Tattoos were historically something you’d see on the arms of veterans who would joke about getting their tattoo when they were “young and stupid.” Nowadays, tattoos have become a popular trend and usually represent an important message or even a person they admire. People have tattoos in various places all over their body, not just on the arm or leg as it was decades ago.
However, people often regret ever getting one or more of their tattoos, especially if their skin is now emblazoned with the name or face of an ex or a then-popular superstar. Plus, tattoos of faces and certain colors just don’t age very well on the skin, even if the artwork was done beautifully to begin with.
To the rescue is laser tattoo removal, which can get rid of your tattoo effectively and with minimal side effects. It works by breaking up the pigment color using a high-intensity light beam in a doctor’s office.
How Does It Work to Remove a Tattoo?
The number of treatments necessary to completely remove a tattoo depends on the size, age, and color(s) of your tattoo. It is usually easier to remove black tattoo ink, because the black pigment can absorb all laser wavelengths. The color of your skin and how deep the tattoo pigment goes can play a role in how many treatments it will take to have the ink fully removed.
After each treatment, the area where your tattoo is located may feel like a superficial burn wound. You may experience some temporary bruising, blistering, swelling, and scabbing.
Recovering from a Tattoo Removal Procedure
Here are some basic guidelines for tattoo removal aftercare:
- During the first few days after the treatment, you will need to keep the treated area covered with a sterile gauze. It is also necessary to keep it moisturized with an antibiotic or healing ointment as your doctor prescribes or suggests. During your recovery, the treated area must be kept clean for a faster healing process.
- If you experience strange blistering in the treated area, do not be alarmed. Blistering is common after a laser treatment and is part of the natural healing process.
- To reduce discomfort and inflammation, you can apply a cool compress on the treated area after the procedure. You can also take Tylenol to reduce pain, but avoid aspirin as it can increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.
- To help prevent scarring, do not pick scabs that form on the treated area. You should also avoid shaving that area until it is fully healed, because it may cause scabs and scars.
- Itching is very common due to the dehydrating effect of the laser. Your physician will likely recommend that you use vitamin E ointment or hydrocortisone cream to moisturize the area as it heals.
It takes up to two months to heal after having a tattoo removed. The length of time largely depends on the patient’s general health and how large and deep the tattoo was.
Plastic Surgeons in Rapid City, SD
If you are in or near Rapid City, South Dakota, and you have a tatt you want removed, come see us here at Black Hills Plastic Surgery. We have been removing unwanted tattoos on clients for decades, and we know how to do it thoroughly and safely.
To schedule a consultation, contact us today by calling us at (605) 343-7208 or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you get your clear skin back!