While the severity of side-effects following treatment varies, there are several things that you should expect. Redness and mild pain will occur within the first 24 hours. Blistering and scabbing around the treated area are also typical. There is a risk of infection associated with tattoo removal. By following the tattoo laser removal aftercare guidelines below, you can minimize the risk of infection and scarring.
Laser tattoo removal aftercare procedures
Initially, pain and redness similar to sunburn will occur in the treated area. Bruising and swelling are also normal. Cold compresses and Tylenol will help to alleviate inflammation. Avoid aspirin and other blood thinners, as these increase the likelihood for bruising and bleeding.
The first 72 hours of laser tattoo removal aftercare are critical for healing. In addition to compresses and Tylenol, wash the area with mild soap and pat dry twice daily. Avoid rubbing or using harsh soaps, as these will increase the chance of scarring. After cleaning, apply Neosporin, Bacitracin, or another cream per your physician’s recommendation, and then cover the site with a bandage.
During the tattoo laser removal aftercare process, blistering and scabbing are common side effects. These are natural parts of the healing process. Allow scabs and blisters to go away in their own time, and avoid picking at them. If a blister does pop, gently wash the area, apply a cream such as Neosporin, and keep the area protected from sunlight and abrasion.
Hydration is essential for your body as it works to repair the skin, so drink lots of water. Gently massage the tattoo removal site for 5-10 minutes once per day. The combination of hydration and massage will help to flush out particles broken up by the laser.
Things to Avoid
You can resume your normal routine almost immediately, but there are some activities that are best saved until after you have healed. Avoiding rigorous physical exertion during the first 24 hours may help your body to heal and can prevent further irritation.
While you can take a shower within four hours of your treatment, avoid letting the treated area take a direct hit from the shower-head at first. Pool water, sea water, saunas, and hot tubs should be avoided for the first two weeks after treatment.
UV rays should also be avoided for the first two weeks after treatment. Be sure to wear sunscreen. Sunlight can penetrate clothing and will cause irritation and discoloration. Bronzers, self-tanners, and spray tans are not advisable during tattoo laser removal aftercare for 4-6 weeks following treatment.
While some irritation is normal, monitor the skin for signs of infection. Redness which extends beyond the treatment site, oozing, crusting, and excessive and persistent pain are signs that you are not healing properly. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your physician.
Following these guidelines for laser tattoo removal aftercare increases the likelihood that you will have successful treatment with minimal side effects.