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Laser Tattoo Removal Treatment Guidelines

Pre Treatment Guidelines

  • Avoid sun exposure, tanning beds, and self-tanner for at least 4 weeks prior to treatment. Sun exposure decreases the effectiveness of the laser treatment and can increase the chance of post-treatment complications.
    • Use SPF 1 hour before sun exposure and every 2 hours when in the sun, and keep tattoo completely covered.

Day of Treatment Instructions

  • Avoid lotion, creams, make-up in area to be treated.
  • Arrive with clean, washed skin without make-up or topicals.
  • Update your provider on any changes in skin condition, medical history, supplements, and over the counter medications.
  • You cannot be treated if you have active cold sores, herpes simplex open sores or sunburns within the treatment area.

What to Expect

  • The laser tattoo removal treatment may create a superficial burn wound, some patients may experience bruising or swelling. Immediate whitening of the treated area is to be expected which usually lasts several minutes. Many patients also develop blisters, crusts, or scabs within 12-72 hours; these may last 1-2 weeks. The treated areas may appear pink or pale after the scab separates – loss of skin pigment in the treated area is common and is usually temporary. Healing is typically complete by 6-8 weeks.

Post Treatment Guidelines

  • Wash twice every day with Dial gold and apply Polysporin.
  • You may apply a thin coating of antibiotic ointment while the area is healing if you keep the area covered with a sterile dressing.
    • Wash, treat and bandage at least 2x per day (no more than 3x per day).
  • Water in first 24 hours after treatment will interrupt the process initiated by the laser.
  • The treatment area will get itchy, it is very important that you DO NOT scratch or apply heavy lotions to soothe.
    • Itchiness is caused by dryness, the ink needs to dry out in order to be broken up and eventually leave the skin. Scratching will increase the risk of scarring.
  • You may take either acetaminophen or ibuprofen alternating as needed.
  • You may apply cool compresses as necessary for 24 hours after the laser treatment to help reduce discomfort or inflammation.
  • SPF 30 OR HIGHER MUST BE WORN FOR THREE MONTHS AFTER EACH TREATMENT.

Avoid the Following for 7 Days Post Treatment

  • Sweating.
  • Shaving.
    • If crusting/scabbing occurs, do not shave, pick or allow the scab to become scraped, as this may result in infection and scarring.
  • Pools, hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms, ocean water or swimming/soaking of any kind.
  • Makeup, topical lotions or heavy creams unless advised by our office, tanning lotions or spray tans.