What is the Frosting in Tattoo Removal?

“Frosting,” is a white residue which appears after a laser has been applied to the ink beneath the skin during a tattoo removal procedure. The frosting is caused by small gas bubbles which rise to the surface of your skin after being treated with the tattoo-removal laser. These bubbles appear white and opaque and give your skin the appearance of chalk.


This white frosting is caused by rapid local healing of the area the pigment is broken up in. The tattoo removal process can even yield plasma, a state of matter which is reached when gas is super-heated. This process leads to the release of carbon dioxide gas which rises to the surface of the skin.


Although tattoo frosting may look alarming, it’s a completely natural byproduct of the tattoo removal process and is not a cause for concern.


Frosting is not a cause for concern when it comes to laser tattoo removal. Frosting is completely normal.


It’s temporary and only lasts for 5 to 10 minutes immediately following a laser tattoo removal treatment. Frosting can even be considered a positive sign because it indicates that the laser beam has reacted with the ink beneath the skin, indicating a successful laser tattoo removal procedure.


While the frosting is usually a good sign, every person’s skin responds to laser tattoo removal differently. Consult your laser tattoo removal specialist if you have any questions or concerns.


There are several directions the laser light can take after penetrating the top layer of skin. Some wavelengths of light will bounce and reflect off the skin while others will penetrate into the epidermis. The treatment is effective because some of the light penetrates your skin to reach and get absorbed by the tattoo ink particles, causing them to dissipate.


The most frosting is usually visible after the first tattoo removal treatment. Each subsequent treatment after the first will show less and less frosting until the tattoo has been completely removed. This is because as long as there is ink under your skin some frosting will appear. Once all or most of the ink has been treated, no more frosting will be visible.


Successful Tattoo Removal


As mentioned above, tattoo frosting is natural part of laser tattoo removal. However, only an experienced, well-trained laser tattoo removal specialist can advise you as to whether the symptoms you show after your treatment are normal because they should know your condition best.


Be aware that frosting isn’t the only symptom to appear after a laser tattoo removal treatment. Blistering, scabbing, and swelling are not at all uncommon and may accompany the tattoo frosting. If you experience any abnormal discomfort be sure to let your tattoo artist know.


Provided you follow the proper tattoo removal aftercare routine your skin will be left healthy and healed.



January 12, 2017




252 Eglinton ave E
Toronto, Ontario
M4P 1K2

Mon-Sun: 12:00PM - 8:00PM

Have A Question?

View Our FAQs

Get in Touch

Contact us using the form below or come by one of our studios. We welcome walk-ins for both tattoos & piercings.