Laser tattoo removal is among the safest and easiest methods to get rid of unwanted tattoos. The process is designed to stimulate the body’s own natural processes for cleansing skin. For anyone considering laser tattoo removal, here are the important things to know.
In general, the best way to prepare for each laser treatment session is by keeping the tattoo area completely clean, protected, and free of skincare products. Here are some specific instructions:
- Avoid using any skincare products or fragrances prior to treatment, except sunblock.
- Avoid using tanning lotion for two weeks before treatment.
- Avoid sun exposure in general.
- Especially avoid tanning beds for a full month before treatment.
There are also several proactive ways to prepare for treatment:
- Follow any instructions given at your consultation, especially any prescriptions.
- Use broad-spectrum sunblock on a daily basis (at least 30 SPF).
- Bathe or shower before the treatment. The tattoo area should be totally clean.
- Notify us of any medical spa services received throughout the treatment area.
The initial consultation will determine how the treatment should proceed. Your personal laser tattoo removal provider will inquire about your recent medical history, get a sense of your treatment goals, and explain the process in detail. The tattoo area will be cleansed, and the provider will examine the area and provide realistic expectations for you.
Patients and technicians wear protective eye gear during treatment. Every area of the patient’s body is covered except the treatment area. The treatment time for tattoo removal varies but can be finished in as short as 15 minutes. Laser tattoo removal causes considerable pain at the time of the treatment. Topical lidocaine is applied over the tattoo and left in place prior to treatment for 15 to 20 minutes. If the tattoo is large or the patient is sensitive, the ProNox system (nitrous oxide gas) is suggested to make the procedure more comfortable.
Following the procedure, some blistering or scabbing of the tattoo is common. The amount will depend on how high the energy of the laser is at the time of the procedure. The patient can choose higher energy, which will mean a lesser number of treatments, or a lower energy, where there is less skin reaction but more treatments will be needed.
The tattoo dye is removed by the body’s inflammatory cells following the breaking down in size of the dye particles by the laser. So, the use of anti-inflammatory medications following the procedure will be counterproductive to the clearing out of the dye. Try to avoid any anti-inflammatory medications for six weeks after your procedure. The removal will not become evident for several months while the body’s processes break down the ink.
- Avoid exercise for several days.
- Avoid immersing the tattoo in any kind of water for at least the first 3 weeks after treatment.
- Avoid prolonged sun exposure in general, and especially avoid tanning beds for a full month following treatment.
- Avoid any aggressive touch on the treatment area such as scratching, picking, scrubbing, or shaving. It is important to let the area heal on its own.
- Avoid anti-inflammatory medications for six weeks after the procedure.
- Patients are free to use ice packs (in 20-30 minute intervals) or use over-the-counter pain relief medicine to minimize discomfort.
- Use a gentle soap once daily to clean the treatment area. Gently pat the skin dry.
- To protect and moisturize the area, use a non-adhering bandage. Gently apply a post-laser gel twice daily for 7-10 days or until the area is healed.
- Return for a follow-up assessment after 2-3 months.
Scheduling a consultation with us is the best step for assessing treatment. There are multiple ways to schedule a consultation. Connect with us by phone at 330.725.0569 or complete our online form and someone will reach out shortly.