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Tattoo and therapeutic ultrasound

Dear All,

Are tattoos a contraindication for therapeutic ultrasound? What I started to think about was, would there be any type of poison in the ink they use for the tattoos. If so, would the acoustic wave of the ultrasound be able to push at least parts of the ink into the circulatory system?

Regards, Patrick

Patrick De Bock

2 years ago

Back to General Electrotherapy

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Prof Richard Liebano
Prof Richard Liebano

I agreed with my colleagues that tattoos are not contraindicated for therapeutic ultrasound. Richard


Hi Patrick, like Tim and Cliff I also have not found in the bibliography any contraindications between the use of ultrasound and tattoos. I also do not know that tattooists prevent their clients from using this technique on tattoos. I've done some ultrasound applications on tattoos (0.5 to 0.8 w / cm2- continuous) without any adverse reaction. I do not think that the possibility of the "acoustic wave of the ultrasound be able to push at least parts of the ink into the circulatory system" be a problem, since this hypothesis " ink into the circulatory system" is a fact that happens when the tattoo is made. Luís

Prof Tim Watson
Prof Tim Watson

Patrick. There was a BIG discussion on this forum a while back about using Interferential (or other elec stim) around a tattoo - with problems being reported. As Cliff mentions, there are also some issues regarding the use of laser - low and high power - but having just gone through the literature for a contraindications update, there was nothing out there which identified a known issue with regards ultrasound. That does not mean that it is 100%, but that we did not find anything in the literature. It is possible - in theory - that there might be a mechanical effect on some of the ink deposits in the skin and subdermal tissue either bringing about ink dispersion or ?? getting it absorbed in depper / different tissues - but unless I have missed it, not seen anybody raise it. Interested to hear if anybody else knows anything. Thanks for raising it. Tim

Cliff Eaton
Cliff Eaton

Hi Patrick The popularity of tattoos these days are causing us some challenges especially with High Power Laser as this has a thermal effect, which heats up the ink. As far as I am aware though Tattoos are NOT contraindicated for Pulsed Therapeutic Ultrasound Cliff

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