Congratulations to the mother-to-be! It’s a challenging time because pregnancy makes a woman more delicate. If you have to remove her tattoos at this time, would it be okay? Can you get tattoo removal while pregnant? If not, what are the risks?
Scientists do not have enough data (since they don’t prefer running tests on pregnant women) about whether laser tattoo removal affects pregnancy, meaning we don’t know the consequences. So, the possible answer is somewhere between yes and no. However, most tattoo artists do not treat pregnant women because they believe there are potential risks because of photo-sensitivity, ink absorption, and a higher chance of infection.
This article also covers what risks are involved with tattoo removal and pregnancy, what if you already removed a tattoo being on pregnancy, and information like these. Let’s see the details.
Can You Get Tattoo Removal While Pregnant? Is It Safe for The Developing Baby?
For the first question, yes, it’s possible to get tattoo removal while pregnant. But there are potential risks.
For the second question, well, there is no proven research linking laser harm to a developing baby. Scientists don’t prefer running tests on pregnant women. For this, there’s no chance be any research coming out regarding tattoo removal of pregnant people.
But that doesn’t mean laser tattoo removal is completely safe during pregnancy. Although it’s a simple process, pregnancy can make the scene different.
Your body absorbs the ink after the laser removal process breaks it up.
You’ll undergo several sessions to have the invasive procedure of breaking down the tattoo. Inks are mostly made of toxic metals and plastics, which are not suitable for a developing fetus. This is why it’s best to avoid any invasive process during pregnancy.
Also, people use numbing agents while going through laser treatments. And, guess what? Numbing agents are absorbed into your body which isn’t great for the baby.
Therefore, most tattoo shops do not perform laser tattoo removal on pregnant women just to ensure that no harm is done to the mother or the baby.
What Are The Risks of Getting a Tattoo Removed While Pregnant?
As we’ve been saying, there are potential risks of getting a tattoo removed while pregnant; you must wonder what the risks can be. Let’s go through why you should wait until after giving birth to pursue laser tattoo removal.
1. Inadequate Research
So, there’s no specific research on tattoos and pregnant women because pregnant women can never be guinea pigs for procedures.
Therefore, there is almost no scientific study that reflects the aftereffects of tattoo removal treatments on pregnant women.
Although there’s a lack of theoretical study, Jhin stated that tattoo removal could be a risky move for a pregnant woman, and it’s best to wait until after delivery.
A pregnant woman’s skin is more sensitive compared to her non-pregnant counterparts. It’s a natural process for your body to become naturally more sensitive to light during pregnancy. Photosensitive skin bears the risks of hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin) and scarring.
Not only this, pregnancy makes you more vulnerable to conditions like sunburn. You’re more photosensitive, meaning you’re more reactive to any light, regardless of sunlight or lasers.
3. Ink Absorption
Laser light breaks up the tiny tattoo particles while removing a tattoo. After that, the particles are removed naturally through the lymphatic system.
Now, since there’s no research on the matter, it’s not proven whether the ink particles cross the fetal placental barrier.
So, it’s impossible to be sure about the consequences. Although tattoo inks are made with different ingredients, it’s hard to say an ink doesn’t contain any harmful substance.
Therefore, tattoo absorption is an unwanted incident for a pregnant woman.
Pregnant women are more vulnerable to infection. Since our skin constantly stretches and changes during pregnancy, the risk of skin infection is even higher.
Although tattoo removal treatments are generally safe, there’s always a chance of getting infections. And, if you’re infected for the treatment and take antibiotics afterward, it may lead to another concern.
Antibiotics might affect fetal development, so it’s best to avoid taking antibiotics at this phase.
What if You Were Already Pregnant and Found Out After Tattoo Removal Treatments?
Stay calm, and don’t worry; that’s the best you can do for now. Since you’ve passed the sessions successfully without facing any adverse effects, there’s minimal risk.
In most cases, it doesn’t harm because lasers only cause superficial burns to your skin. If your immune system is strong enough, there’s nothing to worry about because the process is naturally handled by the immune system.
The ink particles also will completely disperse from the skin after 4-8 weeks. So, the risks are incredibly low.
Is It Okay to Use Tattoo Removal Creams While Pregnant?
It’s better not to use tattoo removal creams during pregnancy (or ever). Why?
The first reason is that creams aren’t as effective as laser treatments. The fact is, tattoo inks deposit deep into our skin layers, and applying a topical cream isn’t enough to remove the ink.
Secondly, tattoo removal creams may damage your skin. The creams are bleaching agents used to lighten or bleach your tattoo and your skin. In some cases, those creams carry cancer-causing ingredients. They could even leave you with severe scars.
For these reasons, FDA hasn’t approved any of the tattoo removal creams. Since we don’t know yet about chemical transference between mother and fetus, keep your body and baby safe from exposure to dangerous chemicals.
Similarly, using chemical peels or Dermabrasion is quite common for removing tattoos.
Dermabrasion treats only the outer layer of the skin, but tattoo inks are embedded deep into our skin than that. For the harsh treatment method, people might face skin discoloration, scarring, and even infections.
And chemical peels are also not recommended by most dermatologists. The peels aren’t effective enough because they don’t penetrate the skin deep enough. Moreover, the side effects may be an added issue during pregnancy.
Tattoo Removed While Breastfeeding; Is That Okay?
Similar to pregnancy, there’s no study on breastfeeding parents and children. The research is risky because what if any harmful substance or chemical is transferred between mother and child through the milk?
Due to inadequate research, it’s recommended to wait until you stop breastfeeding the baby. You’re ready to continue the laser tattoo removal process once the feeding is done.
And this was all about ‘can you get tattoo removal while pregnant?’.
We hope that you got a clear answer. Since there’s no scientific proof regarding the aftereffects of the laser tattoo removal treatments of pregnant women, wait until your baby comes into the world. This little bit of wait will make sure that no harm is done to the baby for the tattoo removal session.
Good luck, and stay safe!