About Your Skin

permanent tattoo removal

Skins types and tattoo removal 

For successful tattoo removal, many factors are taken into account, one of which is skin type.

Skin Types

In 1975, Thomas B. Fitzpatrick, MD, PhD, of Harvard Medical School, developed a classification system for skin typing. This system was based on a person's complexion and responses to sun exposure.

Fitzpatrick Skin Types are:-

  • Type I: Always burn never tan
  • Type II: Burns easily, tans minimally
  • Type III: Burns moderately; tans gradually to light brown
  • Type IV: Burns minimally; always tans well to moderately brown
  • Type V: Rarely burns; tans profusely to dark brown
  • Type VI: Never burns, deeply pigmented

As well as the skin type, other factors that should be taken into account are genetic disposition (eye colours, hair colour, freckles). Another caution is that if your nationality is Afro-American, Greek or Italian, you may be prone to hypo-pigmentation (loss of proper skin colour). Another indicator that is taken into consideration is a reaction to sun exposure and tanning habits (artificial sunlamps or tanning creams).

Previous Scarring

We are getting more and more people coming in after having a different type of treatment elsewhere (where the skin is injected with an acid like formula to push the tattoo pigment to the surface), however the people that are coming in to us have bad scarring on the area that was treated previously. In this case, we can only work around the already scarred tissue as there is nothing to work on once the tissue has been damaged this way. There are things you can use to help the scarring including Bio Oil or just pure Vitamin E oil over the scarred area.

Pale or Dark Skin?

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Skin types vary from type 1 (pale) to type VI (deeply pigmented)

Clients with pale skin usually see the best results. Smaller, older tattoos that are located on the arms, chest, buttocks or legs are the easiest to remove.

Clients with darker skin require a more cautious approach and may experience hypo pigmentation; in most cases this is a short-term effect and full pigmentation returns within a few months.

Therefore, more sessions may be necessary to minimize the risk of hyper-pigmentation (excessive colour) or hypo-pigmentation (excessive fading).

Keloid scarring is also a possibility for darker-skinned patients. If your skin is prone to these types of scarring, a patch test should be performed.

Treatment of these patients will start more cautiously and with lower fluency (light energy) pulses followed by careful evaluation of how the skin is reacting.

Skin Colour

For darker skin types, the actual colour of the skin is important, as this is caused by natural pigmentation which must not be removed If the ink colour is too close to the natural skin colour, total removal may not be possible. 


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