Like swelling, is one of the immediate side effects of laser tattoo removal. It’s nowhere near as good-looking as it sounds, but its presence post-procedure can mean a good thing for your skin.


This effect is called as such due to its resemblance to—you guessed it—cake frosting. When the laser lands on the pigmented section of skin, the heat produces a chemical reaction with the ink.

The high temperature brings about the formation of gas or plasma, which are then released into the more superficial layers of skin. In these layers, the gas or plasma become carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide interacts with the tattoo. The tattoo puffs up and turns white, taking on the appearance of cake frosting, hence the term. In most cases, this occurs for up to 30 minutes after a session.

How to Deal

Frosting may not be very pleasant to look at, but don’t let appearances fool you. That your tattoo turns white and puffy is a good thing, as it means the laser has penetrated into your skin and into the tattoo pigment.

There’s no cause for alarm here, though. The effect generally goes away on its own, give or take several minutes after the laser tattoo removal session. It’s most evident after the first procedure; once you’re several sessions down, frosting no longer appears as much.