There is a risk of scarring.
Short term effects may include reddening, mild burning, temporary bruising or blistering. A brownish/red darkening of the skin (known as hyperpigmentation) or lightening of the skin (known as hypopigmentation) may occur. This usually resolves in weeks, but it can take up to 3-6 months to heal. Permanent colour change is a rare risk. Loss of freckles or pigmented lesions can occur.
Textual and/or colour changes in the skin can occur and can be permanent. Many of the cosmetic tattoos and body tattoos are made with iron oxide pigments. Iron oxide can turn red-brown or black. Titanium oxide and other pigments may also turn black. This black or dark colour may be un-removable. Because of the immediate whitening of the ex-posed treated area by the laser, there can be a temporary obscuring of ink, which can make it difficult or impossible to notice a specific colour change from the tattoo removal process.
Infection: Although infection following treatment is unusual, bacterial, fungal and viral infections can occur. Herpes simplex virus infections around the mouth can occur following a treatment. This applies to both individuals with a past history of herpes simplex virus infections and individuals with no known history of herpes simplex virus infections in the mouth area. Should any type of skin infection occur, additional treatments or medical antibiotics may be necessary?
Bleeding: Pinpoint bleeding is rare but can occur following treatment procedures. Should bleeding occur, additional treatment may be necessary.
Allergic Reactions: There have been reports of hypersensitivity to the various tattoo pigments during the tattoo removal process especially if the tattoo pigment contained Mercury, cobalt or chromium. Upon dissemination, the pigments can induce a severe allergic reaction that can occur with each successive treatment. Noted in some patients are superficial erosions, bruising, blistering, milia, redness and swelling which can last up to many months, years or permanently.
Compliance with the aftercare guidelines is crucial for healing, prevention of scarring, and hyper-pigmentation. After-care guidelines include avoiding the sun for 2 months after the procedure. If it is necessary to be in the sun, a sun-screen with SPF 25 or greater must be used.
Proper care before your procedure is important to help you get the best results and lower your risk of undesired side effects.
1. No recent sun exposure, tan, or use of self-tanners for a minimum of 4 weeks prior to treatment. The risk of hyper/ hypo pigmentation (lightening or darkening of the skin) is greatly increased with sun exposure.
2. Avoid treatments that may irritate the skin like harsh chemicals, depilatories, etc. for at least 1-2 weeks before treatment and 2 to 4 weeks after treatment. This includes products containing tretinoin, retinol, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic/salicylic acids, astringents, etc. Do not resume use of these products until skin has fully healed and all crusting has resolved.
3. Treatment area should be clean shaven of all hair.
4. Moderate to significant discomfort is expected. Some areas are more sensitive than others. Topical anesthetic options may be available if required/desired.
5. The area may appear bruised after treatment, this will typically fade in 5-7 days.
PROPER CARE FOLLOWING YOUR PROCEDURE IS NECESSARY TO ACHIEVE THE BEST RESULTS. IF DURING YOUR HEALING PROCESS YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS, PLEASE CONTACT US.
Expect the Tattoo Lightening procedure to be a multi-step process. It is likely that you will have to come back for more than one treatment. Additional visits should be scheduled no sooner than 6-8 weeks from the last treatment. Keep in mind that in many cases the tattoo may fade unevenly. Please review the following directions and refer to them as necessary. Be prepared for the initial color intensity of your procedure to be significantly brighter or darker, you will also notice it may appear very red or white immediately after the procedure. This should fade as it heals. Depending on the tattoo, the area may darken before it fades. It will take time for this transition based upon how the tattoo was applied, what it was applied with, and your own natural healing.
1. Dressings should be changed once a day or after a shower for the first three days after treatment. Prior to removing the dressing, wash hands with soap and water, then carefully remove the dressing, gently cleanse the wound with soap and water and pat dry with a clean towel.
2. Apply provided cream or simple petroleum and cover with a large Band-Aid or non-stick gauze dressing and make sure the bandage is not too tight. Keep the treatment area moist with the provided topical.
3. Ice packs protected with a cloth may be applied as necessary to reduce soreness & swelling. Do not put ice directly on area, make sure there is a towel or cloth between the ice and your skin.
4. Bleeding and bruising is expected the first day or two after the procedure.
5. Wash your hands before touching any treated area. Do not expose the area to dirty or unsanitary conditions.
6. Try not to bump or stretch the tattoo.
7. Itching and scabbing is normal. Treatment area may scab but preventing the scab is best. Scabbing may last 7 to 14 days. DO NOT PICK, PEEL, OR SCRATCH the treated area as it could cause scarring or changes in the natural skin color. Removing the scab could also increase healing time. If the tattoo is located in a high friction area, or if you have a tendency to scratch, cover with a bandage. Do not shave over the treated area until all scabbing has healed.
