Laser Tattoo Removal Aftercare: Instructions & Tips

Laser Tattoo Removal Aftercare Instructions & Tips

Just like getting a tattoo, getting rid of it with laser tattoo removal is a commitment and requires not only the treatment itself but aftercare as well. As we have mentioned in our previous posts on laser tattoo removal, the process of laser tattoo removal is not a painless procedure, and the number of treatments may vary depending on your tattoo’s size, color, and location.

As you likely did with your tattoo initially, you should follow the necessary steps to make sure your skin heals properly after each of your laser tattoo removal treatments. We usually tell our patients to expect two stages of laser tattoo removal aftercare: immediate aftercare and aftercare throughout the healing process.

Immediate Aftercare Instructions (Days 1 & 2 Post Treatment)

The steps you should follow immediately after your laser tattoo removal treatment are 1) ice, 2) moisturize, 3) rest, and 4) elevate.

Ice

Ice is necessary to alleviate heat you will feel post treatment and it also helps prevent any blistering. After your tattoo removal treatment, your laser tattoo removal practitioner will provide you with an ice compress to apply to the treatment site for the first hour. You must alternative application of the ice compress on and off every 1 to 3 minutes as necessary during that first hour, but make sure you DO NOT leave ice on the treated area for more than 3 to 5 minutes at a time. You might also consider application of natural Aloe Vera gel to help reduce heat on the treated area.

Moisture

The treated area must remain moisturized following your treatment. We recommend applying Aquafor for the first 3 days following treatment, about 3 to 4 times a day. DO NOT use Neosporin or any other antibiotic ointments, which may increase your chance of blistering. The use of Aquafor, will promote healing of your treated area and reduce any itching or irritation you might experience as a result of the treatment.

Rest

Make sure you limit physical activity the day following your treatment, which includes any exercise or activity that could result in perspiration. Why? Well, exercise can reduce blood flow in the treated area while the blood flows to your muscles, which will slow the healing process. AVOID harsh soaps or cleansers and hot, steamy showers immediately following treatment, and AVOID pedicures if you have treated a tattoo located on your foot, ankle, or lower leg. The soaking of these areas could invite infection, since you will have tiny abrasions in your skin from the treatment.

Elevate

If you can, try to elevate your treated area above the heart as much as possible. This will also help decrease your chances of blistering post treatment.

Do not be afraid to contact your laser practitioner if you notice anything abnormal. You can expect possible reactions like: the treated area getting brighter or not changing at all, appearing white, pink, or red, or some pinpoint bleeding, blistering or redness, yellowing, or clear discharge and swelling.

Continued Aftercare Instructions (Until Healed)

Healing can take anywhere from 5 to 25 days or more depending on the specifics of your treated area. As the area treated by laser tattoo removal heals, make sure you 1) moisturize, 2) leave the skin to heal on its own, 3) proceed with caution, and 4) prepare for your next appointment.

Moisturize

It is vital that you keep your treated area moisturized with Aquafor until it is completely healed. Remember DO NOT use Neosporin or other antibiotic ointments that will increase the chance of blistering.

Leave the Skin to Heal

Your skin will be going through the healing process. Should you experience a blister DO NOT break the blister(s)! Doing so can cause infection and scarring. Remember that blistering and scabbing is normal. If you have an uncomfortable blister, you can call your treatment office to drain it. Make sure you watch for any infections by noting signs of foul odor, fever, red streaks, yellow-green drainage, and pain. Also, AVOID swimming pools, the ocean, hot tubs, and tub soaking pedicures for 5 to 7 days until healed. Otherwise, unless a blister is present, you may resume normal activities.

Prepare for Your Next Treatment

You should book your next appointment in 6 to 12 weeks following your first. It takes up to four weeks for the body to break down the ink, so your results will not be immediate, and each treatment will be different depending on your treated area and how your skin reacts. Between treatments, make sure you apply SPF 50 to the treated area when in direct sunlight, avoid spray tanning 2 weeks prior, and shave the area the day before your next treatment.

The most important thing to remember is that your skin needs time and the right conditions to heal after your laser tattoo removal treatment. If you have any questions about how to care for your treated area, don’t hesitate to contact WIFH, your laser tattoo removal specialist.

4 Comments

Sean

Hello, I’ve been going through tattoo laser removal for about 9 sessions. My tattoo is slightly raised after the 5th session. Is anything I can do to smooth the area out? Is the raised skin due to scar tissue or collagen? Maybe massage the area to break the raised
tattoo?

Reply
Lindsay Spires

This is a tough one. Often we find that there is scarring or raised areas within the tattoo prior to treatment, meaning the skin scarred during the tattooing process. Perhaps this was the case for you and you are just noticing it as the ink is fading. Or it could be the ink has reacted with the laser causing the skin to raise. Nowadays there are so many different types of inks being used in tattoos, many containing metals to keep the color vibrant. All of these different inks can react differently when hit with the lasers energy. It’s hard to say whats going on here. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any treatment to get rid of these raised areas. It could be they resolve with time but it’s more likely they could be permanent. Have you spoken with the facility that is doing your tattoo removal treatments? I’d be curious to see what they say.

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Liliya Kuzmina

Hi there I just did my second session of tattoo removal and I got some really tiny blisters. Am I able to ice that area or should I avoid doing anything to it?
How can I avoid not scarring there?

Reply
Lindsay Spires

Blistering is common with laser tattoo removal. Do your best not to pop them. They will resolve on their own. Keep them covered and hydrated with Aquaphor. I would contact the facility you have your tattoo removal done with just to let them know you had blistering this time. Keeping the blister intact and allowing it to heal on its own should prevent scarring from happening.

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