Your post treatment efforts are as important a part of the process as the laser itself.
Complete healing takes 6 to 8 weeks. It may seem like the surface of the skin has healed in a few weeks but the deeper layers, the Dermis, is still healing. This is why we wait at least 6 weeks before the next treatment.
Your immune system plays a huge part in the healing as well as the ink elimination process. Give your immune system a boost by getting rest, drinking plenty of water and eating healthily. Just by staying hydrated and keeping your immune system healthy, for example, you can speed up the process by several weeks.
Wear sunblock (SPF 25+) any time you go outside. Sun Exposure is one of the worst things for the skin after laser removal.
- Keep the treated area covered for the first 48-72 hours.
- Do not exercise for 24-48 hours post a treatment. The area will feel slightly tender post a treatment, so the last thing you want to do is aggravate or hurt the area.
- For pain relief, you can take Paracetamol and it is best to avoid Aspirin or Ibuprofen as it can increase the risk of bruising and/or bleeding.
- Avoid excessive heat to the skin. Whilst it is ok to shower 2 hours after a treatment, please avoid high-pressure hot showers, or soaking in a bath or sauna for at least 24-48 hours afterwards.
- Make sure to keep the area clean and dry during the healing process. A mild soap can be used and make sure to pat dry. Do not rub.
- Do not expose the treated area to the sun. If you must be in the sun for work or any other reason, please make sure to use a good sunscreen (SPF 25+). For extra protection from the sun, use sunscreen and keep the area covered up with clothing.
- It is quite common to get blisters after a treatment. This is quite normal and is all part of the healing process. Blisters are a sign that your immune system is healing the area and removal of ink has started. Let the body break the blister down naturally (avoiding scarring or infection) and apply antibiotic ointment after the blister has popped and keep the area covered up for added protection.
- Do not pick or scratch at the treated area to stop scarring or infection.
- Try to avoid shaving until the area has completely healed as this may accidentally damage the skin.
- If the treated area has that slight sunburn feeling, a cool compress can be used to ease discomfort.
- A few weeks after a treatment, as the area continues to heal, it may get itchy. This is all part of the healing process. To ease the itchiness, you can apply 1% hydrocortisone cream or a Vitamin E ointment.
There are a few key things you can do to see faster results:
- Drink lots of water. Keeping the body hydrated is key to maintaining a strong immune system. It helps flush out toxins and restore blood cells, which are key to preventing infections.
- Decrease alcohol consumption. Too much alcohol intake can cause dehydration, which slows down the healing process. If possible, avoid alcohol entirely.
- Don’t smoke. When you smoke, your immune system has to work harder to remove the pollutants. Your body won’t be able to work as hard at healing your skin. Non-smokers see better results and usually need fewer treatments.
- Exercise. Exercising increases blood flow. Increased blood flow actually helps to break down the ink particles in your skin. You should take a few days off exercising immediately after treatment, resting will help boost your immune system. But once your skin scabs over, physical activity can help the tattoo removal process along.