After being zapped with the laser repeatedly patients are ready to leave the office without a second thought. Who can remember the aftercare instructions when you feel like the area treated is on fire.
It's normal for the area to feel and look like a superficial wound. There may be "frosting," immediate whitening of the area, swelling, redness, bruising, blistering, and or scabbing. These are all common side effects.
For best results after your laser treatment here are some guidelines:
- Your skin will feel warm or uncomfortable in the treated area. You may apply cool compresses as necessary for up to 24 hours after treatment to reduce discomfort and inflammation. You can take regular Tylenol, but do not take Advil or aspirin.
- Keep the treated area clean and protected with sterile gauze and or bandage with a thin layer of antibiotic or healing ointment for the first 2-3 days. We recommend Aquaphor. You may shower after treatment, but avoid high water pressure hitting the area or soaking the area for long periods of time.
- After the 3 days, keep the area clean and dry during the healing process. Continue to apply a thin layer of Aquaphor.
- Pinpoint or large blisters are common after treatment. Redness around the area is also normal and part of the healing process. If blisters are present, protect the area with non-stick dressing and change daily until healed and dry. Apply ointment for up to 24 hours after blisters have popped.
- Do not pick, rub, or scratch any scabs that form to prevent scarring. Avoid any activities like shaving that may remove the scabs until the area is fully healed.
- Do not soak the treated area until all scabs have completely healed. No baths, hot tubs, whirlpools, or swimming to prevent infection.
- Itching is common with the healing process of the treated area. Use Aquaphor to keep the treated area moist as it heals.
- Avoid sun exposure. When in sun apply 30+ SPF sunblock with zinc oxide for treated area and reapply every 2 hours.
- Exercise is generally safe after 24 hours of treatment. Follow aftercare instructions listed above.
- If the treated area has an extreme reaction or looks to be infected call your medical professional immediately.
Remember healing is a process and typically takes about 4-8 weeks. Be patient and do not pick or rub the treated area.
Do you have questions about your tattoo or laser tattoo removal? Give us a call to schedule a consult.