Whether you’re banishing a bad holiday tattoo, eradicating an ex’s name from your body, or just removing some ink that is no longer as cool, relevant, or trendy as it once was, laser tattoo removal is a great option.
It’s a treatment that’s becoming increasingly common, but people still have many questions about this procedure, the most prevalent of which is:
Does laser tattoo removal leave scars?
The good news is that scarring is rare. If your tattoo is removed by an experienced practitioner at a reputable clinic, the risk of scarring is minimal. What’s more, there are additional steps that you can take to reduce the risk of scarring.
Keep reading to learn more.
Preventing Tattoo Removal Scarring Before Treatment
There are a few things you can do to protect your skin, ensure a smooth treatment, and reduce the risk of scarring. First, let’s look at some of the things you should do before undergoing laser tattoo removal:
Look After Your Skin
The most basic thing that you can do is also the most important: care for your skin. Moisturise, use sunscreen, don’t pick scabs, don’t scratch too aggressively, and think about what type of clothing you’re wearing and what you’re doing to your skin.
Healthier skin is less likely to cause problems down the line.
If you eat a healthy balanced diet and meet all of your macronutrient and micronutrient needs, you probably don’t need to take vitamins. But very few people fall into that category.
Everything from pre-existing illnesses to genetic factors can leave you deficient in key vitamins and minerals. And that’s not all. A large number of UK adults are deficient in vitamin D—a nutrient that is created when the body is exposed to direct sunlight—and that’s largely the result of lifestyle choices.
If you suspect that you may be deficient, consider taking a multivitamin or using a vitamin product designed with skin health in mind. Vitamins D, C and E are all beneficial to skin health.
Getting your 8 glasses of water a day is key to keeping your mind, organs, digestive tract, and skin healthy. If you sweat a lot (either from working out or being in hot environments), you may need to increase your water intake. Don’t overdo it, though—believe it or not, it is possible to drink too much water.
Preventing Tattoo Removal Scarring After Treatment
Your physician can provide some aftercare advice for preventing laser tattoo removal scars. If you have any questions, ask them; if you want to prevent scars, follow every piece of advice they give.
The advice may include:
It’s important to keep the treatment area clean between sessions. Dirt, grease, and grime can interfere with the healing process and cause a host of skin-related issues.
Gently clean the area with warm water and a mild soap solution at least twice a day. Don’t scrub and don’t go overboard with the soap/shower gel. A little goes a long way.
To avoid damaging the area after cleaning, always pat dry. Refrain from rough towel drying.
The same is true when you’re out in the rain or have been sweating a lot. Be gentle and pat it dry.
Mild fragrance-free soap is best for cleaning the area. Avoid shower gels and soaps that are loaded with essential oils, abrasive substances, and anything else that could be harsh on your skin.
Stick with the basics, including fragrance-free bar soap designed for people with sensitive skin.
Don’t Pick, Scratch, or Slap
It should go without saying, but if the area becomes itchy, don’t scratch it, slap it, or rub it with a towel. It’s going to be tempting to dig those nails in and scratch, but doing so could cause scabs and scars.
On the subject of scabs, if any appear, refrain from picking them. Picking scabs rarely ends well, yet it’s something that we all do. You may even find yourself picking them out of habit without fully realising what you’re doing.
It’s best to let the scabs fall off by themselves, as picking them early will greatly increase the risk of scarring.
A little sunshine can be beneficial for your vitamin D levels, but you must be extremely careful whenever you’re in direct sunlight. Sunlight contains UVB and UVA rays—the former can cause sunburn; the latter accelerates the signs of ageing. It’s terrible for your skin, and it will be even more vulnerable if you’ve just had tattoo removal treatment.
So, cover up, use sunscreen, and remember, even if it’s a cloudy day, the sun is still shining, and it can still harm your skin.
Patience Between Sessions
The tattoo removal process takes time, and it’s important to stay patient throughout this time. It can take a few sessions before you see the results that you seek, and you may need to wait up to 8 weeks between sessions.
Follow your physician’s advice, keep making those appointments, and don’t neglect your skincare regime while you wait.
Laser Tattoo Removal
Laser tattoo removal scars are not an inevitability of tattoo removal. As you can see, there are steps that you can take to reduce the risk and protect your skin, and it all starts with a reputable, legitimate, and experienced clinic.
Tattoo removal is one of several treatments that we offer at Pulse Light Clinic. We have two clinics providing this service in London, and you can get the ball rolling with a free consultation.
Check out our guide to pre and aftercare laser tattoo removal to learn more about this process and the treatments that we provide.