Laser Tattoo Removal Aftercare: How to Heal Faster

Removing your tattoo with laser can be a painful process, but if you remain diligent with your tattoo removal aftercare, then you will be healed-up in no time.

When starting the sessions for tattoo removal, most of us are unsure how to take care of our skin to make sure that it will heal correctly.

Even though it is a simple, out-patient procedure, by following the aftercare instructions to a "T," you ensure the best possible results.

To help you as much as we can, we went under the process of getting an old, poorly done tattoo removed with laser:

laser tattoo removal

So, how can we ensure a proper tattoo removal aftercare?

  • Avoid the sun.
  • Don't use cosmetics.
  • Stay away from swimming.
  • Keep the area clean.
  • Wash the area with mild, fragrance free soap.
  • Use fragrance-free moisturizer.

Caring for your skin and healing wound ensures that the healing process will progress quickly and without complications.

We know how stressful tattoo removal aftercare can be, which is why we have laid out everything that you need to know.

3 Things to Avoid After Laser Tattoo Removal

Much like after you got the tattoo, after you remove it, there are a few things that you should avoid if you don't want to get an infection or prolong the healing process.

#1 Sun

If possible, avoid any exposure to the sun within the first 15 days or until the area is visibly healed.

After that period, it's a smart idea to wear a strong sunblock for three or more months after the final removal session. 

#2 Makeup

Putting makeup on the healing area can cause excessive irritation, so it is best to avoid using any cosmetics on the skin until the wound has healed completely

The same goes for scented lotions. The fragrant components within the lotion can cause the skin to become agitated.

#3 Stay Out Of The Water

Yes, you can shower- more on that later. However, proper tattoo removal aftercare requires you to stay away from swimming, soaking in a bath or jacuzzi, or any other activity the involves your removal site to be submerged in water for an extended amount of time.

It is best to avoid these activities until every scab and blister heals completely.

Water contains a massive amount of bacteria, leading to scarring and infection on a healing removal area.

How Long Does Tattoo Removal Take to Heal?

To get your best results, it is best to wait 6-8 weeks between sessions. This is best for maintaining the quality and health of your skin.

This question is a popular one for many people when considering removing a tattoo. The truth is that the completion time of the process has a lot to do with meeting your expectations and the area's size.

Completely removing a tattoo requires multiple sessions. Depending on the overall tattoo's size and opacity, the number of sessions usually varies from six to eight weeks.

How Long Are The Sessions?

The sessions can go from 1-2 minutes for small tattoos up to 40-60 minutes for very large tattoos.

Laser tattoo removal

Colors and the location of the tattoo can impact session times, as well. If your tattoo is located somewhere with particularly sensitive skin, the tech may lean towards caution to properly ensure the skin heals.

What Should I Put on Skin After Laser Tattoo Removal?

Most importantly, you have to keep the skin clean and dry. Flaky, cracked skin means a better chance for infection during the tattoo removal aftercare process.

Avoid applying makeup and other creams or lotions to the area for at least 48 hours.

To ensure a better healing process we need:

  • Fragrance-free, mild soap
  • Bandages (optional)
  • Fragrance-free moisturizer

After you gently clean the area with soap and water and have dried it, you can cover the healing area with antibiotic ointment and a bandage. 

You only have to do this the first 3 days of healing after the treatment.

TIP: If using bandages, be sure to change them at least 3 times during this period.

 

Until the skin heals, moisturization is critical.

Stick with a fragrance-free ointment and ensure that it is not medicated -medicated creams can lead to excessive blistering -. 

When Can I Shower After Laser Tattoo Removal?

Always check with your tech or your doctor, but you are usually safe to take a shower about 2 hours after a removal session.

Showering is usually one of the top concerns while adhering to your tattoo removal aftercare. Many people wonder whether or not they can get the area wet and if they can wash it.

Read also: Can you shower after a new tattoo?

Most professionals recommend that you don't let the water get too hot and that you don't allow the pulsating water to come into direct contact with the healing area.

The longer you wait to take a shower, the longer your skin has a chance to develop a protective barrier at the removal site.

Soaking the Area 

Soaking the area promotes the chance to develop an infection or prolong the healing process. 

It's best to keep this in mind when you are in the shower, as well. Quickly and gently clean your tattoo with mild soap, and make sure you limit the healing skin's exposure to the water.

Does Skin Look Normal After Tattoo Removal?

In most cases, the skin returns to its standard look and feel 3 to 6 months after your final laser session. If you take care of your skin properly while healing, then your skin will be back to normal within months.

Right after getting a tattoo removed, expect the area to be swollen and the skin to be red. 

Tattoo before removal: 

tattoo before removal

Tattoo after first session of laser removal:

tattoo after removal

Practicing good tattoo removal aftercare helps your skin heal faster and with better results. Still, experiencing some weariness about how your skin will look after laser removal is understandable.

Raised Skin

If the skin area was already raised from a poor tattoo application, you may notice some irregularities. Your skin may look a little lighter in reference to skin tone, and it may appear raised or look like scar tissue.

Read also: Raised tattoos: what you should know

Always share your concerns with the healthcare professional performing the treatment sessions. They can give you advice on a case-by-case basis, which provides the most relevant information and advice.

Laser Tattoo Removal and Exercise: 3 Things You Should Know

Wanting to get back into your routine is entirely understandable. Here is what you have to consider to make sure you aren't compromising your tattoo removal aftercare for the sake of a workout.

Read also: Can you workout after getting a tattoo?

#1 Avoid exercise the first 48h

Most professionals recommend that you abstain from exercising for at least 1-2 days after each treatment. The wait time is potentially different for every person depending on how fast they are healing.

Smaller tattoos have a lesser wait time. After each treatment on a little tattoo, you can get back to your fitness routine within about twenty-four hours.

Likewise, for huge tattoos waiting at least two days or more is advised. As the area is much bigger, it typically takes more time to heal.

#2 Use Common Sense

It is always a good idea to use your best discretion when determining if you are clear to get in a sweat session. Immediately exercising following a removal session may cause swelling or blistering.

#3 Stop if Something Feels Wrong

If you notice that area becoming irritated or swollen, immediately stop exercising. Give your skin another two days to heal and rest, and then decide if it is safe to resume your workouts.

What to Expect After Laser Tattoo Removal

After each treatment, some of the most common side effects include:

  • Minor redness
  • Swelling
  • Tingling sensation
  • Itching
  • Mild blistering, which is a good sign of proper healing.
  • Sunburn
  • Mild skin discoloration

Many of the side effects depend on your skin type and sensitivity.

These symptoms are not necessarily a sign of any bigger problem, and it is essential to remember that it a normal reaction that your body is having to the treatment.

If you keep up with the proper tattoo removal aftercare, your experienced side effects, reaction, and healing time will be much shorter and less intense.

Summary

Even the best tattoos that we were so sure we'd keep forever can become an eyesore or just no longer suit your taste. Luckily, we have tattoo removal to ensure that we can be comfortable in our skin, no matter our previous choices.

The success of your treatment is very dependent on managing your tattoo removal aftercare well. Keeping your tattooed skin clean, dry, and well-moisturized helps keep you more comfortable and lessens your chance of infection.

Always consult your healthcare professional regarding any aftercare measures or concerns you may have as your tattoo removal heals.

Our mission is to inspire and educate the tattoo community. We have combined our many years of experience in the industry and our love for tattoos to create useful and enlightening content. Join us in this exciting journey in the beautiful art of tattooing.
Welcome to Sorry Mom.

- Rasmus Cort Hansen, CEO & Founder