It wasn’t too long ago when you couldn’t wait to have tattoos adorning your limbs and torso. Now, you find yourself among those whose passion for skin art proved to be short-lived. 

In fact, you’re frequently reading ads for tattoo removal procedures

But if there’s one thing that’s keeping you from finalising a doctor’s appointment, it’s the side effects of the procedures that you’ve learned about.

They may include, but are not limited to: 

Bruising between 1-3 days 

Burning Sensation and Itching


Mild skin discoloration

Don’t freak out, just yet.

Those side effects are your skin’s way of saying that it is adapting and responding to the treatment.

What Your Skin Will Be Like Right After Tattoo Removal 

Your skin will be very tender the first few days after laser tattoo removal, so expect the doctor to place a sterile gauze bandage over the affected area to avoid irritation.

The doctor would likewise apply a thin layer of antibiotic or healing ointment. 

After three days of keeping the skin bandaged, you need to leave it uncovered to allow the affected area to breathe. Keep the treated area clean by gently washing it with mild soap and water. Always keep it dry.

Remember not to apply makeup or creams on or near the affected area for two days following the procedure.

Showering and Soaking 

Now, you may be aching to get a dip in the pool, but it’s not a good idea to do that right away  as it may cause infection.

It’s best to wait until all scabs and blisters have completely healed before taking a plunge or soak your skin in water. 

When you do shower, which is okay 2 hours after treatment, try to keep the treated skin out of the direct stream of water. 

Sunburn Sensation and Itching

You may experience itching due to the dehydrating effect of the laser. 

To help reduce discomfort from the sunburn sensation and itching, you may apply cool compresses to minimize inflammation.

You may also apply Aquaphor, hydrocortisone cream, or Vitamin E ointment to moisturize the area.

Taking Tylenol or acetaminophen could help alleviate soreness. In fact, it could make the procedure almost painless. 

But be careful not to confuse Tylenol for other anti-pain medications, such as Aspirin and Ibuprofen, which act as blood thinners and would increase the risk of bruising or bleeding.

Blisters, Scabs, and Skin Discoloration

It is common to develop blisters between one to three days after laser treatment.

Do not be alarmed by blisters as it is part of the healing process, but you have to protect the area. Also, make sure to apply the ointment prescribed by your doctor for at least 24 hours after blistering occurs.

It is also important not to pick or do anything to the blisters, as they dry into scabs on their own. Once the blisters turn to scabs, avoid unnecessary contact with the affected area as it is easily irritated.

The blisters will lead to skin peeling that would take between 10 -14 days after your treatment for the scabs to fall off.

After the procedure, the treated skin will have a white frosty hue for a few minutes. This is caused by the carbon dioxide that is released as the laser penetrates the upper layer of the skin.

There may also be a longer, but temporary, loss or gain of excess skin pigment in the affected area.

These are all typical side effects.

Make sure to contact your doctor if anything goes awry.

Healing Period

It takes about six to eight weeks for skin to heal completely, depending on the kind of aftercare you give the treated area, as well as your own immune system and the quality of your laser tattoo removal procedure. This is about the same amount of time it takes for the body to dispose of the tattoo ink. 

Eating vitamin C-rich citrus fruits, or ginger, which have anti-inflammatory properties, hastens the healing.

Stress impacts our healing abilities, so being calm and level headed while avoiding stress-inducing situations will go a long way. 

It’s also wise to protect the affected area with a sunblock of SPF 25 or higher for up to 3 months after the laser removal. 

Clearing Up Tattoo Pigments

You may be applying for a job or enrolling in a school where having tattoos is not allowed.

But don’t blame the doctor if you don’t get a swift and complete removal. 

Laser procedures can take care of business, but the result would vary depending on the quality of the tattoo, type of ink used, size and location, and the kind of skin tone. Your lifestyle is also a factor.

Tattoos administered by amateurs are often much more challenging to remove because of the uneven distribution of ink underneath the skin. They also tend to create minor scar tissues on the tattoo site. On the other hand, the work of skilled tattoo artists is evenly inked, making the removal easier to figure out.

Black ink on lighter skin tone is easy to remove, but removing green and purple ink is more difficult regardless of skin tone.

Of course, the larger the tattoo, the longer it will take to remove.

Good blood circulation is essential in clearing up tattoo pigments. 

So, areas farther away from your heart are more challenging to remove since blood circulation is not that good. 

And if you smoke, your blood vessels become constricted and hamper tattoo removal by approximately 70 percent.

Temper Your Expectations

In many cases, you have to be under more than a single laser treatment to altogether remove the tattoo. 

While you can expect many changes after only a session, some removal plans take months to complete. You may even undergo as much as 10 sessions.

The cost of a tattoo removal procedure is also about 10 times more than that to have it and will depend on size, location, and the number of sessions.

There may also be scarring, which can be hypertrophic or keloid, but this rarely occurs. 

But any scars that you see after a tattoo removal procedure were often caused by the artist when he applied the tattoo. The laser only removes the ink but does not eliminate tattoo scars.  

Knowing what happens after having your tattoo removed can help put your mind at ease about the procedure. Talk to us at The Aesthetics Centre today to see how a laser tattoo removal procedure might turn out for you.