Do’s & Don’ts After Tattoo Removal Session

If you keep up with our blog then you know we regularly post information that can help you get the most out of your tattoo removal as well as make sure you’re fully prepared for the process. Check out this post that goes over what to expect during our free consultation or this handy guide where we compiled all things related to tattoo removal. To continue educating our potential, past, and current clients, we’re writing this post today to shine a light on important aftercare information.

If you’re considering laser tattoo removal or even currently undergoing the process, keep this information in mind!

Why Aftercare is Important

At MEDermis Laser Clinic, we find that the average client requires 3 to 7 sessions to completely fade or remove unwanted tattoos. The sessions can last up to 30 minutes and are usually scheduled 6-8 weeks apart; tattoos have multiple layers of ink stacked on each other within your skin’s layers meaning the removal process can put a lot of stress on your skin.

To heal properly and avoid infection it’s crucial that you follow a strict aftercare regiment. Not only will doing so help speed up the healing process, but it can make all the difference in protecting your skin in the long run.

What to Expect

To give you a better idea of how to follow the aftercare routine we think it will be helpful to have an understanding of what to expect from your skin throughout the removal process. Here’s a rough timeline:

  • Immediately after treatment: The treated area will typically turn to a frosty white; caused by the release of carbon dioxide as the laser penetrates the skin and it’s totally normal.
  • 8-72 hours after treatment: The treated area begins to peel or blister. Scabs and crust may also develop during this time.
  • 1-2 weeks after treatment: Healing time will vary depending on the location of the tattoo, but all blistering, scabs and other signs of irritation should fully subside.
  • 4-6 weeks after treatment: The treated area should be fully healed, and you’re ready for the next session (if necessary).

The Do’s and Don’ts of Aftercare

The laser tattoo removal process is a commitment, and we recommend following these tips to keep you safe and healthy, but also to allow you to get the most out of this investment. Your Certified Laser Specialist will review all of the information below, answer any questions, and make more recommendations for aftercare during your sessions. However, the following tips are good to keep in mind as you prepare and go through the process.

  1. Stay Out of the Sun: Your laser specialist will say this over and over again—avoid the sun! Sun exposure during treatment can be unsafe and may even lead to the denial of treatment. If you get a sunburn during your process we will need to delay your sessions which will drag the process on for a longer time. If you must be in the sun while undergoing laser removal take precaution by using sunscreen and covering your affected area with bandages and clothing.
  2. Take a Break from Exercise: Whether you’re going to spin class, lifting weights, or chasing your kids at the park, you want to be mindful of your body during treatment. We recommend taking a break from any activity that may cause or increase swelling. Typically, clients with smaller tattoos can get back to their regular exercise routine within a day after treatment, while those with larger tattoos should consider waiting at least 48 hours. We also recommend showering and changing the dressing on your affected area after strenuous activity.
  3. Quit Smoking: Research has shown that regular smoking significantly decreases the effectiveness of laser removal treatments. While we understand the difficulty of quitting smoking, you should be aware that it can mean more time and more treatments are necessary for removing your tattoo completely. Why? When you smoke, your immune system is already working hard to remove pollutants from cigarettes and will not be able to work as hard to remove the ink particles. If you’re worried that quitting smoking isn’t an option we recommend trying to cut back so you can get the most out of your treatments.
  4. Skip Happy Hour: Consuming large amounts of alcohol can impact your liver and kidneys’ ability to flush out the tiny ink particles created during laser removal. While undergoing treatment, we recommend swapping out alcoholic drinks for more water to aid your body in the healing process and help the removal go more smoothly.
  5. Don’t Swim: Immersing yourself or your treated area in hot or potentially dirty water is not ideal. Thus, we prefer our clients to avoid swimming pools, lakes, pools, rivers, and hot tubs for at least a few days after treatment, but especially until any redness or blisters have healed. Avoiding these could help minimize your risk of infection. Getting wet is not a big deal, but if you do go in any of the water sources mentioned above rinse thoroughly with clean water and mild soap (no scrubbing) and apply ointment and bandages.

Final Tips

Following the above tips should help speed up the recovery process and reduce risk of infection, but here are a few pieces of advice that can help keep you comfortable during your tattoo removal.

  • A cold compress can be applied to the area for the first 24 hours following treatment to reduce pain and discomfort.
  • Try to avoid draining blisters and let them resolve naturally if possible.
  • Apply sunscreen to the treated area for 5-10 days regardless of sun exposure to help reduce itching and speed up the ink absorption process.
  • Refrain from picking or peeling the scabs or skin at the treatment area.
  • Do not shave the treated area until fully healed.
  • Take Tylenol to help with pain. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen should be avoided.
  • No tanning of any kind (sun, spray, or self-tanning) for 4-6 weeks following treatment.

We Can Help!

Our Certified Laser Specialists have gone through years of training that will make your procedure as quick, comfortable, and successful as possible.

Our team is here to answer any questions you may have! Get in touch with us today to schedule your FREE consultation! Don’t miss out on this opportunity for a one-on-one with a tattoo removal expert.

You can sign up now by filling out our online contact form, calling our Austin clinic at 512-637-5277 or the San Antonio clinic at 210-402-4030, or shoot us a quick message to and let us know which location works for you!