Pre-Post Care Protocol for Tattoo Removal
Laser tattoo removal is the most effective way known for removing undesired ink from the skin. Every year, there are significantly more patients undergoing laser treatment. Experts estimate that around 11 percent of those who have tattoos choose to get them removed at some point.The vast majority of our clients have a lot of questions about the procedure itself. However, it is essential to have an understanding that the process is not over after the ink has been removed. You need to take care of your skin after each treatment. Aftercare that is performed correctly might actually hasten the removal process.Are you looking for advice on how to take care of your skin as it heals? Continue reading for an in-depth look at the before & aftercare protocols for laser tattoo removal.
- Avoid direct sun exposure, tanning bed, and tanning products for 4 weeks prior to each treatment
- Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide daily for the duration of treatments.
- Do not use medications that cause photosensitivity (such as doxycycline and
- minocycline) for at least 72 hours prior to each treatment.
- If you have a history of herpes (oral cold sores, genital) or shingles in the treatment area, please see your family physician and start your anti- viral medication (valacyclovir, acyclovir) as directed for 2 days prior to treatment and continue for 2 days after treatment.
- Immediately after treatment, apply a wrapped cool compress or wrapped ice pack to the treatment area for 15 minutes every 1-2 hours or as directed.
- The area may feel warm, appear swollen, reddish, or bruised. Blistering or scabbing can occur particularly if ice is not applied as directed and will generally, heal in 1-2 weeks.
- Discomfort typically resolves within 1 day and can be relieved with icing.
- If the skin is irritated (without scabs or bleeding), apply sunscreen SPF 30 or greater daily. A bandage of gauze and paper tape may be applied over the area if desired, but this is not needed.
- If the tattoo is in an area prone to abrasion, for example, where pants or bra straps contact skin, keep the tattoo dressed until fully healed, and the skin is no longer shiny.
- Avoid activities that can cause flushing for 24 hours after treatment or until any swelling resolves.
- Avoid products that can cause irritations for 1 week following treatment.
- If blistering, crusting, or scabbing develops, contact our office immediately.
- Use bacitracin or Aquaphor daily to keep the area moist, place a bandage over the area (as described above), and replace it every day until all scabs are fully healed to prevent infection.
- Do not pick any crusted or scabbed areas as it may interfere with healing and cause scarring.
- Keep the area clean with gentle cleansing. Do not rub the area with a washcloth or towel; pat dries instead.
- Avoid direct contact with hot water (e.g., hot tubs, saunas) for 1 week following treatment.
- If swimming or participating in water activities, cover the tattoo with polysporin and gauze and place a Tegaderm (or another waterproof bandage) on top of the gauze with at least 1 in adhesive around the gauze.
Following laser treatment, the average time needed for full recovery is between four and eight weeks. However, the pace of recovery might be sped up or slowed down depending on the choices you make during this time.The length of time it takes to recover is contingent not only on the kind of treatment you had but also on the state of your immune system and how well you adhered to your aftercare instructions. Your efforts after the laser treatment are just as vital to the overall process as the laser treatment itself.You may accelerate the healing process by several weeks just by remaining hydrated and maintaining a strong immune system, for instance. This alone can have an effect. In addition, by protecting your wound, you won’t have to worry about opening the scab, which will allow the wound to heal more smoothly.
Ready to get started?