All clients will receive aftercare instructions at their tattoo removal appointment.
Laser Tattoo Removal is a very simple out-patient procedure. However, proper Laser Tattoo Removal Aftercare is essential for the best results. The tattoo removal treatment may create a superficial burn wound, and there will be an immediate whitening of the treated area, usually lasting for several minutes. Some patients may experience bruising or swelling, and many clients develop blisters, crusts or scabs within 8-72 hours, lasting for up to 2 weeks or more. The treated areas may be pale or pink after the scabs separate, and loss of pigment in the treated area may occur temporarily. In very rare cases loss of pigmentation may be permanent. Hypertrophic or even keloid scarring may occur but this is very rare. Healing is usually complete within 4 weeks, though healing time may vary.
- Keep the treated area clean and dry while it is healing. Gently clean the area with soap and water and then pat dry, do not rub.
- Apply a thin coating of antibiotic ointment three times a day for the first three days while the area is healing. Keep the area covered with a sterile dressing for those three days.
- Blistering is common, and will likely occur within 8 hours after your tattoo removal treatment. Do not be alarmed, blisters heal well and are part of the normal healing process. Blisters are an indication that your immune system is healing the area and beginning to remove the ink from your tattoo. It is natural for the blisters to pop, and this actually helps the skin to recover faster in many cases. Continue to apply the antibiotic ointment over the blisters once they have popped for at least 24 hours.
- To help reduce discomfort and inflammation, apply cool compresses as necessary to the treatment site for 24 hours after the tattoo removal. You may take plain Tylenol (acetaminophen) for pain relief, but avoid aspirin as it can increase the risks of bruising and/or bleeding.
- Do not pick at the scab or allow the skin to become scraped, as this may result in infection and scarring. Shaving should be avoided in the treated area until it is completely healed.
- Feel free to shower 2 hours after the tattoo removal, but take care to avoid high-pressure water hitting the treated area. Baths, hot tubs, swimming pool, or any other form of soaking are not recommended until all blisters and scabs are completely healed, as they may increase the risk of infection.
- Exercise is generally safe after treatment, taking into account the other aftercare instructions provided here.
- Wear a sunblock with an SPF of 25 or higher over the area for 3 months following the laser treatment. Do not wear makeup or any cream or medication on or near the treated area unless recommended by our office for 48 hours.
- Due to the dehydrating effect of laser tattoo removal, itching is very common. Use Aquaphor, Vitamin E ointment, or hydrocortisone cream on the treated area.
- Contact the office immediately if you have any questions or concerns, or if any of the following symptoms occur:
The area looks infected (honey-colored crusting and oozing or spreading redness)
You experience any unusual discomfort of bleeding
If any other complication develops.
Of course, if you have any extreme reaction, call 911 and go to the emergency department