Congratulations on making a decision to have your tattoo removed. You may have been considering this step for some time; we’re glad that you are taking the opportunity to fully educate yourself about the process. Like our other clients, you are probably wondering what the healing process will look like. Although no two people heal in identical ways, we’ve broken down the whole experience and explained what you can reasonably expect below.
How will I feel on the day of my treatment?
Let’s be honest, you may feel a little nervous on the day of your first treatment, but you probably want to know how you will feel after the treatment, right? You will definitely feel a little sore, but don’t worry, not kidney stone level sore! If you feel any discomfort, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever, (although avoid aspirin, as it’s a blood thinner).
Most people are fine to walk out and continue with their normal day, so don’t worry about being an invalid (unless you are going for sympathy points and trying to avoid a physical task…) When you get home, apply ice packs to the area; this will prevent heat blisters from forming and will relieve any soreness. Don’t apply any bandages or dressings.
What will happen to my skin after each treatment?
We use the most up-to-date technology possible when it comes to our lasers: the Quanta EVO and the PicoWay. They work by producing pulses of light energy that heat up the ink and break it down into tiny particles. The frequency of light used specifically targets ink, meaning that the ink particles are broken down (and then gradually flushed out by your body), but not the skin itself.
Immediately after your treatment, your skin may look white. Don’t worry about this – it’s perfectly normal. It happens because the laser has penetrated the ink and your body is already beginning the healing process.
Your skin may tingle or itch (as if you have a sunburn) for a few days. It may look red for a week or even for two weeks, but this isn’t anything to be concerned about.
You may experience slight swelling for up to a week after your treatment, and in some cases, the skin may blister.
After 1-2 weeks, your scabs and any crusting over should fall off, and any blisters should have peeled (but do not touch them or “help” them pop – no matter how tempting that may be!)
What precautions should I take?
Avoid hot tubs and swimming pools for the first 3 days. This may be frustrating, but it’s not as bad as when you had to avoid swimming for two weeks when you got the tattoo! Avoid direct sunlight in between treatments (appointments will be spaced at least 6-8 weeks apart) and for at least 2 months after your final appointment.
Just remember that if you have to be out in the sun, wear protective clothing or a bandage. If you prefer not to, you could also apply a sunblock with an SPF of 50 or higher.
What if my skin is dark?
It’s possible to cause permanent whitening or darkening when treating tattoos on dark skin, so we are less aggressive with each treatment. Some colors can’t be removed from dark skin tones without permanent discoloration. When we see you at your first consultation, we will tell you honestly what to expect based on your individual tattoo and skin tone. If you have dark skin and wish to be extra cautious, keep your tattoo out of direct sunlight for 2 months before your first treatment and also for 6 months afterward.
Is there anything I can do to help my body with the healing process?
Thank you for asking! Yes, indeed; there are lots of things you can do to help your body.
In general, keep the area clean and moisturized. You can still work out, (but if you are having a large tattoo removed, take it easy for the first 2 days after treatment). You can shower, but avoid soaking in any baths or hot tubs while your scabs are still healing. Don’t swim until after your skin is healed, either. Make sure not to pick at, scratch, or knock any scabs; it’s human nature to want to do this, but resist the urge. Scabs need to be allowed to fall off naturally in order to prevent scarring or infection.
Another thing you can do to speed up your healing process is to foster a healthy immune system. Here are some ways you can help that along:
- Stay hydrated (and avoid alcohol as much as possible)
- Avoid smoking
- Get adequate rest
- Exercise regularly
- Eat nutritious foods, particularly those with anti-inflammatory properties
- Try to avoid stress (we know – this is easier said than done. Maybe don’t read the news for a while…)
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 that you trust. Before you commit to anything, you can come in for a free consultation here at Ink-B-Gone, the leading laser tattoo removers in Colorado. We will gladly answer any questions you have with full transparency.