Laser Tattoo Removal Aftercare Instructions
Now that you’ve begun your tattoo laser removal treatments, how can you best care for the tattoo to reduce discomfort or potential side effects? With laser tattoo removal, like any type of procedure, it is possible to experience several minimal discomforts to the area after receiving treatment.
Laser removal works by using a laser to target the tattoo. The heat from the laser breaks apart tattoo pigment, which is then removed naturally by the body later. Because the skin is under direct contact by the laser, your skin could experience minor burns, blistering, itching, frosting and swelling. After a laser tattoo removal treatment, there is immediate whitening of the treated area, which typically lasts for several minutes. Many patients then develop blisters or scabs within 12-24 hours, which may last for 1-2 weeks or more. The treated areas may be pink or pale after the scab separates. Loss of skin pigment in the treated area is common and is usually temporary. Healing is usually complete within 6-8 weeks.
To reduce or prevent these side effects, follow these tattoo removal aftercare instructions:
- Immediately after laser removal treatment, there may be frosting in the area. Frosting is caused by the rapid heating of skin, which may lead to gas or plasma forming. The frosting is carbon dioxide being released from the skin. Swelling and redness are also typical right after treatment. To reduce discomfort, apply a cold compress as necessary to the area for 24 hours after the laser treatment and take Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Motrin) to reduce discomfort and inflammation. Please avoid aspirin, as it can increase the risk of bruising and/or bleeding.
- After the laser treatment, please keep the treated area clean and dry while it is healing. Please do not remove the dressing applied to your treatment area for 8 to 12 hours. Clean the treated area twice a day with mild soap and water, and gently pat the area dry.
- The treatment area should be handled with care several days after your laser removal session. At MEDermis Laser Clinic we offer an aftercare ointment, Calm and Correct by Dermamedics. This product is a soothing and healing serum that we recommend applying to the area twice a day for 3 days post-treatment. Keep the area open to the air with no bandage after removing the first dressing.
- Do not pick, peel, rub or scratch at the skin while it's healing. Although blisters and scabs can be a normal side effect post-treatment, many patients don’t experience them. If you do form blisters or scabs, do not pop or pick at them. It may be necessary to protect the blister during this process with a dry dressing. If the blister begins to ooze, please apply a non-stick dressing to the area, changing it twice a day until the drainage stops. Apply a small amount of Neosporin to any tears or damaged areas. If the blister becomes extremely uncomfortable, please call our office.
- Shaving the treated area should be avoided until it is completely healed.
- Do not wear makeup, medicated cream, or other types of lotions to the treated area(s) for 48 hours, unless recommended by our office.
- Do not swim or use hot tubs or saunas until the treatment area has completely healed.
- Avoid participating in physical activities, like exercise, for two to seven days after treatment. Activities that cause excessive perspiration may disrupt the healing process.
- Wear a sunblock with an SPF of 25 or higher over the area for 3 months following the treatment.
- Please contact our office immediately if any of the following occur:
- the area looks infected (honey-colored crusting/oozing, or spreading redness)
- unusual discomfort or bleeding
- moderate to severe itching to treated area or the area surrounding the treated area
- any other complications develop
- For any extreme reactions, such as moderate to severe facial swelling, moderate to severe rash, or any difficulty breathing, call 911 or go to the emergency department.
Questions About Your Laser Tattoo Removal Treatment? Contact MEDermis Laser Clinic Today!
If you have any questions, please complete the contact form on this page or call one of our representatives in Austin (512-637-5277) or San Antonio (210-402-4030). There are times we are with other patients, but please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible.