How to get rid of radiotherapy spots?

Published: 30 Jan 2020

Depending on the type of radiotherapy, your radiographer may need to make several permanent pin-point tattoo marks on your skin.  These are used to align you up with the radiotherapy machines so the powerful treatment can be delivered precisely, making sure to treat the same area every time.

At the time a few pin-point tattoos may seem like a small drop in the ocean compared to the scarier aspects of cancer but after treatment, when patients have been given the all-clear, many don't want a permanent reminder on their skin.

We caught up with Amy Bowler who specializes in tattoo removal and works with many people who have had cancer and want these spots removed.

“Radiotherapy spots can cause distress because they are a permanent reminder of a negative time in a person’s life,” explains Amy.   “Although the people I see are in remission and cancer-free, it's still a daily reminder of a time they’d rather forget.

“Having worked with many clients over a number of years, a lot of people don't realize they are tattoos and can easily be removed professionally and effectively using a specialized laser machine.” 

The radiotherapy spots are usually found at the side of the breast and/or directly in the middle of the chest area, some of which can be a pin-point mark, and other small dots.   Particularly for women, the dots are often visible when wearing an evening or summer dress.  And although they are hardly noticeable to anyone else, many women who have been through the traumatic experience of cancer are extremely self-conscious of the marks left behind.

“The process to remove the spots involves a 30-minute consultation, followed by a patch test to assess the reaction of the skin and make sure there are no contra-indications.  All being well, we can begin treatment to remove the radiotherapy spots completely, clients will need between four to eight sessions every eight to ten weeks,” advises Amy.

How does it work?

“Before you consider laser tattoo removal you will need to be in remission for at least 3 years before any reputable therapist will treat you,” explains Amy.  “Between 3-5 years you will need your doctor’s consent and after 5 years you are able to go ahead without consent, although it is still advisable to check with your doctor or medical team before undergoing this treatment.”

A high-powered short pulse beam of laser light is absorbed by the tattoo ink particles, breaking them down into smaller pieces.  This enables your natural immune system to absorb and disperse the ink, so it gradually fades throughout treatment.

Karen is one of Amy’s clients, she says, “I have been in remission for over 10 years, and whilst I am very grateful that I lived to tell the tale, the radiotherapy dots on my body left me with a constant reminder. My husband wasn’t bothered, but I was. I had five sessions of laser tattoo removal with Amy and after every treatment, they faded a little bit more until they disappeared completely. I can now stand in the mirror and look at myself feeling proud, a cancer warrior and survivor without any visible reminders.”

Another of Amy’s clients is also a cancer warrior, five years breast cancer-free and getting married in August. She explains why getting rid of the dots was important to her.

"I have the most beautiful dress and sexy lingerie, but the bra dips slightly exposing my radiotherapy spot. Although my husband-to-be says he doesn’t notice it, it is something that bothers me, and I would like to wear my wedding lingerie with confidence. I have had one session so far and can already see such a difference. I am so excited."

Before and after following a single treatment
(image provided by Amy J Aesthetics)

If you are interested in finding out more, visit Amy’s website, or search search ‘radiotherapy tattoo removal near me’.

The advice in this blog is based on an interview with a 3rd party, which we hope you find informative. It’s important to note that Penguin Cold Caps are not experts in this field and therefore cannot be held responsible or accept liability for any errors or omissions contained within the content.  Before going ahead with any treatment, it’s important to do your own research.  Consult with a professional near you, and contact your medical team to ensure this kind of treatment is appropriate for you. The information contained in this site is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.

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