Health at the time of laser tattoo treatment

Why Do I Feel Sick After Laser Tattoo Removal Treatment?

It’s not unusual to feel sick after laser tattoo removal treatment. A lot of people complain of feeling sick after their treatment. For some, it could be a mild headache or just tiredness that fades away after few hours or one-two days. For others, it’s something worse that could last for days or even weeks.

Laser tattoo removal sickness can be caused by several factors such as the composition of the tattoo ink, the amount of tattoo ink broken down during treatment, the state of your health during treatment, etc.

In this article, we answer your question, why do I feel sick after laser tattoo removal? We also discuss what tattoo ink is made of (this will help us understand our discussion on why people fall sick better), proactive steps to take to avoid feeling sick after laser treatment, tips for staying healthy after treatment, etc.

4 Reasons People Feel Sick After Laser Tattoo Removal Treatment?

People feel sick after laser tattoo removal for different reasons. But let’s look at 4 common reasons.

1.      The Composition of the Tattoo Ink

To understand why people feel sick after laser tattoo removal, you first have to understand that tattoo ink is composed of metals, metal oxides, and chemicals.

Tattoo Ink

These metals, metal oxides, and chemicals could be poisonous/toxic to the body when they enter the blood. They may not be poisonous in the dermis, but once they enter the blood they become threats.

During laser-assisted tattoo removal treatment, the tattoo ink pigments are shattered into fragments so they can be flushed out of the body. These ink fragments (which are potentially toxic, remember) linger in the blood for days or even weeks as they make their way to the kidney and liver where they are identified as toxic foreign bodies and flushed out of the system through urine or sweat.

While these ink fragments are in the body, they interact with your internal system. And because they are toxic, their interaction with your body system isn’t healthy. This could be why you feel sick after treatment.

2.      The volume of tattoo ink broken down during treatment

You could feel sick after laser treatment if your doctor or nurse breaks down more ink particles than the body can conveniently process.

When we discussed how long laser tattoo removal takes, we let you know that the body needs at least 6 weeks to flush out ink fragments and heal after each treatment. This hiatus between each treatment is necessary so the body doesn’t feel overwhelmed and breakdown in the process of flushing out too many ink fragments.

Unfortunately, some people are ignorant of this. But we aren’t.

At Ink Doubt, we access the tattoo to know how much ink should be broken down during each treatment. Our goal as Denver’s superior tattoo removal provider is to make sure you remain healthy even after your laser treatment.

Meanwhile, if you are considering removing or fading your tattoo using laser treatment, you can start the process by scheduling an appointment with us.

3.      Your health at the time of treatment

Health at the time of laser tattoo treatment

A healthy immune system is needed to combat the toxic properties of the tattoo ink and flush them out of the system. Your health can deteriorate causing you to fall sick after laser treatment if you weren’t quite healthy before the treatment.

Later in this article, we share tips on how you can stay healthy after laser treatment. You should practice them.

4.      Infection

After laser treatment, the treated area is usually sensitive and vulnerable to infection. If not treated properly the treated area can get contaminated causing you to fall sick.

To avoid such, we encourage you to clean the treated area, cover it with a sterilized bandage and observe other tattoo removal care tips we discuss here.

Next, let’s discuss…

What Is Tattoo Ink Made Of?

To understand how and why tattoo inks are toxic to the body, let’s look at its composition.


All tattoo inks don’t have the same composition. The ingredients used will determine the colour of the tattoo ink. Below is a list of metals used in the production of tattoo ink, the colours they produce and the harm they could cause.

Mercury- Red:

According to the WHO, mercury exposure can cause neurological and behavioural disorders, as well as negative effects on the nervous, digestive, and immune systems.

Lead: Yellow, green, white

Lead is one helluva poisonous metal. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reports that lead exposure can be responsible for anaemia, weakness, loss of appetite, kidney, and brain damage.

It can also cause miscarriage or major harm to a developing baby’s nervous system when it crosses the placental barrier of a pregnant woman. (This is one of the major reasons pregnant women are advised against laser-assisted tattoo removal treatment.)

Cadmium: Red, orange, yellow

Cadmium could be dangerous to the kidney, skeletal, and respiratory systems. It is classified as a human carcinogen– meaning that it can cause cancer.

Nickel: Black

The toxic effects of nickel include- skin inflammation, gastrointestinal manifestations, respiratory manifestations, headaches, etc.

Zinc: Yellow, white

Kidney and stomach damage, diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, etc., are some of the toxic effects of zinc in the body.

Chromium: Green

This metal, just like cadmium, is carcinogenic. It can cause nasal irritation, skin inflammation, asthma, etc.

Other metals include cobalt (blue), aluminium (green, violet), titanium and barium (white), copper (blue, green), iron (brown, red, black).

N.B.: The toxicity of these metals is only manifested in the human body when the metal is present in large amounts in the body, or when you are continually exposed to them. However, tattoo inks contain these metals in negligible amounts.

In other words, the risk of experiencing/ suffering from any of the toxic effects of these metals earlier stated is very low. But in rare cases, one may experience them. This could be the result of various factors ranging from the person’s immune system, genetic makeup, or plain ill luck.

So, no, there’s no cause for alarm.

Common Post-Laser Tattoo Removal Sickness

Hundreds of people have shared their post-laser tattoo removal experiences, and from their stories, it’s easy to tell that people react differently to laser treatment.

Why do I feel sick after laser tattoo removal

We’ve taken our time to read through complaints made by most of these people and from their complaints, below are common ailments people experience after laser tattoo removal.

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Joint and body pain
  • Increased anxiety
  • Sleepiness
  • Depression
  • Dehydration
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting, etc.

We share these with you, not to scare you, but to get you mentally and emotionally prepared so you do not feel lost if you experience any of them after your treatment.

However, if you sense or feel anything out of hand, you should visit your doctor ASAP for a proper diagnosis.

How To Lower Your Chances Of Falling Sick After Laser Tattoo Removal

Build and maintain a healthy immune system before and after treatment by:

1.      Eating healthy

Lots of fruits and vegetables should find their way on your plate. They are highly nutritional.

Fruits and vegetables good for recovery after laser tattoo removal

Eat less carbs and junks. Most junks have little to zero nutritional benefits in the body. So why laden your body with those?

2.      Staying hydrated

We earlier read that some people easily feel dehydrated after their laser treatment. Drinking water before and after the treatment can ease this feeling and promote healthy blood circulation.

Health experts recommend that we take, at least, 2 litres of water daily.

3.      Exercising

People keeping fit by playing

Amongst other things, exercising promotes healthy blood circulation and skin health.

Tips for Staying Healthy After Laser Tattoo Removal

1.      Take multivitamins

Multivitamins increase your energy level, improves your mood, reduces stress and anxiety.

They’ll make you feel less tired and generally better.

2.      Rest. Don’t fight it

If you experience tiredness, fatigue, and drowsiness after your treatment, rest.

I understand that you may have work or school activities that require your attention. If this is the case, identify daily activities you can afford to not engage in, and skip them. This will help you create some time to rest.

3.      Cover the treated area with a sterilized bandage


Do this to prevent the area from becoming infected.

We’ve discussed at length why laser-assisted tattoo removal can make one fall sick, how to prevent this from happening, and tips for staying healthy after laser treatment.

Now we want to hear from you.

What are your tattoo or laser treatment stories? Did you fall sick after laser treatment? Are there things you wish you knew about staying healthy before your treatment? Did you learn anything from reading this article?

Do let us know in the comment section below. We’ll be reading and answering any questions you may have.