The unwanted ink absorbs the light energy, instantly heats up, and shatters. The shattered ink particles are then steadily removed by the body's immune system. Meanwhile, the surrounding skin tissue remains unharmed. After your appointment is it very important to follow our aftercare instructions. See below for everything you need to know about caring for your skin after a laser tattoo removal treatment.
The tattoo removal laser treatment may create a superficial burn wound. Some patients may experience bruising or swelling. There is immediate whitening of the treated area, which usually lasts for several minutes. Many clients then develop blisters, crusts, or scabs within 8-72 hours, which may last 1-2 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 very rare. Loss of skin pigment in the treated area can occur, and is temporary except in very rare cases. Healing is usually complete within 4 weeks, although this may vary.
1. Keep the treated area clean and dry while it is healing. Clean area gently with soap and water and then pat the area dry. You may apply thin coating of Vitamin E oil up to three times a day for 3 days while the area is healing DO NOT apply Vitamin E oil to any area that have blistered until they scab over then apply Vitamin E oil and you should keep the area covered with a sterile dressing for 3 days.
2. Blistering is common and is likely to occur 8 hours after you treatment. Do not be alarmed, blisters heal very well and are part of the normal healing process. Blisters indicate your body's immune system is healing the area and beginning to remove the ink from your tattoo. It is natural for blisters to pop, and this helps the skin to heal faster in many cases. Continue to put antibiotic ointment over the blisters once they have popped for at least 24 hours.
3. You may apply cool compresses as necessary for 24 hours after the laser treatment to help reduce discomfort and inflammation. You may take plain Tylenol, but avoid aspirin (it can increase the risk of bruising and/or bleeding.)
4. 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.
5. Feel free to shower 2 hours after the treatment, but take care to avoid high pressure water hitting the treated area. Baths, hot tubs, swimming pools, or any form of soaking aren't recommended until all blistering and scabbing are completely healed, as they may increase risk of infection.
6. Exercise is generally safe after treatment, taking into account the other after care instructions provided here.
7. Wear a sun block with an SPF of 25 or higher over the area for 3 months following the treatment. Do not wear makeup or any cream or medication on or near the treated area, unless recommended by our office, for 48 hours.
8. Itching is very common due to the dehydrating effect of the laser treatment. Use Aquaphor, Vitamin E oil, or hydrocortisone cream to the treatment area. APPLYING VITAMIN E OIL DIRECTLY TO AREA DAILY IS RECOMMENDED!
9. If the area looks infected (honey colored crusting and oozing or spreading redness), if you experience an unusual discomfort or bleeding, if any other complications develop, or if you have any questions or concerns, contact the office immediately.
10. Of course, if you have any extreme reaction, call 911 and go to the emergency department.
To relieve a blister that is the after effect of tattoo removal please follow the steps listed below:
- Wash your hands
- Use a new Lancet or fine sterilized needle. You can clean the needle by wiping it with rubbing alcohol or by boiling it in water.
- Use the needle to puncture the blister at the edge of its base.
- Let the fluid drain, but leave the overlying skin in tact. Do not pick or disturb the blister in any other way.
- With a clean napkin or tissue lightly press out any remaining fluid.
- Once the blister is drained apply very small peas sized mouth of antibiotic ointment to the blister with a Q-tip and let it air-dry.
This should only be done if the blister is still very small.
When you notice the blister filling back up, relate the above steps and remember to puncture the blister in the same spot.
The blister should subside in 24-48 hours, it is rare that you should have to do this more then twice, but if that's the case consult our office first.
Avoid soaking it in water, heat, over bandaging, friction, or exercise during the blisters healing process.
Never use the same needle or lancet twice unless it has been thoroughly cleaned and sterilized.
As always, should you have any questions please call our office at 802-777-8949 during regular business hours or email us anytime via Info@VermontLaserServices.com