Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could tell you that if you simply took one pill or drank one potion your tattoo would vanish in an instant? Unfortunately, there is no magic wand to wave, and if there were, maybe we should wish for winning lottery numbers instead…or world peace…definitely world peace!
However, there are steps you can take to make the process go more smoothly and efficiently. When you have laser tattoo removal, the laser directs pulses of light energy to your dermis. This breaks down the particles of ink so that they can be flushed out of your body by your immune system. It isn’t possible to break down all of the ink in one session.
Generally, the ink particles in the shallowest part of your dermis will break down first and be flushed from your body, and the ink in deeper layers will then be shattered in subsequent sessions. In every case, large specialized cells called macrophages will move the (now much smaller) ink particles to your lymph nodes. From the lymph nodes, the particles can then be processed out of the body. This is a process that can’t be rushed, which is why laser tattoo removal is a lengthy process and why you will need several weeks between each session.
Can Anything Be Done to Help Speed up the Process?
Yes, definitely. You can take steps to strengthen your immune system so that it can do its job efficiently and get rid of ink particles quickly after each laser treatment.
- Refrain from smoking. This is always an important health tip, but especially vital when trying to give your immune system its best shot at doing a good job. According to the CDC, smoking not only harms the immune system but also compromises its balance.
- Exercise regularly. Again, this is a health tip that has numerous benefits. It is especially beneficial in helping your tattoo fade because exercise increases your blood circulation. This means that the ink particles will be flushed out more quickly. (It is also the reason tattoos closer to the heart fade faster than tattoos on bony areas of the body, like the ankles, toes, hands, or fingers.) Keep in mind the fact that it is possible to overexercise. Your body can’t focus on removing microscopic ink particles if it is prioritizing repairing muscles that have been overworked. It is also important not to overtire yourself (as you will see in the next tip).
- Get enough rest. According to the Sleep Foundation, CDC, Mayo Clinic, and every research study online, “consistent sleep strengthens the immune system, allowing for balanced and effective immune function.”
- One way to increase blood flow to the tattoo area is to massage it gently. You wouldn’t do this immediately after a session, of course. Allow your skin time to heal; if any blisters have formed, let them fall off on their own. However, once your skin is healed, try increasing blood flow around the area of your tattoo by gently massaging it.
- Drink a lot. Sorry, no, not alcohol. Hydration is a great way to speed up the drainage of the tattoo particles. Water is the best way to hydrate. Conversely, alcohol is a diuretic that dehydrates your body. If you get sick of water, try these liquids: milk, fruit-infused water (without sugar), fruit juice, or sports drinks.
- Reduce stress. Stress produces the hormone cortisol – and cortisol can cause inflammation. Stress can also decrease white blood cells called lymphocytes; these help to ward off infection.
- Eat nutritious foods. What does this mean? It means avoiding fried or charred foods, foods with highly refined carbs, and foods full of added sugar or salt. Instead, try to eat a diet including foods that boost the immune system, such as:
- Oily fish
- Sweet potatoes
- Red bell peppers
- Stay out of the sun between visits as much as possible. Always use sunblock with an SPF of at least 50.
- This last tip goes without saying because our patients are the best but always follow your aftercare instructions. You may want to read our blog, How to Treat Laser Tattoo Removal in 2022 for our best after-treatment advice.
Every person and every tattoo is different, so ask our experts!
When you’re ready to look into laser tattoo removal, it’s important to find a professional and expert technician you trust. Before you can commit to anything, you can come in for a free consultation here at Ink-B-Gone, the leading laser tattoo removers in Colorado. Many of our clients even visit us from out of state!
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