I went through a lot with trying to get my tattoos removed at one time. It was a stupid mistake because I always have liked my tattoos. I was trying to make my boyfriend happy so I went through with it but I am very sorry I did. He just thought people looked at me different because I had them. I want to tell people about what happened to me so as to save someone else from pain and maybe even death from the laser tattoo removal process.

I went to Dermacare Laser & Skin Care Clinic in [Edited], NJ – Dr. [Edited]. The laser tattoo removal process is the most excrutiating pain I have ever felt. I was told that this process was a very safe and reliable process and it would leave no scars and I would be guaranteed success on the removal of my tattoos. They put a numbing cream on before the laser but it didn’t really help at all. I have 13 tattoos and he roughly shot around 10 of them. After the process he put antibiotic cream on them and wrapped them. I was to come back 6 weeks later but he was booked the 6th week so I was scheduled for the following week, which would have been June 10th (that visit never happened, thank God for knowing my own body or I would probably not be here today to write this letter. This happened the year of 4/2006. I didn’t start to feel back to normal till around June 10th but here is what I had to go through:
A week and a half after the first treatment of laser tattoo removal I started feeling very ill. I became ill with upper respiratory, fever, weak, nausea and vomiting. I couldn’t get out of bed for a month. So weak I couldn’t even make it to the bathroom or shower and times feeling like I was going to have a heart attack. I had a fever for weeks, that has never happened to me. I would wake up in the middle of the night the bed soaked because my body was sweating so bad after I took a pain pill for the fever. I was so scared, I felt like I was dying. This was a terrible thing that I had to go through. I have always been perfectly healthy so the tattoo Dr. telling me that it wasn’t from the laser tattoo removal wasn’t logical to me. My own Dr. didn’t know what was happening to me and he agreed that the tattoo removal process did hurt me. How do you prove such things? My blood tests, the week of May 11th my liver numbers were elevated slightly 70, 55, 55, a week later on May 18th they went up to 129, 99, 140. At the time of my elevated liver numbers they ran a test on me for Hepatitis and it came back positive on Hepatitis C. he then ran a test to see if the Hep C was active in my body and it showed No Activity of Hep C in my body. I have never had any issues with any signs of Hepatitis in my body. My Dr. had a ultrasound done on my liver and gall bladder, they looked normal but the spleen was enlarged. I am lucky that I was so healthy to begin with but if I wasn’t I know this procedure would have killed me. I hope to stop further sicknesses or even deaths from happening because of this horrible treatment they have out for tattoo removal.
The Doctor at the Laser Tattoo removal refunded part of my monies but not the cost of the initial treatment (maybe it’s because it would have been a admission of guilt). He did tell me that this treatment may have made my immune system not work like it should have and I caught a virus. HOW CAN THIS PROCEDURE BE CALLED SAFE IF SUCH A THING CAN HAPPEN!!! I DON’T UNDERSTNAD. I have always taken such care of myself that this disturbs me greatly.
Also after all this roughly a year after this happened, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. When the immune system is down the body attacks the thyroid so no one can tell me I didn’t get the thyroid cancer from the laser tattoo removal process. The cancer came out with the thyroid removal but I lost one of my vocal chords. My other vocal chord has taken over pretty good because my voice is almost like before.
Please live with the skin you have. Your tattoos are a part of you and your life story. Don’t take that away.


Not sure how laser removal gives you hep c. I had 2 tattoos removed with no issues.


hi josi,

sounds like you have been through a lot! reading through this I fail to see how you could have gotten any disease from the laser process. Correct me if I am wrong but other than the blazing hot beam of light I don’t think there is anything that goes in your skin and its a blood to blood transmission.

In fact, Hep usually takes a long time to incubate in the system.

Acute hepatitis C refers to the first 6 months after infection with HCV. Between 60% to 70% of people infected develop no symptoms during the acute phase. In the minority of patients who experience acute phase symptoms, they are generally mild and nonspecific, and rarely lead to a specific diagnosis of hepatitis C. Symptoms of acute hepatitis C infection include decreased appetite, fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, itching, and flu-like symptoms. Hep C genotypes 2A & 3A have the highest cure rates at 81% and 74% respectively.

Also, according to my research, The risk of getting Hep C from a tattoo is very low. Most of the time it comes from direct blood to blood sharing of a need in an unlicensed shop or from an unlicensed artist. Most tattoo shops follow these procedures and I would guess that there were no blood to blood contacts in the doctors office.

Tattooing dyes, ink pots, stylets, and piercing implements can transmit HCV-infected blood from one person to another if proper sterilization techniques are not followed. Tattoos or piercings performed either before the mid 1980s, “underground,” or non-professionally are of particular concern since sterile techniques in such settings may have been insufficient to prevent disease; sharing unsterilized tattooing equipment (for example, in the prison system)[24] has an obvious increased risk of acquiring HCV. Indeed, it is this method of transmission that caused Pamela Anderson to officially state :”I contracted hepatitis C while sharing a tattoo needle with my ex-husband Tommy Lee. Tommy has the disease and never disclosed it to me during our marriage.”[25] The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s position on this subject states that, “Whenever tattoos or body piercings are performed in informal settings or with non-sterile instruments, transmission of hepatitis C and other infectious diseases is possible.” Despite these risks, it is rare for tattoos in an approved facility to be directly associated with HCV infection [26]

All this said, I can understand why you are upset. You got very sick immediately after your treatment. That doesn’t mean that the treatment caused your issues though and I would be careful putting something like this up on a public forum as it could be considered slanderous unless you have proof of your assertions.



First of all I am sorry for the situation that you endured. I have taken the liberty of removing a couple of names as should the person named see the post they would be in a position to consider a libellious claim (written defamation of character).

As it is posted here we have the right to edit posts that may implicate, associate, or condones an action that may result in a legal backlash.

As for the content of the post:

You are correct laser surgery does hurt (there is no such thing as pain free removal). The level of pain has been matched to that of the orig tattoo or higher.

The main reason for this (taking it from the modern Q-Switch lasers) is that superheated light is passing through the skin and bombarding the pigment and will result in nerve stimulus (pain).

Scabbing, swelling, blistering and sometimes a light fever are often associated with laser removal treatment as it is a surgical treatment and will cause damage beneath the skin surface as the immune systems devours the broken down pigment.

The impact on the immune system is upto debate as an increased in white blood cell activity is normal as it breaks down the tattoo pigment in the blood.

By debate Dr’s state that the after effects are closely related to the health of the client whether they have any known or unknown pre-existing medical conditions.

There is a possibility that your body was already under strain prior to you getting the removal. If you had intensive session you may have contracted a virus and this laid into an already busy immune system.

The argument that laser surgery is ‘safe’ is based on the general medical belief that the large majority of people will have no problems and those that don’t will have to strongly prove that that they had no other inferences (acts or failure to act) or conditions that would escalate the failure of the treatment.

You are correct though that people really need to examine the choices carefully about tattoo removal.

Take Care

The only difference between a person with tattoos, and a person without is this. The person with tattoos does not care if you do not have any.

Thanks for the comments. As I stated the Dr. did admit that the tattoo removal process can shoot down your immune system and then you can catch a virus. To me that alone tells me that this process is not safe enough for me or anybody else and I’m just trying to get the word out. I went through hell and I am just trying to save anyone else of going through the pain. Putting tattoos on does not jeopardize your life but taking them off can.