8. Blisters are possible, do not pick at or pop blisters if they do occur.
9. If the removal is on the face, no makeup is to be applied for 72 hours (three days) after the procedure.
10. Do not expose your healing skin to direct sun, tanning beds, saunas, salt water, or chlorinated pools for 2 to 4 weeks following your procedure.
11. You may continue to shower, and you can gently wash the treated area with mild soap and water, but pat dry it as soon as possible (do not rub). Do not expose the area directly under a shower spray, no scrubbing the area, do not swim or sit in a spa, and do not soak your body where the area is submerged in water.
12. If itchiness develops and is irritating, you may apply Benadryl cream after the first week of treatment or bandage or tape over the area. Excessive scratching on the treated area may cause additional irritation and possible scarring. Do not use a cortisone cream.
13. Skin can develop temporary lightening or darkening after laser treatment. Hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) can be worsened with sun exposure. Hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin) usually occurs after multiple treatments. Pigment issues typically resolve with time but can be permanent.
14. Temporary texture changes to the skin are often noted but usually resolve with time.
15. Some tattoo inks, including many lighter and skin-tone inks, may darken or change color in response to treatment.
16. If the color is not completely faded after procedure, the process may be repeated after the skin has healed, after a minimum of 6-8 weeks.
17. The treated area can be re-tattooed after the skin has healed, usually after 2-3 months.
18. Please contact the office if any of the following occur:
Bleeding that soaks the dressing or bleeding that happens after the first 24 hours
Increased redness or swelling more than 24 hours after procedure
Significantly uncomfortable blisters
Yellowish or greenish drainage coming out of the wound
Persistent pain that last more than 24 hours
Fever exceeding 101°F
The laser tattoo removal treatment creates a superficial skin wound. Some patients may experience bruising or swelling. There is immediate whitening of the treated area, which usually lasts for several minutes. Many clients then develop blisters, crusts, or scabs within 8 to 72 hours, which may last for 1 to 2 weeks or more. The treated areas may be pink or pale after the scab separates. Scarring, which can be hypertrophic or even keloid, can occur but is excep-tionally rare. Reduced or excess skin pigment in the treated area can occur, and is temporary except in very rare cases. Healing is usually complete within 4 -6 weeks, although this may vary.
AFTERCARE TO FOLLOW:
For the next 24 hours: A cold compress and elevation are recommended to help reduce discomfort and inflammation.
Avoid for the next 24 hours: Physical activity, hot showers and saunas.
Apply for the next 3 days: Bepanthem cream with bandage. Change the dressing daily.
Avoid for the next 1-2 weeks: Direct sun exposure, hot tubs, pool water and salt water until tattoo is healed.
Keep the treated area clean and dry while it is healing. Clean the area with antibacterial soap if needed and then pat the area dry. AVOID HIGH-PRESSURE
WATER HITTING THE TREATED AREA.
Some scabbing, blistering, light bleeding and itching may occur. Immediately after treatment, there may be erythema (redness) and edema (swelling) at the treatment site. This usually lasts 2 hours or longer. The erythema may last up to 10 days.
Do not pop blisters. If you do blister, continue to apply one of the recommended ointments until the blister has popped naturally.
Do not pick at the scab or allow the skin to become scraped, as this may result in infection and scarring. Shaving should be avoided in the treated area until it is completely healed You may notice that blistering may occur in some treatments and not others. If blistering does not occur, it does not mean that your most recent treatment was less aggressive or your treatment is not working. Sometimes your body will react, while other times it will not.
Regardless, the treatment is working.
You may take only Panadol to help with discomfort. Please avoid aspirins, ibuprofens because they may increase the risk of bruising and/or bleeding.
Shaving should be avoided in the treated area until it is completely healed (5-10 days). Please apply sunscreen every day to the treated area after the tattoo has completely healed (5-10 days), even if clothing covers the treated area. Sun will travel through your shirt or pants. The use of sunscreen everyday on the area will also help the ink absorb and help with itching.
No active tan, self-tanner, bronzers or spray tan 4-6 weeks before and after treatment. Massage the treated area 5-10 minutes daily after treated area has healed (5-10 days). Daily massage will help ink absorb.
Remember, not all tattoos will clear 100%. Your tattoo may just fade. Please call your primary care physician if an infection occurs.
NUMBER OF LASER TATTOO REMOVAL TREATMENT SESSIONS NEEDED
Complete laser tattoo removal requires numerous treatment sessions, typically spaced at least seven weeks apart. Treating more frequently than seven weeks increases the risk of adverse effects and does not necessarily increase the rate of ink absorption. Anecdotal reports of treatments sessions at four weeks leads to more scarring and dischro-mia and can be a source of liability for clinicians. At each session, some but not all of the tattoo pigment particles are effectively fragmented, and the body removes the smallest fragments over the course of several weeks. The result is that the tattoo is lightened over time. Remaining large particles of tattoo pigment are then targeted at subsequent treatment sessions, causing further lightening. The number of sessions and spacing between treatments depends on various parameters, including the area of the body treated and skin color. Tattoos located on the extremities, such as the ankle, generally take longest. As tattoos fade clinicians may recommend that patients wait many months between treatments to facilitate ink resolution and minimize unwanted side effects.
