Many people have tattoos that they regret getting. Fortunately, advances in technology have made it possible to remove these past mistakes from the skin. Laser tattoo removal involves fracturing the colored pigments of the tattoo with a machine that emits a high-intensity beam of light. To prevent skin infections, changes in skin texture, and other undesirable side effects, it’s crucial to follow all aftercare instructions provided by your dermatologist. Use the following tips to make your recovery as quick and painless as possible.
1. Keep the Area Clean and Dry
It’s normal to experience a variety of side effects after laser tattoo removal. The most common side effects include redness, swelling, scabbing, tenderness, blistering, bruising, and hypo- or hyper-pigmentation of the treatment site. To help the area heal, it’s crucial to gently clean the affected skin with mild soap and water. Pat the area dry after each cleansing, bath, or shower.
2. Deal with Blisters Wisely
If a tattoo is fairly new, dense with ink, or if the skin is highly sensitive, an individual may experience blistering after the treatment. Blistering may appear as one or more bubbles on the top layer of skin. Blistering will typically last three to five days and should not be disturbed during this healing period. If a blister becomes painful, carefully puncture it with a sterilized needle. Allow the blister to drain and promptly apply an antibiotic ointment and cover with gauze.
3. Apply a Cool Compress for Pain
Some individuals experience mild discomfort after their treatment, similar to a sunburn. To reduce this discomfort, apply cool compresses to the affected area as needed in the days following the procedure. Cool compresses can also reduce common inflammation and swelling of the skin. Over-the-counter pain relief medications can also be administered. Avoid taking aspirin as it can increase your risk of bleeding and bruising.
4. Wear Loose, Soft Clothing
Redness and tenderness of the treatment site is very common after laser tattoo removal. These side effects can occur for up to 72 hours after the procedure. This redness simply indicates that the top layer of skin is very sensitive and should be handled with caution. To avoid friction of the skin, wear loose, soft clothing that will not irritate the skin. Breathable cotton is ideal.
5. Do Not Pick at the Affected Area
If the area becomes irritated or itchy, you may be tempted to touch or pick at the skin as it heals. As your hands may contain harmful bacteria, it’s crucial not to touch the healing skin unless necessary for cleaning purposes. If the area has crusted over, do not pick at the scabs, as this can cause permanent scarring. The treatment site should also not be shaved until the skin is completely healed.
Recovery after laser tattoo removal is fairly quick and the risk of infection is relatively low. By following the tips above, you can minimize your risk of infection and other health problems even more. By following proper skin care instructions, you can safely have your tattoo removed without further issues.