Cosmetic Surgery Tips

How To Cover A Tattoo For Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is an effective and popular method of minimizing unwanted hair. It has gained popularity in recent years due to the many benefits it offers over other methods of hair removal. However, laser hair removal is not suitable for everyone. Some people are not eligible for this treatment due to their skin type or the type of tattoo they have. If you have a tattoo and want to know if you can undergo laser hair removal, then read on!

In order to decide whether or not laser hair removal is right for you, you first need to understand how it works. Laser hair removal works by targeting pigment in the skin while leaving surrounding tissue undamaged. The laser light targets melanin-containing cells and breaks them down, causing them to die off over time and leave a patch of pale scarring where the hair used to be located. This means that people with dark skin will experience less visible results than those with lighter complexions because there will be more melanin present in their bodies which needs destroying before complete clearance can occur during each treatment session.

Right here on Cosmeticsurgerytips, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on how to protect tattoo from ipl, hair removal over tattoo, electrolysis hair removal and tattoos, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.

How To Cover A Tattoo For Laser Hair Removal

Many people get tattoos without knowing it may affect their laser hair removal. We see clients every week with a new tattoo and have to tell them we are not able perform laser hair removal over the area where the fresh tattoo is. (IPL cannot be performed either). This blog will hope to clear up the confusion about laser hair removal and your tattoos.

Tattoos everywhere

Today there is almost no part of the body that cant and hasn’t been tattooed! Places that used to be off limits like face, neck and hands are no longer off limits. This presents challenges for people wanting to be hair free and also for laser clinics.

Not long ago, tattoos were mainly on upper arms so hair removal wasn’t much of an issue. Also laser hair removal or tattoos were not as common as they are now.

Get Laser hair removal before tattoos

If you do not have a tattoo yet, but are thinking about getting one, and it is going to be in an area where you are concerned about hair growth, the best thing to do would be to be prepared, have laser hair removal before you have your tattoo – if you want to keep the area smooth and hair free after the tattoo.

Some areas are naturally hair free so there is no need to worry. If you are planning your next tattoo on your forearms or legs, which are hairier, then plan ahead and get laser hair removal before you get the tattoo done.

Can you get a tattoo after laser hair removal?

You will have to wait a number of weeks after the laser hair removal before you are able to get your tattoo done. This gives the skin a chance to heal as laser hair removal does destroys hair follicles and you need to give your skin a chance to recover. So once you have a tattoo lets discuss what your options are.

laser and tattoos

Location, location, location

One of the key questions if you are thinking about laser hair removal and have tattoos is where is the tattoo located? If you have a tattoo that is on your ribs and wish to have laser hair removal you are unlikely to face any issues.

Large tattoos in areas where hair growth is unavoidable such as on your arms, if you have a sleeve, or back or on your legs or in more discreet places!

Can laser hair removal be used over a tattoo ?

Now for the bad news laser hair removal cannot be done over tattoos. Only the surrounding areas around the tattoo itself. The larger the tattoo, the greater the problem removing hair by laser.

There have been stories in the press of laser hair removal being done over a tattoo, usually by an unregulated clinic or untrainedinexperienced employee, which have resulted in serious third degree burns requiring hospital attention.

How to cover up a tattoo for laser hair removal

If you still want to do laser hair removal with a tattoo, then experienced practitioners will be able to create a cover for the tattoo and then target the surrounding area, usually keeping around 2-3cm between the tattoo and the lasered skin. 

As long as the laser does not go near the tattoo you will be fine. You can ask the practitioner to mark around the tattoo with their white pen as an extra precaution. Medical tape or plasters are not necessary. Although be warned using this treatment may lighten the colour of the tattoo and could still damage the tattooed skin. The most important thing you can do is find an experienced practitioner you can trust.

What is the process for removing hair and how does it affect my tattoo ?

Laser hair removal treatment works by targeting the melanin or pigment in the skin using wavelengths of light.

This light energy attacks the hair follicle and prevents it from growing back. Lasers cannot tell the difference between dark pigment in a hair follicle or in a tattoo. A dark colour is a dark colour to a laser. Laser light is automatically drawn to the dark colour to destroy it. Unfortunately laser hair technology that can tell the difference between the two doesn’t yet exist, but may one day.

The effect of laser hair removal on tattoos.

If laser hair removal was performed  over a tattoo the laser would have trouble accurately finding the pigment in the hair as there would be pigment from the tattoo surrounding, confusing the laser.

So you have the double effect of poor laser hair removal and exposing tattooed skin to the laser which could cause severe scarring or long term issues to the skin. So bad all round.

Also different lasers are used for laser tattoo removal and hair removal. What about IPL?

Can you use IPL on tattoos?

IPL are not classified as lasers. They are essentially full-spectrum flashlamps. Like a flash on a camera. They are good for treating certain skin conditions like sunspots and rosacea. Not as effective for laser for hair removal. We would not recommend IPL for laser hair removal and you encounter the same issues with your tattoos that you have with IPL.

So what are my other options?

If you are eager to remove the hair on a tattoo, don’t fret as there is a process that can be used as a substitute.  Electrolysis treatments avoid the risk of scarring and damage to the tattoo itself.

Professional treatment is advised and the results are highly effective and can ease your concerns about excessive hair. You will not get the same results as having laser hair removal but it is the next best thing.

How To Protect Tattoo From Ipl

Listen up: laser hair removal technology is not designed to work on tattoos and in fact can be very dangerous. The good news is you can can still carry out laser hair removal treatments, you just need to know how to do it safely.

Does laser hair removal work the same as laser tattoo removal?

No, no and no. Laser hair removal (both regular and IPL) and laser tattoo removal are anything but similar and are powered by totally different technologies. If you want to undergo laser tattoo removal and laser hair removal on the same part of skin, then you need to successfully complete laser tattoo removal first. Once your skin has completely healed only then will you be able to do laser hair removal on the area. 

Can I have laser hair removal without damaging the tattoo?

No, you cannot have laser hair removal on any area of skin that’s covered with a tattoo. Not only will you damage the tattoo, you will burn and blister the skin. In fact, laser hair removal on a tattoo can even reduce the color in the tattoo. 

Why? Well, laser hair removal (both IPL and regular laser hair removal) works by sending a concentrated beam of light into your hair follicles. The laser is attracted to pigment which absorbs the light and heat, damaging the follicle enough to slowly stop further growth. Unfortunately, the technology cannot distinguish the difference between a tattoo and natural pigment so it damages the tattoo and your skin. 

Thankfully, you can still have laser hair removal if you have tattoos – you’ll just need to carefully cover your tattoo and laser around the area.

How do I safely cover my tattoo for laser hair removal?

Believe it or not, it’s common for people to accidentally do IPL laser hair removal on their tattoo. Trust us, it’s a painful mistake to make both for your skin and the aesthetics of the tattoo. 

The good news is you can safely laser around the tattoo and if possible, cover it. If you have a small tattoo we recommend covering it with a bandaid. Alternatively, if your tattoo is larger in size then it’s safe enough to laser around the tattoo ensuring there’s enough space between each laser flash of light and the tattoo.

Can I get a tattoo after laser hair removal?

Yes of course, but a tattoo after laser hair removal comes with a price. If you have had laser hair removal on an area of skin and are now hairless but decide to get a tattoo – you will not be able to do top-up treatments on this area in the future. This means as time passes, the hair in that area will inevitably start to grow back and you will have to choose another form of hair removal like shaving, waxing or hair removal cream. 

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