CAN ALL TATTOOS BE TREATED?
Yes, the great majority of tattoos, whether professional, amateur or cosmetic tattoos, respond to our laser treatments. While we do employ the most advanced lasers and can remove the majority of colours, some inks will not respond to any laser treatments.
DOES THE TREATMENT HURT?
A little. The laser can cause a stinging sensation – a bit like having an elastic band flicked against your skin. For more sensitive areas, a topical anesthetic can be applied to minimize discomfort.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
Complete laser tattoo removal requires numerous treatment sessions, typically spaced at least 6 to 8 weeks apart. Treating more frequently than seven weeks increases the risk of adverse effects and does not necessarily increase the rate of ink absorption. Anecdotal reports of treatments sessions at four weeks leads to more scarring and dyschro-mia and can be a source of liability for clinicians. At each session, some but not all of the tattoo pigment particles are effectively fragmented, and the body removes the smallest fragments over the course of several weeks. The result is that the tattoo is lightened over time. Remaining large particles of tattoo pigment are then targeted at subsequent treatment sessions, causing further lightening. The number of sessions and spacing between treatments depends on various parameters, including the area of the body treated and skin color.
Tattoos located on the extremities, such as the ankle, generally take longest. As tattoos fade clinicians may recom-mend that patients wait a few months between treatments to facilitate ink resolution and minimize unwanted side effects
ARE THERE ANY PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE WHILST BEING TREATED?
While you are having a tattoo removed, you must not expose that area to the sun before, during and for some weeks following the treatment. At our clinic, a full assessment is made during your free consultation and recommendations will be made. Sometimes you will need to consult a Doctor to get a medical clearance before the treatment can pro-ceed. Side effects are usually temporary and can be mild, rarely can they be severe, and they are:
Keep the area uncovered and dry to allow the area to dry out and after 24 hours start applying Bepanthen First Aid cream several times a day to assist with the healing process. Always observe good hygiene practices. Any infection or picking and scratching of a wound can result in possible scarring. At our Clinic we work on a moist healing therapy and have found this method to be very successful.
LOSS OF COLOUR IN THE SKIN:
The skin can become lighter and can take up to 6 months to go back to its original colour.
IF YOUR SKIN BECOMES DARKER:
It can occur because of inflammation of the area and a brown mark will appear and will take many months to fade using fading cream
It is very rare. However it can happen with lighter skins , particularly with some sun exposure, that is why you must follow the advice given for before & after care of your wound. We find that with anyone that follows our instructions on after care, they have no problems with the healing of the skin.Areas with thin skin will be more likely to scar than thicker-skinned areas.
Immediately after laser treatment, a slightly elevated, white discoloration with or without the presence of punctuate bleeding is often observed. This white color change is thought to be the result of rapid, heat-formed steam or gas, causing dermal and epidermal vacuolization. Pinpoint bleeding represents vascular injury from photoacoustic waves created by the laser's interaction with tattoo pigment. Minimal edema and erythema of adjacent normal skin usually resolve within 24 hours. Subsequently, a crust appears over the entire tattoo, which sloughs off at approximately 14 days post-treatment. As noted above, some tattoo pigment may be found within this crust. Postoperative wound care consists of simple wound care and a non-occlusive dressing. Since the application of laser light is sterile there is no need for topical antibiotics. Moreover, topical antibiotic ointments can cause allergic reactions and should be avoided. Fading of the tattoo will be noted over the next eight weeks and retreatment energy levels can be tailored depending on the clinical response observed.
If you have any concerns with your aftercare please contact us immediately. If the area looks infected (honey coloured crusting, oozing or a spreading redness) or if you experience an unusual discomfort or excessive bleeding, or if any other complications develop please contact your local Doctor or hospital.
TEXTUAL AND/OR COLOUR CHANGES IN THE SKIN
Textual and/or colour changes in the skin can occur and can be permanent. Many of the cosmetic tattoos and body tattoos are made with iron oxide pigments. Iron oxide can turn red-brown or black. Titanium oxide and other pigments may also turn black. This black or dark color may be un- removable. Because of the immediate whitening of the ex-posed treated area by the laser, there can be a temporary obscuring of ink, which can make it difficult or impossible to notice a specific colour change from the tattoo removal process.
Although infection following treatment is unusual, bacterial, fungal and viral infections can occur. Herpes simplex virus infections around the mouth can occur following a treatment. This applies to both individuals with a past history of herpes simplex virus infections and individuals with no known history of herpes simplex virus infections in the mouth area. Should any type of skin infection occur, additional treatments or medical antibiotics may be necessary.