Not unlike all cosmetic procedures, there are a number of instructions to follow after each laser session. As with all forms of recovery, the healthier you are and the better you take of the treated area, the faster the site will heal and fade.
In this article, we interviewed James Lawless, director of Fade to Blank – Laser Tattoo Removal Sydney and asked him some questions about what patients should take into consideration once they’ve had laser tattoo removal treatment.
Your skin is very sturdy and because laser removal treatments hone in on just the area of your tattoo, it’s very uncommon to experience any bad reactions to the treatment. Extremely high quality, surgical grade lasers are used during the sessions to send short bursts of light ‘shockwaves’ onto the tattoo, ensuring the skin surface doesn’t burn. The process works by these ‘shockwaves’, breaking the large ink particles into smaller ones, which can then be absorbed into your body. Over a period of time, the ink is naturally detoxed from your system.
If you have any concerns or question regarding your after-care program during your sessions or after the completed process, don’t hesitate to contact us.
What should i do after my first session?
During your first session we expect you to have a lot of questions and your technician will be able to answer any concerns you may have. On your first visit for laser treatment we will provide you with a detailed list of instructions, so you’ll know exactly what to expect over the coming months and how to care for the treated area between sessions.
Some of the more common experiences during treatment include:
- Frosting: result of carbon dioxide being brought to the surface of the skin. It’s not uncommon to experience a short period of whitening where the tattoo has been treated.
- Loss of normal skin pigmentation
- Swollen or redden skin
- Blisters or scabs
These are all normal occurrences and nothing to be concerned about. If your body is unable to heal naturally, there’s a greater risk of scarring, so resist the urge to pick at all costs as the scabs are a vital part of your recovery. On average your body will require six to eight weeks after each session in order to completely heal.
After your first session, we’ll treat your skin with antiseptic cream and apply a simple dressing to the treated area. To protect the skin from bacteria or dirt, this should be kept on for 24 hours. In cases where someone has a really dense tattoo or other reasons which may indicate the chance of blistering, we’ll usually supply extra dressing pads to keep the area protected for a longer duration. For difficult areas to protect such as feet, it’s recommended that you to aim to keep it on as long as practical but once it is removed, it cannot be reapplied.
After care instructions – do’s and DON’TS
In addition to the 24-hour basic care instructions, there are other important habits to adhere to during the entire process. It’s vital that you avoid sun exposure, as too much sun can cause changes to the melatonin in your skin and affect how your treatment area will heal. Always use a sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30+ on the treated area between sessions, and for at least two months after treatment has finished.
We also advise that you:
- Don’t pop or pick: scabs and blisters are the body’s way of protecting and healing your skin, so picking or popping them will only slow your healing time down.
- Keep your skin clean and dry: Only use a mild soap to wash the site and gently pat it dry. Using a moisturizer and avoid wearing tight fitting clothing during the healing process is also recommended.
- Don’t wax or shave the treated area
- Avoid all other irritants such as, salt water, spas and saunas or take very hot baths and showers.
What can i do if i am in pain?
The best way to describe the feeling of laser treatment is the effect of a rubber band snapping at the skin. During each session we use a high-tech cooling machine to release chilled air and numb the area being treated – providing you some relief.
The most pain you could feel after each treatment would be similar to a case of mild sunburn and to help ease this we can provide you with a topical cream called EMLA. This cream acts as a numbing agent and should be applied at least one hour before treatment.
For pain relief at home, there are other creams you can apply, as well using cool compresses or over-the-counter medications.
The best opportunity for optimal healing
By following the steps outlined in the after-care instructions you will be giving yourself the best opportunity to heal and the tattoo removal process the best possible outcome. That being said, should there be any concerns about your healing process including extreme pain or infection after your treatment, please call us for advice.