Laser Tattoo Removal Aftercare Guide
Laser Tattoo Removal is a simple out-patient procedure. However, following aftercare instructions is key to achieve the best result. Carefully follow these laser tattoo removal aftercare instructions to help you to lower the risk of undesired side effects. After receiving a laser removal treatment, our patients can expect to see some blisters, crusts, or scabs beginning to develop between 8 and 72 hours after the treatment. It is very rare for scarring to occur, and often times, it happens due to lack of care between treatments. To ensure that your tattoo removal sessions are moving along quickly, our laser tattoo removal clinic has some aftercare tips that you should take into consideration to best protect and heal your skin.
Table of Contents
- How to take care of your skin right after your laser treatment
- What to expect during the healing process after your laser tattoo removal treatment
- Speed up your tattoo removal journey by keeping your immune system strong
- Sun exposure during your laser tattoo removal treatments
How To Take Care of Your Skin Right After Your Laser Treatment
- Please be sure to use an over the counter antibiotic ointment like Neosporin. It is important that you apply the ointment to your skin three times daily and keep your tattoo covered with a bandage for at least 3 days. By doing this, you are protecting your damaged and weak skin from infection. After those three days have passed, you MUST remove the bandage and expose your skin to the air. The air will help heal and dry out the area exposed to the laser and prepare you for the next treatment. If scabbing happens, you can expect the scabbing to last for 1 to 2 weeks. We know the scabbing is not pretty and you may want to hide the area and keep it bandaged, but it is best to keep the area exposed after the first 3 days of treatment.
- Do not be alarmed by blisters. Blisters can appear 8 hours after your laser tattoo removal treatment. If blisters are part of your healing process they are normally held between 4-6 days.
- Do NOT pick the scabs, blisters, or crusts that form after your laser tattoo removal treatment. Picking at the skin directly relates to any scarring that may occur. Allow your skin to naturally heal itself and for the scabs and crusts to fall off when they are ready. Peeling off scabs that are not ready to be removed can result in infection, scarring, or even pigment discoloration of your skin.
- If you are experiencing any type of discomfort or inflammation after having a tattoo removed you can take Tylenol and also apply an ice pack hourly for 5-10min right after your treatment.
- Wear sunblock to protect the area of your skin that received treatment for at least 3 months after each session. Do not apply make-up or anything that may irritate the healing area. Scented lotions tend to irritate healing skin.
- You may shower 2 hours after receiving tattoo removal. However, it is strongly advised that you do not allow high pulsating water to hit the newly treated skin. It is also recommended that you do not swim, soak in a bath or hot tub until scabs and blisters are healed. These areas of water contain a lot of bacteria that can cause infection and scarring.
- If you are experiencing any other discomfort than what is listed above, mild bruising, or tingling sensations similar to sunburn after your tattoo removal procedure, be sure to contact our clinic immediately or go see a doctor.
What to expect during the healing process after your laser tattoo removal treatment
During laser treatment, your skin will turn a frosty white color called frosting. This is caused by the carbon dioxide being released as a result of laser penetration and surfaces on the upper layer of the skin, which resembles a white frosting.
A few hours after treatment your skin may begin to peel and blister which usually takes 3 – 14 days to disappear. These side effects are completely normal and expected as your body is quickly trying to heal itself, shedding the damaged outermost layer of skin.
After several days have passed, all physical effects have usually subsided. Now you’ll just play the waiting game as your body properly disposes of the ink pigments, which usually takes 6-12 weeks. Only after such time, laser treatment can be performed again.
What about Scars?
Scarring is a common concern with the laser tattoo removal process. Luckily scarring instances are very minimal and happen in less than two percent of laser removal cases. Usually, when scarring happens it is light and can be minimized with Vitamin E oil and over-the-counter silicone scar patches, so long as your skin is fully healed from the laser treatment. When in doubt, always seek professional advice before attempting to treat scar tissue at home.
Once your tattoo is treated successfully, you can consider tattooing a new design or revel in what is now your clean canvas. Should you opt for body art in the future, be sure you plan it out, find a professional and reputable tattoo artist, tread carefully with your design, and REMEMBER the cost of laser tattoo removal.
Speed up Your Tattoo Removal Journey by Keeping Your Immune System Strong
For many people, a tattoo is a part of their personal story that they wouldn’t choose to alter. However, we can’t all get it right all the time. The thought of laser tattoo removal can be daunting, but if you approach it right, the process doesn’t have to be. In fact, your body responds to the treatment by working in conjunction with the laser to help speed the process along.
The laser penetrates through the top layer of your skin, breaking down the ink. Once the ink particles are smaller, the body’s immune system targets and destroys them using special white blood cells called macrophages. This is where your body needs your help.
Here we show you the ways in which you can speed up the tattoo removal process.
Exercise on a regular basis
While a link between tattoo removal and exercise might not be immediately apparent, what exercise does is improves the immune system by boosting the cells in your body that attack foreign bodies, including broken-down tattoo ink. Visiting the gym a few times a week, or even just walking for half an hour a day, can speed up the healing process.
