How Long Does Swelling Last After Tattoo Removal?

How Long Does Swelling Last After Tattoo Removal?

Successful healing after a laser tattoo removal procedure requires a team effort between you and your caregivers. The therapy is just one part of the removal process. Knowing what to expect after goes a long way in helping you heal. A removal session can be short, and you may need several successive treatments depending on the size of your tattoo.


What to Expect After Laser Tattoo Removal


The therapy involves a laser that helps break down the ink in the tattoo. After the session, you may notice some frosting around the target area. The effect comes from the exothermic reaction of the laser as it breaks down the ink. Do not worry about the frosting since it only lasts a few minutes.


Reactions to Your Skin


After the fading of the frosting, you may radiate heat from the area, and some redness may develop. The effect is similar to sunburn and may last several hours or a few days, depending on the individual. 


Swelling after the procedure should not surprise you—it is normal. It is the way the body immobilizes the site to prevent further injury. People with smaller tattoos often experience less swelling than larger tattoos. The reaction also varies with the location of your tattoo.


Extremities and lower limbs are more prone to swelling than other parts due to inadequate circulation. Swellings in these areas react to gravity by flowing downwards after treatment. The response is normal and will often subside on its own with time.


Another common skin reaction to tattoo removal is bruising. It often occurs around your inner bicep and ribs. It is a common reaction and should not worry you as it disappears in a week or two.


Post Laser Removal Therapy


You can do several things at home to increase your chances of a comfortable recovery. They include:


  • Using ice packs - Use these immediately after treatment and continue for the next 48 hours. They help absorb the residual heat after the procedure, giving you some relief. 

  • Avoid makeup - Avoid applying makeup until the removal area heals completely.

  • Enough rest - Get enough downtime and elevate the wound for the first 24 hours after treatment. It improves the healing process and minimizes the risks of swelling and discomfort.

  • Remove dressing - Do this a few hours after therapy and before taking a shower or going to bed.

  • Clean the target area - Avoid soaps and lotions when cleaning your wound. Instead, use warm water and a dry cloth.


What to Avoid After Removal Therapy


The first thing to do is follow your caregiver's advice after the procedure. Stay away from warm or hot environments for at least two days after treatment. Cover the area and avoid soaking in pools, saunas, spas, and open bodies of water until healing is complete. Protect the area from splashes or hot water if you need to shower after the treatment. Avoid excessive workouts for at least 48 hours, and stay away from direct sunshine.


When to See a Doctor


In rare cases, a removal area may get infections or blisters. Other signs of infection include chronic pain, fever above 38 degrees centigrade, or oozing from the treatment area. In such a case, it is crucial to contact your doctor immediately.


To learn more on how long swelling lasts after tattoo removal, call at (510) 710-7221 to reach our office in Berkeley, California.


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