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Considering laser tattoo removal? You’re not alone!

17% of 45 million Americans with tattoos experience tattoo regret and consider laser tattoo removal! But, if you have sensitive skin, you may be worried that laser tattoo removal will irritate your skin and cause more problems than it solves.

Recently we had a laser tattoo removal client in our Philadelphia Office who had extremely sensitive skin. The tattoo intended for removal is located on the client’s spine, a particularly sensitive part of the body. This presented two challenges for her attending laser technician: longer recovery time and lower pain tolerance.

Low Pain Tolerance  

People usually compare the pain of laser tattoo removal treatment to a rubber band snapping on their skin; hot and quick.

After treatment this client described it similarly. She noted that it is really fast and the pain was not as bad as she thought it was going to be. The tattoo is located on the client’s spine. Even for someone with an extremely high pain tolerance, the spine is a difficult area for laser tattoo removal.

The technician performing the procedure broke up the treatment into a few small intervals to make it more bearable. The entire procedure only took about 20 seconds thanks to the small size of the tattoo. To make it more comfortable for the client we always ice the skin before treatments. During we use a state of the art cryo machine which blasts super cold air onto the skin. As a plus, the technicians in the Philadelphia office always like to ask for your favorite song to play while we treat to make it a bit more enjoyable!

Recovery Time

External visual reactions (redness, swelling, etc) after laser tattoo removal treatments usually last about one week. Clients with sensitive skin tend to have external reactions for longer periods of time.

This client’s reaction lasted roughly two weeks and consisted of predominantly redness, with tightness and swelling that subsided after a week. Everybody’s skin is different so their reactions are going to be different as well. A well trained technician will be able to anticipate and guide the client through treatments and aftercare to make sure their sessions are effective.

After learning about her skin reaction we recommended ice and elevation to the area. Icing and elevating reduces swelling in the area which decreases the tightness sensation and the pain associated. Vitamin E oil also helps to moisturize and heal the skin by fighting off free radicals and strengthening the skins barrier function so we also recommended massaging this into the area every night.  

Tips for Laser Tattoo Removal on Sensitive Skin

  • – Use sunscreen
  • – Keep comfortable with ice, but make sure it isn’t too cold!
  • – Pay attention to any strange changes to the treated area, update your laser technician if something seems off
  • – Keep track of medications, be aware of contraindications

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