After laser treatment my tattoo looks the same, but it feels thick and raised like a scab is over the area. Is this normal?
Every person and every tattoo responds differently to laser treatment. Some develop scabs. Others develop blisters. Still others develop thicker raised skin that feels like a scab, but looks the same as it did before treatment. All of these reactions are normal. In most cases as long as proper aftercare procedures are followed the treated areas will heal with no permanent changes to the skin. For patients who have a history of abnormal scaring, more permanent changes may occur prior to laser tattoo removal treatments. The laser technician will discuss this possibility with you during your free consultation prior to starting treatment.
For the scabs and the thicker raised skin, this should slough off over a period of a few days to a few weeks revealing a lighter or fuzzier tattoo beneath. With the blisters, you will want to keep the skin intact to prevent the risk of secondary infection. Some blisters can get large. If they become bothersome or you are fearful that they will pop and the skin will come off, it is acceptable to lance the blister with a sterilized needle to drain the fluid. This may need to be done multiple times throughout the healing process. Within a few days to few weeks the blisters should start to dry out. The outer layer of skin will become brittle and will eventually slough off revealing new pinkish skin beneath.
It is important while you have active scabs, blisters, or a thicker tough area of skin to keep the scab, blister, or skin intact. This helps to lessen the risk of secondary infection. It also allows the body to heal itself naturally and to flush out as much ink as possible.
As always, if you have any questions relating to your treatment, your response to treatment or your healing process, do not hesitate to contact the office. The staff will be happy to address your concerns.