A scar is a permanent mark that is left behind when a wound doesn’t heal properly. There are several types of scars that can occur after a tattoo and after laser tattoo removal treatments. Since both affect the same layer of the dermis, the scars they leave behind are similar in appearance.

Keloid Scars

A keloid occurs when an excess amount of collagen is produced after an injury. These scars vary in color from pink to dark brown, and keloids tend to appear shiny and feel rubbery. Though harmless, they can continue to grow beyond the boundaries of the injury and cause mild discomfort, such as pain and itchiness. On rare occasions, keloids can inhibit body movement, especially if they form around joints.

Keloids can form from even minor injuries, including scratches, pimples, body piercings, and bug bites.

Hypertrophic Scars

Similar to a keloid, a hypertrophic scar appears at the site of skin damage. It is caused by an excess amount of collagen, but unlike keloids, hypertrophic scars stay within the boundaries of the injury. These marks are raised scars but not to the degree that keloids are raised.

Hypertrophic scars tend to form after a thermal or traumatic injury that affects the deep levels of the dermis, but they can also develop after a minor injury, such as pimples, cuts, burns, and body piercings.


Hypopigmentation, the loss of skin color or melanin, is a common reaction for those who have tan or dark skin. This can be triggered by illness, a burn, or an injury. For those who have dark skin, hypopigmentation is a common side effect of laser tattoo removal.