You are likely eager to watch as your unwanted tattoo slowly disappears now that you have started your laser tattoo removal treatments. You may be wondering how you can care for the area where you have the unwanted tattoo in order to reduce potential side effects and to help you feel as comfortable as possible at the treatments are carried out and as you recover. Like many other laser treatments, laser tattoo removal is likely to cause a bit of discomfort right after the treatment is performed.
The first thing that you should understand is how the treatment works. The goal is to break up pigment in the tattoo by using heat from the laser. This will allow your body to naturally remove the particles. You may experience some swelling, itching, blistering, or minor burns because of the way your skin will come in contact with the laser. Your skin will likely be white right after the treatment. This will only last for a couple of minutes. Anywhere from 12 to 24 hours after the treatment, you may start seeing some blisters and then scabs. It usually takes about a week or two for these to go away. It is common for people to notice a loss of pigment in the area that will receive treatment. This is temporary. Complete healing after one treatment usually takes about two months.
There are several things that you can do to prevent or reduce negative side effects. Pay attention to these specific things after each treatment session.
1. Right after your laser tattoo removal session, it is likely that frosting will occur. The quick heating of the skin can lead to plasma or gas forming. Carbon dioxide is released from the skin, which causes the frosting. Redness and swelling are also likely to occur. You can use a cold compress in order to reduce discomfort for the first 24 hours after the treatment. You may also take ibuprofen or Tylenol to reduce inflammation and discomfort. You want to avoid the use of aspirin.
2. It is necessary for you to keep the area that was treated dry and clean. The initial dressing should not be removed for the first 8 to 12 hours. After that time period, you will need to clean the area twice a day using water and a mild soap.
3. You want to treat your skin gently in the days after your treatment session. An aftercare ointment may be recommended by the professional who performs your treatment. The ointment will likely be soothing to the skin and promote healing. This is typically applied about three days after the treatment. No dressing needs to be applied after the initial bandage is removed.
4. Be careful to not disturb your skin while it is healing. It is normal to see blisters and scabs form after the treatment. Make sure that you do not rub or scratch them. Do not pop any blisters. This is a natural process that the skin goes through in order to heal itself. If you notice the blisters starting to ooze, a dressing may be applied to the area. This dressing will need to be changed twice a day until the drainage stops. If the blister causes a lot of pain, it is good to get in touch with us.
5. Shaving should be avoided until the area is healed. It is important to avoid using certain types of medicated creams, lotions, and makeup unless they have been approved by the doctor. Do not go swimming or spend time in a sauna until the area is healed. Make sure to apply sunblock after the first three months of treatment.
6. If you start to experience an extreme reaction, contact the office where you had the treatment performed. Extreme reactions would include facial swelling, moderate to severe rashes, difficulty breathing, moderate to severe itching, or unusual bleeding or discomfort.
If you are interested in learning more about laser tattoo removal, contact InkAway today. We would be happy to help you get rid of your unwanted ink.