It seemed like a good idea at the time. But whether you were too young and impulsive or simply didn’t think it through, tattoo regret is not an uncommon thing. So if you’ve decided you want to remove an existing tattoo, what are your options? 

You may be tempted to try an at-home tattoo removal laser pen. They are the same technology you’d get from a professional but at a cheaper price, right? And of course, removing your tattoo at home might be more convenient for you. 

Ordering a tattoo removal laser pen is as simple as a quick click on Amazon. But before pulling the trigger on “checkout” you must know what you’re getting into. Here’s what you need to know.

Tattoos are made on the skin using pigment inserted through pricks in the dermis and subcutaneous tissue, which is deeper than the surface. Tattoo artists use machines that have needles that pierce the skin. With every individual puncture, the needles insert tiny ink droplets. 

Do tattoo removal laser pens work? 

Like traditional laser technology, tattoo removal pens heat tattoo ink to break it down into smaller particles so your body can remove them from the skin.

Yes, at-home tattoo removal laser pens are cheaper, but you’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase “you get what you pay for.” The success rate with home tattoo removal laser pens is not as high as with a professional laser tattoo removal facility that employs certified laser technicians. That is because tattoo removal laser pens that you purchase for at-home use aren’t anywhere near as powerful as those that are used in clinics by trained experts.  

For example, different ink colors require different wavelengths, and popular at-home tattoo removal laser pens don’t have as broad a range as those used by professionals. 

Now that you understand how laser tattoo removal works, here are three dangers to consider before you purchase a DIY tattoo laser removal pen: 

1.     Scarring 

If your at home-tattoo removal laser pen isn’t powerful enough, you may be tempted to use it over and over. A very unfortunate side effect of that type of repetitive laser treatment? Scarring and skin deterioration.

A tattoo removal expert that uses a high-powered laser will first conduct a thorough consultation to evaluate your skin type and determine the ink density of your tattoo so they can adjust laser settings accordingly. This specialized process makes scarring much less likely. 

2.     Hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation

Because you are not professionally trained in laser tattoo removal, it is easy to use the wrong wavelength, especially on darker skin tones, or lighten the ink too much. This can result in hypopigmentation when a section of dermis becomes lighter than the surrounding skin, or hyperpigmentation when the area where the tattoo is removed looks darker than the surrounding skin. If either of these occurs, you can wind up with marks on your skin that look far worse than the tattoo did in the first place!

3.     Infection 

When used improperly, a tattoo removal laser pen can cause serious adverse health effects such as infection. Specialists will provide you with explicit post tattoo removal instructions and have access to and know how to use proper sterilization methods that reduce the chances of dangerous infections. 


Ink-B-Gone: Experienced tattoo removal professionals since 2006

Ink-B-Gone is Denver’s premier tattoo removal specialist. Owner Shelley Novello lives by a code of transparency, always telling customers exactly what results to expect. At Ink-B-Gone, we use two lasers, the Quanta EVO and the PicoWay, both of which are much more powerful and can deliver more effective results than at-home tattoo removal laser pens. Because the frequency of light in these lasers specifically targets ink, it doesn’t break down the skin itself. It is safer and far more potent than any laser pen you can purchase online. Visit us on Twitter or Instagram to see some of our results, or contact us to schedule a consultation.