Aftercare for Tattoo Removal

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Once you have a tattoo removed, it is important to follow up with proper aftercare to prevent further complications and complete healing. The laser used to remove a tattoo may cause a superficial burn wound, as well as bruising or swelling. Scabs, blisters or crusts may develop that may last up to 2 weeks. The entire healing process after laser removal should be complete in 6 to 8 weeks.

The Healing Process

For the first 24 to 48 hours after the laser removal, you can use a cool compress directly on the area for any inflammation or discomfort. After the laser removal and until the area is completely healed, be sure to clean the site with soap and water and gently pat dry. A light application of antibiotic ointment, like either Neosporin, Triple Antibiotic or Savalon, can be applied to the area up to three times daily, but be sure you cover it with a sterile dressing. The site may develop a scab or crust, which is normal. Make sure you don't pick at the area or allow the scab or crust to get a cut or scrap. If this happens, the site may become infected. If so, seek medical attention.

Things to Avoid

Because aspirin thins the blood, do not take it during the healing process. Instead, take Paracetamol for pain or inflammation.

Shaving is not recommended until the area is completely healed.

Use no scented lotions without artificial colours.

You should use at least SPF 25 on the area during any sun exposure for up to 3 months after removal.

Steroids or blood thinners may interact with the healing process. Consult your physician if you are on any of these medications before laser tattoo removal.

Pay Attention

Because everyone is different, it is important to pay attention to any skin changes you may notice. Redness, burning, bruising, whiteness, scabs, blisters, crusts and swelling are normal for 1 to 2 weeks. If the site is seeping or excessively inflamed or a rash or small pimples develop, seek medical attention immediately.

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