Tattoo Removal Safety: How to care for your skin before and after laser tattoo removal

Tattoo Removal Safety: How to care for your skin before and after laser tattoo removal

Thanks to advancements in laser tattoo removal technology, removing unwanted tattoos is more effective than ever before. Technology like the enlighten™laser by Cutera, allows providers to remove tattoos of all colors, more effectively and in fewer treatments than other devices.

To achieve the best possible results and minimize post treatment complications, follow these guidelines before and after your laser tattoo removal treatment.

Before your tattoo removal treatment:

  • No sun-tanning or self-tanners 2 weeks prior to treatment. Includes spray tans, tanning lotions, tanning beds, sun exposure, etc.
  • Some medications or supplements, such as ibuprofen, may increase the risk of bruising. Your provider will advise you on which medications to avoid prior to treatment.
  • Avoid treatments that may irritate the skin for 1-2 weeks prior to treatment (waxing, depilatories, etc.).
  • Notify your provider of any changes to  your health history or medications since your last appointment.
  • History of herpes or cold sores may require an anti-viral prescription prior to treatment. Notify your provider if you have a history of herpes or cold sores.

After your tattoo removal treatment:

  • Avoid sun exposure for 2 weeks following treatment and use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen.
  • Bruising, redness and swelling are common and resolve with time.
  • Avoid hot tubs, saunas, chlorine, or submerging in water including baths for 7 days.
  • Avoid skin irritants (products containing tretinoin, retinol, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic/salicylic acids, astringents, etc.) until the skin is fully healed and all crusting has resolved.

Tattoo removal wound care instructions:

  • Dressing should be changed twice a day, morning and evening or after a shower in the first three days of treatment.
  • Prior to removing the dressing, wash hands with soap and water, then carefully remove the dressing, gently cleanse the wound with soap and water and pat dry with a clean towel.
  • Apply Neosporin and cover with a large Band-Aid or non-stick gauze dressing and make sure the bandage is not too tight.
  • Some patients may require help of another person to reach treatment area on back.
  • Try not to bump or stretch treated tattoo.
  • Scabbing over the treatment area is expected and may last 7 to 14 days.
  • Do not pick scabs and avoid scrubbing the treated area when bathing.
  • Do not unroof blisters if they occur. Contact your provider if blisters are uncomfortable.
  • Only non-aspirin over-the-counter pain drugs such as acetaminophen should be taken for discomfort after the laser treatment.
  • Contact your provider if any of the following occur:
    • Bleeding that soaks the dressing or bleeding that happens after the first 24 hours
    • Increased redness or swelling
    • Uncomfortable blisters
    • Yellowish or greenish drainage coming out of the wound
    • Persistent pain that last more than 24 hours
    • Fever

Mirabile M.D. of Overland Park offers one of the most effective laser tattoo removal devices available. Learn more about laser tattoo removal treatment.