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Tattoo scarring treatments

Tattoo scars occur when skin produces excess collagen during the healing phase. The tattoo can be raised, red, itchy or painful. Treated early & appropriately, our specialists can promptly settle down any inflammation & salvage the artwork.

Key Points

  • Scarring can occur after tattooing or tattoo removal
  • Effective treatments include healing lasers, & anti-inflammatory medications
  • Improvements can be seen as quickly as one week
  • Most treatments are partially covered under Medicare
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Tattoo scarring treatments at a glance

For: Raised tattoo scars
Procedure time: 15-30 minutes
Duration of results: Lifetime
Back to work: 2-8 + sessions
Recovery: 0-4 days
Anaesthetic: Nil required
Your specialist: Laser nurse, dermatologist
How much: $

Our results speak for themselves


What procedures can cause scarring in tattoo patients?

The act of tattooing can cause skin scars. Attempted tattoo removal from lasers or chemicals can also lead to scars. In both cases it is due to damage in the deeper dermal layers of the skin. 


Scarring can be secondary to infection; tissue trauma & occur more commonly in darker skin patients. 

Why see a dermatologist?

We fix bad skin & difficult to treat skin conditions. Dermatologists share many similarities with tattoo artists, namely we work with skin as a career. 


As part of our training, we see rare & difficult to treat tattoo complications including – tattoo removals, scarring, immune reactions, infections, sarcoid & weird granulomatous reactions / allergies to tattoo ink. 


We frequently work with your tattooist to sort out difficult clinical cases. 

Can you have further tattoos if you are prone to scarring

In most cases yes, however you should take the following precautions.


Test spot the areas. Your tattoo artist will guide you through this process. High density ink has a higher incidence of scarring, due to more tissue trauma. Sites such as the chest, upper back & shoulders are notorious for scarring.


Dermatologists can assist in settling down scars post tattoo with simple dressings & topicals. 

Can laser tattoo removal scar?

Laser tattoo removal is one of the safest treatments for elimination of tattoo ink from the skin, however in some cases scars may occur. 


Scarring is more common after nano compared to pico lasers. Other factors that increase scarring include-


  • Sites- chest, shoulders, upper back, hands, feet
  • Infection post laser
  • Ethnic skin types
  • Higher settings on lasers

How can dermatologists fix scars?

Our experienced team of dermatologists can promptly & effectively treat scars. We use-



  • Anti-inflammatory medications 
  • Steroid injections
  • 5 FU injections
  • Pulse dye & special fractional lasers
  • Silicone dressings

How many sessions are required?

2-8 + sessions, spaced 4-8 weeks apart. Raised keloids scars require more treatments compared to hypertrophic scars. 


Medicare covers some of the costs for scar treatments. 


Medik8 Physical Sunscreen SPF50+

Dermaceutic All Things Pigment 21 Day Kit

The Cosmelan Peel is one of the fastest methods to clear up superficial melasma, but comes with a one week downtime.

Are future laser sessions safe?

Yes, however we suggest the following steps to mitigate future scars-



  • Pico over nano lasers
  • Test spot, with lower power
  • Post laser silicone, pulsed anti-inflammatory topicals
  • Early intervention with steroid injections

What lasers do we use to remove tattoos?

We use 4 different laser systems to treat tattoos. The gold standard of the industry is pico laser. At Cutis Dermatology we have-



  • Picoway: considered the leader in tattoo removals
  • Picosure Pro: best for green tattoos
  • Spectra Q Switch: good laser but outdated
  • Pastelle Q Switch: outdated for tattoo removals

Why pico for tattoo removals?

Pico lasers are the industry standard. These lasers deliver really short pulses of energy that shatter ink pigment, with minimal heating. By reducing heat transfer to the surrounding skin, the chance of scarring is markedly reduced. 


Pico lasers are also more effective in removing ink, & less painful. We combine two of the best systems to deliver the best results to our patients. 

What are some home treatments for tattoo scars?

Probably not the best idea, but if you are going to give it a go, you might as well do it safely. A sane/safe program is this-



  • Silicone gel. Try Dermatix. Use twice a day for 3 months
  • Vitamin E cream
  • Aloe vera
  • Bio oil


If your scars are increasing in height, you should get specialist help ASAP. It is far, far easier treating early scarring than raised scars. 

How do we treat tattoo allergies?

It is complex. Allergic reactions occur mostly to red tattoos, but other colours can be culprits. There are many other conditions that may mimic allergic reactions including granulomas, pseudo-granulomas & sarcoidosis.  (Look it up, it will scare you). 


Our dermatologist will confirm the diagnosis & manage accordingly. In some cases, a biopsy is required. 


Treatments include, anti-inflammatory, special lasers & trans epidermal removal of tattoo ink. 

How can I get a FREE consultation?

Our nursing team can provide you with advice. They offer FREE consultations, redeemable with nurse led treatments. 


You can also arrange for a formal consultation with our dermatologists. Fees apply. As our dermatologists are specialists, you will require a referral for a Medicare rebate.

Ask us more about this treatment

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