an unsightly and permanent scar ended up being a lot more noticeable than the original tattoo.

HOW TO ENSURE IT DOESN’T HAPPEN: Only ever visit a reputable clinic with technicians who prioritise safety, conduct thorough skin assessments, and devise personalised tattoo removal treatment plans based on the tattoo and the client’s characteristics.

3. When the skin was discoloured

There are safety features and fail-safes aboard laser tattoo removal equipment – but that doesn’t mean maintenance, cleaning, calibration and component changes aren’t sometimes necessary. There are also pulse duration settings, failure to properly monitor the client’s response, adverse reactions and so on. In one case, the device was sending out energy pulses intermittently, with the technician unaware – and the result being a permanent patchwork of pale and dark spots on the skin.

HOW TO ENSURE IT DOESN’T HAPPEN: Clients are advised to enquire about a clinic’s maintenance and calibration procedures, ask about the technician’s expertise in using the specific laser device, and request information about how the clinic monitors and adjusts laser settings during treatment.

4. When a filthy clinic caused a bad infection

Laser tattoo clinics can sometimes feel like a hospital – for good reason! On one occasion, a filthy clinic caused a nasty skin infection – but the patient had not been told how to prepare, the patient’s skin was not properly cleansed to remove surface bacteria, and they also weren’t given any detailed post-treatment aftercare advice. The result was an infection that rapidly spread, causing cellulitis and ultimately a period of hospitalisation.

HOW TO ENSURE IT DOESN’T HAPPEN: Ask about the clinic’s strict hygiene protocols, including proper cleaning and disinfection procedures and comprehensive pre and post-treatment instructions.

5. When a patient was blinded

Yes, it’s incredibly rare – but the good news is that when blindness or severe vision damage was sustained as a result of a laser tattoo session, it was an instance of extreme carelessness. In one case, removal of permanent tattooed eye makeup was taking place but the patient was given no protective eyewear – with improper and careless technique then directing the powerful laser directly into the patient’s eyes on more occasions than the human eye could tolerate.

HOW TO ENSURE IT DOESN’T HAPPEN: Ask about the clinic’s policies regarding safety gear including protective eyewear, including details about how technicians are trained about laser safety protocols.

More tips to prevent laser tattoo removal disasters:

  • Look for positive clinic reviews
  • Check clinic certification & licensing
  • Check state-of-the-art equipment is being used
  • Ask about follow-up support to monitor progress.

Come to Sydney’s most trusted laser tattoo removal clinic

But by far the easiest way to eliminate the risk of tattoo laser removal gone wrong is by putting your faith in Sydney’s most trusted laser tattoo removal specialist right here at Disappear Laser Clinic + Tattoo Removal. Above all else, we believe in incredible service and incredible results – and we’d be more than happy to let you know how we ensure that’s always the case. Get in touch today.

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