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Pico Laser Tattoo Removal Before and Aftercare

Follow these recommendations to prepare for your Pico Laser tattoo removal treatment and for your aftercare

Pre-treatment Recommendations

Before the treatment, it is important to avoid sun exposure, tanning beds, and certain skin care products (such as retinoids and alpha hydroxy acids) for at least one week prior to treatment. You should also inform your provider of any medications or supplements you are taking, as some can affect the skin's sensitivity to laser energy. 

​Cleanse your skin before your appointment. Your doctor needs your skin to be free of any dirt, moisturizers, or cosmetics before your treatment.

Aftercare Instructions

We recommend  applying numbing cream prior to your treatment.  We can call in a prescription for this or you can  purchase numbing cream at our office.  Apply the cream liberally over the tattoo and then cover the area with saran wrap for 1 hour prior to the procedure. 


The skin treated turns a white frost color immediately. This usually lasts several minutes.  Complete healing usually occurs within 14 days – although this may vary.


The first 24 hours following your treatment: If a bandage was applied, leave it in place for the first day. Do not shower or soak the area in water if you can avoid it.


Day 2 & beyond: You can shower but try to keep the treated areas out of the direct stream of water while the skin is still healing. Do not soak in baths / hot tubs / or pools until all blistering & scabbing are completely healed – as these may increase the risk of infection.  Leave the treated area uncovered as of Day 2 as much as possible. Apply Biafine or your chosen moisturizer twice per day – once in the morning & again in the evening.  Keep the treated area clean & dry throughout the healing process. Some patients like to use the fragrance free 16 oz tub of CeraVe cream during this healing process – which is available at Target / Walmart / CVS / etc.


Blisters: Patients can expect to see some blisters developing between one to three days after the treatment. These will drain & dry into scabs just like when you got your tattoo. Mild bruising / swelling / tingling sensations similar to sunburn are normal. Blistering at the treated area is a perfectly normal reaction to the laser treatment procedure.  It is a positive indication your immune system is healing the area & removing the ink from your tattoo.

Scabs: Once the blisters drain they may turn into scabs just like when you got your tattoo. The scabs usually fall off between the tenth & fourteenth day after your treatment. Then your skin returns to normal while your body continues to fade the tattoo. Allow your skin to heal & avoid picking the scabs. Peeling scabs that are not ready to be removed can result in infection / scarring / pigment discoloration of your skin. Avoid shaving the treated area until it is completely healed. Treated areas may be pink or pale after the scab separates. Often any scarring following a tattoo removal procedure is due to lack of care between treatments. Scarring is extremely rare & can be hypertrophic or even keloid.  Please adhere to these aftercare tips to achieve the best results in protecting & healing your skin.


You must wait four to six weeks between treatments on the same area of skin. We recommend a six week waiting period to maximize the fading process.


Cold pack: You can apply a cold pack to the treated area if you want to after your treatment to ease any swelling. You can also take an anti-inflammatory as long as you are not allergic to it. Avoid aspirin-based pain relief because it could increase unnecessary bruising at the treated area.


Itching & Moisturizing: Itching is very common because the laser tends to dry out your skin.  Use Biafine / CeraVe / or a moisturizer of your choice twice each day to keep the treatment area hydrated.


Makeup & fragrance:  Do not apply makeup or anything directly on the healing area that may irritate the skin.


Skin Pigment: Areas of lighter or darker pigment in the treated skin can occur. Skin discoloration usually returns to its original color within a few months to one year – except in very rare cases.


Shaving: Avoid shaving the treated area until it is completely healed.


Sunblock: The treated area will be particularly sensitive to sunlight.  It is essential you wear sunblock minimum SPF 50 over the area for at least 3 months after each session.


Working out: Exercise is generally safe after treatment – taking into account the other aftercare instructions provided here.


Anything else: If the area looks infected / you experience unusual discomfort or bleeding / any other complications develop / or if you have any questions or concerns – contact our office immediately.  Of course if you have any extreme reaction – seek immediate medical attention.

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