Lack of sleep has a negative effect on the immune system, making us less able to fight bacteria and more prone to infection. Some people need more sleep than others, but seven hours a night is thought to be ideal. Less than six, and your immune system can start to suffer. Some tips for improving your quantity and quality of sleep include getting into a regular routine, such as going to sleep and waking up at the same times each day. Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine before bed, and make sure your television and computer are turned off to ensure you are going to sleep in a restful, sleep-conducive environment.
Drink plenty of water
Your immune system needs proper hydration in order to work efficiently, but water can help to speed up the tattoo removal process in a wide variety of ways. It increases your kidney function, allowing them to flush out toxins such as broken-down ink more quickly. It also helps in the production of lymph, which is what carries your white blood cells through the body, allowing them to break down foreign bodies and remove toxins from your blood. In addition, water helps to keep your skin in good condition. Skin, like all the other organs in the body, needs proper hydration in order to keep it functioning at its best. The better condition your skin is in, the more efficiently it will respond to the laser treatment.
Eat more immunity-boosting foods
Certain foods contain properties that help to strengthen your immune system. Oats and barley contain a type of fiber called beta-glucan, which has high antioxidant properties and helps to speed up the healing of wounds. Almonds are an incredible source of Vitamin E, which is vital for a healthy immune system.
Try not to smoke
Smoking has been shown to impede the tattoo removal process seriously. An Italian study concluded that the chances of successful tattoo removal after 10 sessions were reduced by 70% in smokers. Giving up smoking has all kinds of health benefits; but if you’re desperate to get rid of some unwanted ink, this might be the extra impetus you need to kick the habit.
Follow the aftercare advice
Once you’ve been through a process of laser tattoo removal, it can be easy to get a little blasé about the aftercare. However, following the advice you’re given is essential if you want to speed up the healing process. For 48 hours after treatment, it is important to avoid anything that could irritate the treated skin, such as tight clothing, moisturizers, make-up, or perfume. Try to keep the treated area cool and dry, so avoid exposing the treated skin to the sun, hot baths, saunas, or swimming. Obviously, do not scratch or shave the treated area, as this is highly likely to cause irritation. It is also important to exercise caution in all these areas until all blistering has subsided and your skin feels healed. If you have any problems or doubts at all during the healing process, you should contact our laser tattoo removal clinic and your doctor.
Keep to your appointment schedule
This may sound highly obvious, but the treatment will work quicker if you keep to regular sessions. Missing appointments will naturally slow the tattoo removal process down. However, it is not advisable to have sessions too quickly after one another. Every six to eight weeks is the optimum time to wait between sessions, as this allows your body time to break up and flush out the ink particles and your skin time to heal sufficiently before your next session.
By following all these tips, you can give your body the best possible chance of a speedy, trouble-free tattoo removal and healing process. And who knows? You might just notice some other health benefits, too.
Sun Exposure during Laser Tattoo Removal Treatments
You might be surprised to hear that sun exposure is another important factor that affects the success of laser tattoo removal.
So if you’ve got any concerns about sun exposure and tattoo removal, be sure to read through the following frequently asked questions.
How does the sun affect laser tattoo removal?
Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun increases the production of vitamin D and melanin in our bodies. Vitamin D can help us absorb things like calcium and iron, increase metabolism and regulate our immune system. But it is in fact melanin that soaks up radiation and causes our skin to turn brown. However, increased levels of melanin pigment in your skin can make you liable to burns. So when it comes to laser tattoo removal, your skin might not be as strong, protective or receptive as it could be.
Can I have laser tattoo removal after a holiday in the sun?
No and ideally the tattoo will have been out of the sunlight for at least 6 weeks. In order for laser tattoo removal to work effectively, skin color needs to be natural and healthy. This will give us the best chance of removing your tattoo in the fewest sessions possible. If you have a dark tan, it might take several attempts to remove and you could suffer from future problems.
Will laser tattoo removal be effective on a tanned skin?
To some extent, but it will be far less effective. With an increased level of melanin in your skin, it is more difficult for the laser removal technology to break the pigment up. Even though we use the highest performing single pulse q-switch laser machine, which usually only requires 4-8 sessions to remove a tattoo, tanned skin makes the redistribution of ink through your blood stream a lot harder to achieve. Don’t worry, this ink won’t stay in your blood for long and eventually escapes through pores and body waste.
What about fake tan?
Again, this is not recommended, as you could be coming back time and time again for multiple sessions when only half a dozen are actually required. Although we want to remove tattoos quickly and effectively, our main concern is your health and well-being. This is more difficult if your skin has absorbed products containing toxins.
Some fake tans contain activators that can react with laser treatment and lead to skin pigmentation. Therefore, do not use fake tan products for at least 2 weeks before or after treatment.
We are here to help, so please contact us if you have any questions!