Tattoos are the art engraved in a deep layer of skin, the dermis using ink and injections to insert that ink inside the skin. If you have ever looked for ways to have your tattoo removed, you must already know what a laser does to tattoos.
Moreover, did you recently get your tattoo and are you now wondering about how to get rid of unwanted hair over the tattoo ? Or have you had a tattoo since your teenage and now want to go for permanent hair removal? So, are you looking for studies to check out the safety of laser hair removal for people with tattoos?
We got you as we are going to explain all about laser hair removal and tattoos along with both temporary and permanent ways to remove tattoos. So, let us help you make your skin smooth and hairless while flaunting your tattoos without going through any injury or damage.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Laser hair removal machines use laser light with varying levels of intensity and wavelengths. This light is absorbed into melanin, the pigment in the hair, and travels through hair strands till the hair roots.
Along the way, the light energy is progressively converted into heat energy so that it can annihilate hair follicles, the hair-forming cells, as it hits them. The point to be noted here is that laser is absorbed into pigment.
Saying that, if your hair has no pigment, laser hair removal will be useless and if your skin has a high proportion of melanin or is tanned, the laser will burn the skin along with hair follicles.
So, what are the tattoos? Artificially pigmented skin, right? Now let us move on to the safety of laser hair removal for skin with tattoos.
Can You Get Laser Hair Removal Over Tattoo Safely?
The simple straightforward answer to if laser hair removal can be done on people with tattooed skin safely is NO. However, if we get into details, it is important to note which area of the skin you are referring to.
So, the area with tattoos can not be safely treated using a laser but an area with no tattoos won’t be damaged if you get laser hair removal on it. For example, if you have a tattoo on your forearm, you can easily have the hair removed through laser on the leg but not from the forearm with tattoos.
Can I Remove Unwanted Hair and Unwanted Tattoos with Laser at Once?
One of the efficient methods to remove undesired tattoos is a laser and one of the permanent methods to get rid of objectionable hair is also a laser. But can you get the best of the two worlds with a hair removal laser?
Nah! Because the laser used for tattoo removal is different and it breaks the ink in tattoos which is then cleared by the body. However, the laser used for hair removal burns the pigments and pigment-producing cells with its heat and high intensity.
Additionally, the laser for tattoos targets deeper layers of skin and is much more intense than a hair removal laser. So, a laser designed for tattoo removal will have no effect on hair, and a laser designed for hair removal will destroy the skin with tattoos.
Therefore, if you plan on doing both, simply get your tattoos removed first, have your skin recovered, and schedule an appointment for laser hair removal.
What Does Laser Do to Tattoos?
Tattoos are pigmented dermis with different designs and art. By now, you should be clear that laser targets pigment. So, when laser hair removal is applied over the area with a tattoo, this laser gets absorbed into the ink of the tattoos instead of the pigment of the hair as the ink has a high quantity of pigment.
And when this laser is converted into heat, it damages the skin in the area of the tattoo resulting in pain, burns, permanent skin scarring, severe skin damage, and the formation of blisters.
Can I get IPL Hair Removal Over Tattoo?
Just like a laser, IPL hair removal devices also use light with high intensity and a particular wavelength to get absorbed into pigmented hair follicles. Additionally, the results of IPL and laser hair removal are also similar.
Although there is a difference in the power output of laser and IPL, IPL is also not safe to be performed on skin with tattoos. The damage might be less as compared to laser hair removal but you have to avoid the tattooed area while doing IPL treatment.
How Can I Get Laser Hair Removal With a Tattoo?
The first solution is to get rid of the tattoo and prepare the skin for laser. And if you want to protect your precious tattoos, have them covered so that the laser does not recognize the ink in that area.
Laser hair removal professionals use a thick safeguard over the tattooed skin so that there is a wall of 2-3 cm between the pigmented skin and the laser which hinders the route of the laser toward the tattoos. As a result, the laser does not detect the ink, and hair removal can be performed safely.
However, the hair in that area won’t be removed and you will have to stick to conventional methods of hair removal for a few strands of hair on the tattoo.
Safe Hair Removal Methods for People with Tattoos
So, if you decide to get the laser on your full body without the part with tattoos or give up on it completely, you would be eager to find out the methods to remove hair over the tattoos safely.
The simplest, painless, and easiest method for removing hair on tattoos is shaving. Take your razor, pull the skin taut, and trim off the unwanted hair. You can use an electric shaver or manual razor to remove hair over the tattoos.
However, shaving is inconvenient as you have to shave every other day.
The second on the list is waxing. Although wax pulls the skin while removing unwanted hair from the roots, it leaves the tattoo intact. Moreover, hairless skin with waxing lasts for 2-4 weeks giving you enough time to breathe before your subsequent waxing treatment.
So, it is a safe and efficient method of hair removal over the tattoo. But be prepared for the pain associated with waxing.
If your tattoo is small and you have gotten laser hair removal from the full body except for the area with the tattoo, tweezing can work well for you. Tweezing is a precise method of removing unwanted hair from a small area. However, it is time taking.
Hair Removal Creams
The active ingredients and chemicals of hair removal creams might raise concerns about their safety for tattooed skin. But rest assured as hair removal creams do not go deeper than the epidermis of the skin and tattoos lie on a deeper dermal layer.
Lastly, we have electrolysis on the list as a safe and permanent method of hair removal for people with tattoos. This process uses fine needles to burn hair follicles with an electric shock. There is no absorption in pigment.
But It is expensive. So, if you get laser hair removal from other parts of the body, electrolysis on tattoos can save you from having to remove hair from a small section every now and then.
While tattoos are associated with adventure, art, and a carefree spirit for people, they can put women and even men under confusion when it comes to removing hair. Because the process of tattooing is itself painful and no one wants to trigger the pain by going wrong with it.
So, you must avoid getting laser over tattoos. But there are several safe methods of removing hair like waxing, tweezing, depilatory creams, or electrolysis.