Every time I take a new consultation, I learn more about what people think, believe, and wonder about laser tattoo removal. Because asking and answering questions is one of the best ways to learn, I thought I would take a couple of the questions I have been asked during consultations and answer them here.

What will my tattoo look like the day after treatment? (Asked by G.M. from St. Petersburg, FL)

Results can vary, of course, so lets discuss what a typical treatment looks like. First, every treatment is going to have some slight redness and itching. It is very similar to a mild sunburn, and like a sunburn it is very important that we do not scratch, itch, or abrade the area. As the treatments continue and higher energies are used, there is a slight chance that we see small water blisters in addition to the sunburn-like results.

Second, it is common to see a small amount of ink fading immediately after treatment. In many cases, we won’t see any immediate changes in the heavily inked areas or on darker lines, but shaded areas may become lighter overnight. It is important to remember that ink removal is a multi-week process carried out by the immune system, so the complete treatment result will be visible between weeks 3 and 6.

Finally, your tattoo is going to look back to normal within a few days to a week, except for a few noticeable changes. We already discussed the immediate fading of the ink that will continue for a couple weeks. In addition, when the laser breaks up the ink particles there can be some dispersion of the ink. Lines that were small and tight may become loose and faded, which is a great indicator that we are making progress towards removing your tattoo!

How soon can I go to the beach after treatment? (Asked by L.F. from Seminole, FL)

The short answer: 7 days, as long as your tattoo is completely healed and does not have any symptoms (redness, itching, or blistering).

The long answer: here in Florida, especially the Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater area, we have fantastic beaches. We know that you want to get out there and enjoy the sun, sand, and surf – unfortunately, all three of the those things can be harmful to your newly treated tattoo!

The sun’s rays may feel amazing, but they can be damaging to skin that has been recently treated by a laser. On the other hand, the sand and water of the beach that we enjoy so much are filled with microbes that could infect a newly treated tattoo and ruin the healthy skin we are trying to save!

Thank you for taking the time to read a quick Q & A about laser tattoo removal! If you live in Largo, St. Petersburg, Seminole, Pinellas or the greater Tampa Bay area, please feel free to reach out to me with any further questions you might have or schedule your free consultation!