Skip to main content

Essential Tips for Laser Tattoo Removal Aftercare


Posted May 30, 2024 in Tattoo Removal

If you’ve decided to finally get rid of your tattoo and break up with it once and for all, the only way to get rid of the ink is with a laser treatment. You’ll need a series of treatments, and after each one, the laser tattoo removal aftercare and healing process is the same, so it’s essential to follow it to a T. While it’s normal to have a little bit of discomfort in the treated area, to speed up the rate of healing and keep your skin as healthy as possible, make sure you abide by all of your provider’s laser tattoo removal aftercare tips. Here’s everything you need to know.

Laser Tattoo Removal Basics

Heat is used to break up tattoo pigments in the skin during a laser tattoo removal treatment. By eliminating the pigments in the skin over time, the tattoo itself begins to fade and become less visible. Keep in mind that the skin needs to be treated multiple times for the results to be successful, so you’ll likely need anywhere from six to eight or more treatments, depending on the color, size, location, and age of your tattoo. 

During a laser tattoo removal session, the heat emitted from the laser can cause mild itching, frosting, swelling, burns, or blistering. The skin will likely turn immediately following a treatment and then return to its normal color. Small scabs or blisters may start to form a few hours later and can take a week or so to fall off.  

The Importance of  Laser Tattoo Removal Aftercare

To garner the best results from your laser tattoo removal treatments, it is essential to properly care for your skin after each session. With the right laser tattoo removal aftercare program in place, the skin will heal properly and healthily, and your results will be that much better.

Adhering to a well-rounded laser tattoo removal aftercare program will also help to minimize risks and side effects. No matter where on your body you choose to remove a tattoo using a laser, paying attention to the area immediately following and in the days and weeks post-treatment is critical. This way, you can speed up the overall process for faster, longer-lasting results. 

The Best Practices for Laser Tattoo Removal Aftercare

There’s much to do—and avoid—regarding your laser tattoo removal aftercare plan. Here’s what you’ll want to note to ensure you do and don’t do so that you set your skin up for success.

  • Pay attention to and treat any swelling. It’s normal for the treated areas to swell slightly due to the laser. The skin can also turn red after a treatment. To help minimize any swelling, apply a cold compress to the area and take a Tylenol to help with the symptoms.
  • Keep the area clean. Keeping the skin clean is essential after your laser technician gives you the green light to remove the dressing put over the tattoo (usually a day later). Wash the area twice daily with a gentle cleanser and then pat dry.
  • Stay out of the sun. Exposing the just-treated area to the sun can compromise its healing and cause unwanted issues. Also, always make sure that the tattoo is well-protected with sunscreen.
  • Use a healing serum. A specific healing serum may be recommended to calm and soothe the skin and help speed up the healing process.
  • Don’t pick at the skin. Your skin may swell, blister, and finally scab as it heals, all of which is normal. To ensure that the skin heals properly, don’t pick or pop the blisters or scans. Instead, let the scabs fall off on their own.
  • Steer clear of hair removal methods. If the area where your tattoo is in an area that you usually wax or shave, it’s best to avoid any hair removal methods until the skin is fully healed. Otherwise, the already compromised skin could worsen or even become infected.
  • Keep the skin free of skincare and makeup products. As the skin heals, it needs to breathe, so avoid using lotions, serums (except for the recommended healing one), creams, or makeup during recovery.
  • Steer clear of saunas and hot tubs. Any unnecessary exposure to heat can interfere with the healing process. You also want to avoid any activities that will cause you to sweat, which can disrupt the healing process. Once the skin is fully healed, you can resume your use of the sauna and hot tub. 

Healing Details

The total time it can take to get rid of a tattoo fully can be months because each treatment session needs to heal before the next one. On average, the healing time is a few weeks, and following the post-laser treatment protocol is best. The healing times vary depending on your skin, the color of the tattoo, and how your skin responds to the treatment.

To maintain healthy skin as it heals, keep your skin and body hydrated and well-protected, speeding up the process.

Contact Us

Plastic Surgery Center of Atlanta

5673 Peachtree Dunwoody Road, Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30342

Alchemy Aesthetics

5667 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd #285
Atlanta, GA 30342

Get Directions Request a Consultation
Apply for CareCredit

Stay Social