Blisters after treatment… how should I handle them?
Blistering after a laser tattoo removal treatment is very common. The size of the blisters can range from tiny to very large. The most common reasons for blisters are not following the aftercare instructions, tattoos with high ink density or a lot of ink, and blistering from different laser settings and ink colors. Blisters usually resolve naturally and generally do not cause complications with the laser tattoo removal process.
Blisters can form anywhere from 8 to 72 hours after the area is treated with the laser. Icing the laser tattoo treatment site often, especially in the first 24 hours after treatment, is the best way to prevent blisters from forming. You should be icing the tattoo for 10-15 minutes every 1-2 hours during this time period. This will help prevent swelling and blisters from forming. If you have a laser tattoo removal treatment on your wrist or ankle, elevation of the extremity a few times a day will decrease any associated swelling as well as decrease the chances for getting post-laser treatment blisters.
Another way to prevent blisters is to avoid excessive physical activity during the initial healing period. Friction at the treatment site that can occur during exercise can cause skin irritation and possibly blistering and swelling. This is especially true if your tattoo is located on an area that is rubbed by your clothes.
Treating blisters is fairly simple. First, do not pop the blisters or try to clean them with hydrogen peroxide. Your body will reabsorb the water in the blisters; keeping the skin intact is like a natural dressing. Your skin keeps in moisture and keeps out infection. It is ok if the blisters drain on their own. If you have a particularly large blister, you should contact Dr. Brotzman who can instruct you on how to safely drain it, if needed. Keep the area protected with a nonstick bandage and apply Vaseline or Aquaphor a few times a day. Something I have been recommending recently for post-laser tattoo treatment healing, especially if there are blisters, is the use of fresh Aloe Vera. I advise patients to obtain a fresh Aloe Vera leaf (you can get these at Woodman’s for about $1.50), cut off a small section of the leaf, scoop out the gooey contents and rub it on the treatment site and then cover with the dressing. The remaining leaf can be stored in your refrigerator until needed again. Aloe has excellent wound healing properties, can soothe the post-laser tattoo treatment discomfort and speed clearing of the blisters. It also works great for sunburns! Glendale is starting to see the sun more now, so keep this in mind in case a sunburn happens to you this summer. Continue to keep the treatment site covered with non-stick dressings until the area is completely healed. If you have any questions or are concerned about blisters or swelling don’t hesitate to call. Remove A Tattoo -laser tattoo treatment clinic, physician performed laser tattoo removal. We serve the grater Milwaukee area and beyond. give us a call today to start the tattoo removal process. 414-617-2849.