How to Prepare for and Recover From Tattoo Removal

James E. Murphy, MD Oct 3, 2017

Tattoo Recovery — Neck Recovering from Tattoo Removal in Reno, NV

When you get a tattoo, the needle places the ink under the outermost layers of skin. This can make it extremely difficult to remove a tattoo and will probably require several lasering sessions. Still, it is possible to remove a tattoo with professional care.

People tend to consider the laser tattoo removal procedure when they want to get rid of an unsightly or embarrassing tattoo, perhaps one they got when they were very young. For some people, a tattoo simply does not reflect their feelings or lifestyle anymore.

This guide will walk you through the process of preparing for and recovering from laser tattoo removal.

Laser Tattoo Removal Procedure

Laser removal breaks down the pigmentation of a tattoo, effectively erasing it in several sessions. Thankfully, the laser causes little damage to the areas surrounding the tattoo, unfortunately, though you may require several sessions for complete tattoo removal.

Laser Tattoo Removal Expectations

One of the first ways your doctor or laser technician will help you prepare for laser tattoo removal is by helping you understand the procedure and what you can expect. Several variables will affect laser tattoo removal, including the color of the tattoo, the color of the skin and the age of the tattoo.

If you are unsure of what to expect from your laser tattoo procedure, talking to your technician will address many of your concerns.

Laser Tattoo Removal Pretreatment Instructions

Before you receive treatment to remove your tattoo, the doctor performing the procedure will ask you to follow some instructions. This is meant to ensure that your removal goes according to plan.

Some of the instructions will be wearing sunscreen, keeping your tattoo covered when you are outside and avoiding tanning in the weeks leading up to your tattoo removal. The laser process can permanently influence the pigmentation of skin that has been tanned around the tattoo.

Additionally, you will want to avoid exfoliating, shaving or waxing the tattoo area. Leave the skin as is before you go into a session.

Your doctor will also ask that you stop smoking at least six weeks before you undergo laser removal. Smoking hinders the healing process and can keep your body healing for a longer period of time. This increases your risk of infection.

Your doctor will also advise that you stop taking aspirin and other medications that may increase bleeding. Drinking alcohol before the procedure can have the same effect.

Laser Tattoo Removal Recovery

Your doctor or laser technician will provide you with detailed instructions about your recovery, and it is important that you follow them.

It is likely that you will experience some mild pain for the first two days following treatment, especially as the skin scabs over the former site of the tattoo. Don't pick at the area, as this may promote scarring.

It is essential that you avoid getting a sunburn during the recovery process too. This will only prolong the healing process and may lead to complications if the skin becomes inflamed or flaky.

When you do recover, you are likely to still see some colors on the skin. While black and blue ink tends to respond better to treatment, other colors may still be present.

Thankfully, recovery is quick and will rarely influence your day-to-day activities. You will be able to return to your daily routine quickly, even getting back to work the next day.

Tattoo removal can be a beneficial service for many individuals who no longer want the artwork. Are you still considering tattoo removal? Murphy Tattoo Removal can help you. We can answer any of your questions and concerns about the removal process.

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