For the first 3 days after treatment, keep the treated area bandaged with sterile gauze and protected with a thin layer of antibiotic or healing ointment. After 3 days, keep the treated area clean and dry during the healing process. If necessary, clean the area gently with mild soap and water and pat dry.
Many clients then develop blisters, crusts, or scabs within 8 to 72 hours, which may last for 1 to 2 weeks or more. The treated areas may be pink or pale after the scab separates. Scarring, which can be hypertrophic or even keloid, can occur but is exceptionally rare. Reduced or excess skin pigment in the treated area can occur, and is temporary except in very rare cases. Healing is usually complete within 4 -6 weeks, although this may vary.
Minimize Sun Exposure
If you are considering, or already undergoing any type of laser treatments over the summer months, it is important to minimize tanning as much as possible. Unprotected sun exposure can increase the risk of side effects such as skin discoloration, blistering and scarring. It’s important that you provide extra protection for your skin during the summer months using a good SPF 60 or above, and limit your sun exposure, especially to areas that are being treated.
Tattoo Removal Post-Care Tips:
- For the next 24 hours: A cold compress and elevation are recommended to help reduce discomfort and inflammation.
- Avoid for the next 24 hours: Physical activity, hot showers and saunas.
- Apply for the next 3 days: Aquaphor, Elta MD Post Balm, Neosporin, Polysporin or A&D Oinment with bandage. Any of these ointments will work. Change the dressing daily.
- Avoid for the next 1-2 weeks: Direct sun exposure, hot tubs, pool water and salt water until tattoo is healed.
- Keep the treated area clean and dry while it is healing. Clean the area with antibacterial soap if needed and then pat the area dry. AVOID HIGH-PRESSURE WATER HITTING THE TREATED AREA.
- Some scabbing, blistering, light bleeding and itching may occur. Immediately after treatment, there may be erythema (redness) and edema (swelling) at the treatment site. This usually lasts 2 hours or longer. The erythema may last up to 10 days.
- Do not pop blisters. If you do blister, continue to apply one of the recommended ointments until the blister has popped naturally.
- 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
- You may notice that blistering may occur in some treatments and not others. If blistering does not occur, it does not mean that your most recent treatment was less aggressive or your treatment is not working. Sometimes your body will react, while other times it will not. Regardless, the treatment is working.
- You may take only Tylenol to help with discomfort. Please avoid aspirins, ibuprofens and naproxens because they may increase the risk of bruising and/or bleeding.
- Shaving should be avoided in the treated area until it is completely healed (5-10 days).
- Please apply sunscreen everyday to the treated area after the tattoo has completely healed (5-10 days), even if clothing covers the treated area. Sun will travel through your shirt or pants. The use of sunscreen everyday on the area will also help the ink absorb and help with itching.
- No active tan, self-tanner, bronzers or spray tan 4-6 weeks before and after treatment.
- Massage the treated area 5-10 minutes daily after treated area has healed (5-10 days). Daily massage will help ink absorb.
- Remember, not all tattoos will clear 100%. Your tattoo may just fade.
- Please call your primary care physician if an infection occurs.
- If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.
- Remember: Drink lots of water!
Follow these simple suggestions, and you will have the best possible tattoo removal outcome!