Tips To Reduce Infection Risks After Laser Tattoo Removal

Posted on: 18 February 2015


If you have a tattoo on your body that you no longer like, then you may be considering laser tattoo removal. During the removal process, wavelengths of light are passed through the skin and the ink or pigmentation that makes up the tattoo absorbs the light. The energy forces the inks to break up into small pieces and the body naturally gets rid of it. When this happens, the skin becomes damaged to some degree and this leaves the treatment area susceptible to infections. You can easily reduce infection risks though, by following the tips below.

Stay Out of the Sun

When tattoo removal is completed, blisters may show up on the skin. These blisters occur when the skin cells across the epidermis are damaged. The epidermis pulls away from the dermis and a pocket of blood plasma forms that cushions and protects the skin. This gives the cells in the area the opportunity to heal properly. This means that the blisters should be left alone and they should not be popped or damaged. Otherwise, healing tissues will be exposed to bacteria and an infection can occur.

One of the best ways to keep blisters from popping is to keep the tattoo removal area away from direct sunlight. Direct sunlight exposes the skin to ultraviolet rays. Pigments called melanin line the epidermal cells to protect the skin from sun. More and more melanin is produced as sun exposure increases, but damaged skin cells are unable to retain the pigments like healthy ones. Burns can then occur quite easily across the top of a blister and the damage can cause a blister break.

Use Good Sun Covering Techniques

It is wise to stay out of the sun to reduce tattoo removal infection risks. If you do venture outside, make sure to cover all blisters across the tattoo removal area. Apply a thin layer of antibacterial cream or petroleum jelly over the blister to keep the area moist. This will keep the skin from sticking to the dressing material.  

Cut a large piece of gauze and fold it over three or four times and set it over the blister. This will keep the sun's rays from penetrating through the holes of the material. Use medical or athletic tape to secure the gauze around the edges. This reduces pressure on the blister and prevents popping concerns.

Once you have covered the blister, consider wearing a shirt that will keep the sun rays from reaching any exposed skin around the tattoo removal area. Tightly woven fabrics are best for this. Consider purchasing a denim shirt to wear and pick a dark blue, green, or black fabric. Dark colors keep the sun from penetrating the fabric and damaging the skin.

Do Not Shave

Your tattoo removal specialist will likely inform you to gently wash your skin to keep bacteria away from damaged skin cells and open wounds. An olive oil, coconut oil, or glycerin based soap is ideal, and you should use warm water as well. You also should refrain from shaving for several weeks. Studies indicate that millions of bacteria live on the handles and cartridges of both disposable and reusable razors. These bacteria can easily be transferred to the tattoo removal area.

Not only are razors infested with bacteria, but shaving causes micro cuts to form across the skin. This can happen regardless of pressure and razor sharpness. These cuts can allow bacteria to infect already damaged skin cells. Do not pluck hairs either or you will open the pores to microorganisms.  

If you want to remove body hairs before your skin has healed, consider purchasing a beard trimmer to trim the hair. Make sure to cleanse the handle and blade of the device with alcohol first though, so microorganisms are not forced close to the skin.

If you do not want a tattoo any longer, then laser tattoo removal may be a great option for you. After you go through a laser treatment session, just make sure that you follow the tips above to reduce infection concerns.