The Complete Laser Tattoo Removal Aftercare Routine

September 20, 2021

The Complete Laser Tattoo Removal Aftercare Routine

In this article:

  • The tattoo removal process:
    What to expect
  • Potential side effects of tattoo removal
  • Simple tattoo removal aftercare tips

Ink Be Gone! The Tattoo Removal Process

Remember your mother's warning that "tattoos are like marriages -- a lifelong commitment"? Well, things are changing! In the United States, 41 percent of all first marriages end in divorce. Similarly, 25% of those with a tattoo say they regret getting it. For a while, tattoos outlived marriages and divorces. But now, thanks to laser treatments, you can remove unwanted ink from your skin like it was never there to begin with.

Tattoos are created by using needles to penetrate the deepest layer of the skin and deposit tattoo ink at various depths. Over time tattoos can become faded and blurred due to sun exposure, improper healing, and the body's immune system recognizing tattoo ink as an invader and pushing it out of the skin. However, this process is by no means a "life hack" that will fade unwanted tattoos away! If you want to remove your tattoo safely and effectively, you'll need some help from lasers.

Laser tattoo removal procedures speed up the body's natural ink removal process by shattering tattoo ink particles, making them easy to flush away. During a tattoo removal session, laser light is applied to the skin and shatters the shallowest layer of the ink. Laser tattoo procedures use "Q-switched lasers" or fractional lasers which pulse for nanoseconds at a time, just long enough to shatter the ink without damaging the surrounding skin. Laser tattoo removal treatments only last minutes at a time, and multiple sessions may be required to penetrate stubborn tattoo pigment or treat larger areas.

Potential Side Effects of Tattoo Removal

Though this procedure is a huge advance in the tattoo-removal field and is considered safe and effective, it does come with side effects. Common side effects after a tattoo removal session include:

  • Infection
  • Hypopigmentation (skin whitening)
  • Blistering, scabbing, oozing, and crusting over the treated area
  • Light redness and inflammation

All in all, the tattoo removal process seems to be gentler and easier to manage than the actual tattoo healing process. However, with proper aftercare you can avoid certain side effects from occurring altogether.

Easy Tattoo Removal Aftercare Tips

You're probably ready to get the healing process over and finally have the clear skin you desire! By addressing your body's overall health, adopting a holistic skincare routine, and avoiding certain irritants, you'll be well on your way to crystal clear skin.

What to avoid:

  • Limit sun exposure: Sunburn can cause blisters and scabs to form on and around the treatment area and bring the healing process to a halt. If you can, avoid sun tanning altogether. If you go out in the sun, make sure to use an unscented mineral sunscreen on your body, including the treatment area. Sunblock lotions are easy for "building" protection in small areas such as tattoo removal sites. Use a broad-spectrum formula with a minimum of SPF 30 to protect your skin all summer long.
  • Sorry saunas!: Saunas, hot tubs, swimming pools, and hot showers can damage and irritate your freshly treated skin. Opt for room temperature showers or baths and avoid high-pressure water for the 48 hours following your procedure to avoid further irritation.
  • Keep physical activity to a minimum: Sweat and dirt can clog your skin and cause infections. If you're exercising, cover the treatment area and wash thoroughly to avoid inflammation and infection.
  • Don't take antibiotics: In the two weeks leading up to your appointment, avoid photo-sensitive medications like certain antibiotics. If you're concerned about any possible side effects from medications, consider speaking with your doctor beforehand.
  • Resist the temptation to pick: If scabs and blisters begin to form, resist the urge to pick. This will only cause further blistering and inflammation and can even lead to scarring and infection. Cover it with a bandaid to avoid the temptation and let the body do its thing!
  • Forget perfumey products: Artificial fragrances can irritate the skin. Avoid scented lotions, sunscreens, and body washes as your newly tattoo-free skin heals.

    How to minimize side-effects:
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat clean foods rather than pro-inflammatory and processed foods.
  • Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum.
  • Use unscented mild soap to clean the wound in the shower. Pat, don't rub, dry.
  • Consider taking a natural anti-inflammatory like boswellia serrata for safe pain relief. Other common NSAIDs like ibuprofen and Tylenol can also help to manage pain and inflammation.
  • Apply a cold compress to reduce inflammation and discomfort. Don't leave cool compresses on for too long or they can also irritate the skin.
  • Strengthen your skincare game with collagen. Collagen is crucial for wound recovery and overall skin clarity, elasticity, and health. Oral, not topical collagen supplements can help to speed along the recovery process and keep you looking your best post-procedure.
  • Apply Neosporin, Aquaphor, hydrocortisone cream, or vitamin E ointment to moisturize and nourish the skin throughout the healing process.
  • Try using unscented, colorless aloe vera gel to soothe itching and burning.
  • Detox with glutathione, the body's master antioxidant, to rid your body of toxins which can slow down the healing process and cause the skin to "act out".
  • Get plenty of rest to allow your body the time and energy to heal.

All in all, the tattoo removal process has become pretty seamless. For more information on how to protect your prized ink, improve skin health, and avoid troublesome inflammation, head over to the Amandean blog and learn about how natural supplements can help!

Summary Points

  • Laser tattoo removal procedures speed up the body's natural ink removal process by shattering tattoo ink particles, making them easy to flush away
  • Sunburn can cause blisters and scabs to form on and around the treatment area and compromize the healing process.
  • Consider taking a natural anti-inflammatory like boswellia serrata and get pain relief benefits.
  • Oral, not topical collagen supplements can help to speed along the recovery process and keep you looking your best post-procedure
  • Detox with glutathione, the body's master antioxidant, to rid your body of toxins which can slow down the healing process and cause the skin to "act out"




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