Why eyebrow ink turns orange after laser?

When the Nd:YAG laser is used for tattoo removal, it emits high-intensity light that is absorbed by the tattoo ink particles in the skin. The laser energy causes the ink particles to heat up and vibrate rapidly, which breaks the ink particles down into smaller fragments. These smaller ink particles can then be eliminated by the body’s immune system over time.

In the case of eyebrow tattoos, some ink pigments may contain iron oxide, which is a common component of many tattoo inks. When the laser energy breaks down the iron oxide pigments, it releases free iron ions. These iron ions can react with oxygen in the air to form iron oxide, which has a distinctive orange colour. This process is called oxidation and it is the reason why some tattoo pigments can appear orange after laser tattoo removal.

The extent of the colour change depends on the amount of iron oxide in the pigment and the depth of the tattoo. Oxidation is a natural chemical process that occurs when certain substances react with oxygen. While the orange colour change is not harmful or dangerous, it is not always desirable, particularly in the case of eyebrow tattoos.

It is important to note that not all tattoo pigments contain iron oxide, and not all tattoos will experience this colour change during laser removal.

When the 532 nm wavelength of the Nd:YAG laser is used for tattoo removal, it targets red, orange, and yellow tattoo pigments. If the eyebrow tattoo pigment that has turned orange due to oxidation contains these colours, then the 532 nm wavelength will be effective in breaking down and removing the remaining pigment.

However, it is important to note that the response of the pigment to the laser treatment can vary depending on the type of pigment, the depth of the tattoo, and the individual’s skin type. In some cases, the remaining pigment may not be completely removed with a single laser treatment, and multiple treatments may be required to achieve the desired result.

It is also possible that using the 532 nm wavelength on orange pigment may cause it to turn darker temporarily due to the laser energy causing the remaining pigment to absorb more heat, which can lead to temporary darkening. However, this is typically a temporary effect that will fade over time, and the overall goal is to ultimately break down and remove the remaining pigment.

As with any cosmetic procedure, it is important to consult with a qualified practitioner to discuss the individual case and to determine the best course of treatment for your specific needs. At Allwhite Laser, we are here to support all AW3 certified members, so if practitioners would like further tips and advice, contact the AW3 training Department.

By Sara at Allwhite Laser Training Academy.