After Procedure Care

Post-Treatment Recommendations for Tattoo Removal and Skin Aesthetic Procedures

Things You Are Likely To See After Your Procedure

  1. Right after, many people get a whitening of the area called “laser snow.”
  2. After treatment it is not uncommon for tattoo removal patients to develop a blister 8-72 hours post treatment.  Please note the blisters can range from tiny to quite large. We highly recommend trying not to “pop” them as the skin creates a protective covering. If it simply gets too large or uncomfortable, you may lance it with a sterilized needle to drain it, but leave the skin on as long as you can. It will typically crust and scab.
    Photos of colorful tattoos with blistersPhotos of Blisters after Tattoo Removal
  3. Age spot and other discoloration removal patients tend to develop a scab without blisters
  4. Once the scab comes off, the skin will likely be pale pink.
  5. For darker skinned patients, you may see a lightening of the area as the pigment of the skin is destroyed temporarily with the procedure. Medium skinned patients sometimes see the opposite- a darkening of the area.  After your series of procedures is done, the skin typically returns to normal color in a few months.
  6. Most people are healed within 4 weeks and their next procedure can be performed. If you are not properly healed by your next appointment, we will wait a bit longer before doing the procedure.

Care After Your Procedure

  1. Keep the treated area clean, dry, and covered with a sterile dressing for the first 3 days after the procedure. Soap and water are adequate for cleaning, but only pat the area dry. You may apply a thin coating of antibiotic ointment or Aquafore up to three times a day for 3 days.
  2. As mentioned above, blistering is common and is typically considered a good thing as it indicates your body is going through the normal healing process.  Blisters may even assume some of the color of the tattoo ink as your immune system begins removing it from your tattoo. When/If the blister pops, put antibiotic ointment over the area for at least 24 hours.
  3. Your skin may feel like it’s burning after treatment. Use cool compresses as needed after the laser treatment to help reduce discomfort and inflammation. Application times are not to exceed 15 minutes with an hour in between re-applying. Tylenol may be helpful, but avoid blood thinners such as aspirin.
  4. Avoid picking at or shaving over the scab to avoid infection and scarring.
  5. Wait at least 2 hours after the treatment before you shower. Avoid high pressure water.
  6. Avoid any form of soaking of the area such as baths, hot tubs, and swimming pools until all blistering and scabbing are completely healed.
  7. Exercise is typically safe after treatment as long as you care for the treated area as detailed here.
  8. Wear SPF 25 or higher sunblock over the area for 3 months following the treatment.
  9. For 48 hours after your treatment, avoid using makeup, creams or medications on or near the treated area unless recommended by Vanish.
  10. Itching is very common and you may use Aquaphor, vitamin E ointment, or hydrocortisone cream on the area to decrease itching and hydrate the area.
  11. Contact the office immediately in the following situations:
    • The area looks infected (honey colored crusting and oozing or spreading redness)
    • If you experience an unusual discomfort or bleeding
    • If you have any questions or if you’re unsure about the progress of your treatment site
  12. Scarring, which can be hypertrophic or even keloid, can occur but is extremely rare.
  13. Call 911 and go to the emergency department if you have an extreme reaction.