IPL laser hair removal - my tattoos, and a patch test

I am blogging this as I had a lot of women on twitter keen to hear my experience. I just booked six sessions of IPL laser hair removal, after lots of friends telling me their great experiences. Today I went for my patch test.

So, the patch test was done on my wrist, and after putting on some dark glasses, she zapped the area. I felt nothing. She did it three more times, increasing the intensity each time, until I could feel it. She explained that they want to increase the intensity each visit if possible. On the third zap, the one I felt, it just felt like a quick sting. Definitely not as bad as getting tattooed.

She shaved the area on my wrist, to the side of my wrist tattoo, but once I left I noticed that as she moved the zapper (after the three attempts) the red bit of skin seemed to be on my tattoo. Which got me thinking....

This article seems to say that the IPL laser is attracted to the black ink in tattoos, and it will release an excessive amount of heat energy if it hits it. This, apparently, can lead to the tattoo blistering or turning the tatttoo black (where there once was colour). Or scarring. Ick.

The article says that the laser treatment shouldn't be done near a tattoo - one inch away. It also says that if it just lasers the tattoo a little it may just cause it to fade.

Which is all a little scary! Twitter tells me that IPL laser treatment definitely does fade a tattoo, but luckily no one on my timelime has encountered the blistering and scarring that seems possible.

I am getting my underarms and bikini line so it luckily will only be near one tattoo (near my bikini line), but is something definitely to be aware of. 

As I waxed recently, I have to wait another 3 weeks before I start treatment, as it needs the hair roots to be fully grown in. I am not allowed to pluck or wax for the full 6 treatments (all 4 weeks apart from each other), but you are allowed to shave (as its the root it needs to kill, not the actual hair).

I will keep you updated!