Michaela Gembicka, 28, from Bracknell, was left with permanent pea sized lumps on her arm after receiving the treatment at a clinic in Southampton.

Michaela had the Celtic-style black tattoo on her right shoulder when she was 18 but decided she was ready to have it removed now she was in full time work.

She researched laser tattoo removal but after finding out it would cost at least £2,000 she looked into alternative treatments.

In the end she contacted Tattoo Erase UK which advertised on its website a non laser tattoo removal procedure using Kataderm Fluid.

The fluid is injected into the skin using needles, much like a tattoo gun.

Michaela booked an appointment with the clinic, which has branches around the country. She said she was told her tattoo would need around seven or eight treatments, costing around £600.

She had the first treatment, which covered around a quarter of her tattoo, and was sent home. Three weeks later her arm began to swell up and she went to her GP where she was told she had Keloid scarring.

The scarring is permanent but can in some cases be lessened using steroid patches.

While tattooists and laser tattoo removal are licensed by local authorities, licensing of non-laser tattoo removal specialists differs from region to region.

Following the diagnosis Michaela contacted Thompsons Solicitors to pursue damages from Tattoo Erase.

She said: “I decided I wanted to have my tattoo removed because it looked out of place while attending work functions. I looked into all the treatments available and decided on this clinic because it looked easy and cheaper than laser removal. I had no idea licensing regulations for the procedure were different to having a tattoo. Had I known I would have thought twice about getting it done.

“Because my skin had a reaction to the procedures I’ve now got a tattoo and unsightly scarring. I’ve had to buy specialist camouflage makeup to cover it up. I’m also using steroid patches prescribed to me by a plastic surgeon to try and help the scarring go down.

“I’ve been told I’m likely to have the scars for life.”

Tattoo Erase has denied any liability.

Michael Burrell from Thompsons Solicitors said there needs to be clear guidance over how non laser tattoo removal is regulated.

He said: “Our client has discovered the hard way how sketchy licensing is for this type of treatment. We would like to see this treatment regulated in the same way across the UK so that consumers know exactly where they stand should something go wrong.

“We are now taking action against Tattoo Erase on Michaela’s behalf.”