Pain after laser tattoo removal is no laughing matter. In fact, according to individuals who have gone through the procedure, having their tattoo erased hurt loads more than when they had it inked into their bodies. No wonder some would rather hold on to their unwanted body art than go through the agony.
It’s a good thing pain management has become part of the protocol in any medical procedure. The entire process of laser tattoo removal now includes postoperative strategies to deal with pain.
Expect your doctor or tattoo-removal specialist to use any of these methods on your tattoo-removal site to reduce your discomfort.
Ice packs have been one of the mainstays in the realm of cold-compress pain management, and it looks like they’re here to stay. And why not? Ice packs are easy to prepare, convenient, and cost-effective.
Cold is a great deterrent against pain. Low temperatures have a direct effect on blood vessels and blood circulation. See, with cold in the picture, the blood vessels become narrow. Narrow blood vessels mean less warm blood flowing into the area, and lesser blood flow means diminishing pain.
Do note, though, that ice packs can only be used before and/or after the procedure. While some may find this limiting, pain after laser tattoo removal can be kept under control with these humble and reliable anti-ache warriors.
Clinics that serve a low to moderate volume of clients can very well get by with using ice packs for pain management. Ice packs generally have no contraindications when used, so they’re safe to use on anyone.
Skin chillers, also known as cold-air machines, are modern technology’s answers to keeping at bay the infamous pain brought on by laser tattoo removal. These machines are staples in every tattoo-removal clinic, particularly those that have a high volume of clients.
They operate on the same principle as ice packs do: cryotherapy. Simply put, cryotherapy refers to using cold for therapeutic purposes. This is the heart of skin chillers and why they’re held in high regard by the medical field.
Their edge, though, lies on the fact they can be used before, during, and after the laser tattoo removal session. This is because the machine doesn’t require skin-to-skin contact.
It works by simply blowing cold air from a hose and into the patient’s skin. Having been cooled, the skin becomes numb, and the tattoo-removal specialist can proceed with the session sans pain for the client.
Another method you can harness to manage pain after laser tattoo removal is the topical route—in other words, through numbing creams. That’s right, you can slather on some gentle soothing cream to keep the tattoo-removal aches at bay.
Numbing creams are practical and go well with other pain-management techniques. They’re formulated with lidocaine, tetracaine, benzocaine, or prilocaine; all are active ingredients in the creation of local anesthetics.
These creams come in various strengths. There are creams you can purchase over the counter and those that require a prescription. Also, there’s something about creams that people generally like.
One point to consider when using numbing creams is they need some time, usually around 30–45 minutes, to take effect. Doctors recommend application before laser tattoo removal, and while you’re still at home.
If you’re a fan of skin lotions, numbing creams could be the ideal choice for you.
Trypanophobia, or a fear of needles, plagues 10% of the population. If you’re not part of this gang, good for you, because you can opt for lidocaine injections to manage pain after laser tattoo removal.
These injections work like magic: fast and instant. However, if your tattoo covers a large area of your body, your doctor may need to perform multiple injections before the pain-quashing effect can take place.
You can’t inject yourself directly with lidocaine; you need a licensed medical practitioner to do it. Should you opt to go down this route, prepare to shell out an extra amount for these injections. Most doctors charge a special rate for these, to be used either on their own or in adjunct to another method of pain management.
Should you want to manage your pain after laser tattoo removal with lidocaine injections, it’s best to talk first to your doctor or tattoo-removal specialist. That way, you can figure out if you want to push with this step.
If needles aren’t really your thing, don’t feel bad. There are other pain-management options you can turn to, anyway.
As mentioned, laser tattoo removal is an all-encompassing process that runs from start to finish. Amp up your pain-banishing game by doing a few strategies before your appointment to have your tattoo erased.
Your skin will be receiving most of the punches in the procedure, so prep up the body’s largest organ with some TLC. You see, dry, dehydrated skin makes the session more painful than usual.
Combat this possibility by drinking lots and lots of water hours before your appointment. Drinking water does wonders for your skin. When your skin is well hydrated, it can take on more damage and help speed up recovery. One more reason to keep chugging H2O.
If you’re a coffee or tea fan, it’s best to take a break from your habit, especially before your schedule. Caffeine increases your sensitivity to pain, and this makes it difficult to manage pain after laser tattoo removal. If you can’t be without your daily dose of caffeine, at least consume a smaller amount than usual.
During the procedure, don’t be afraid to tell your doctor or technician you’d like to take a break or he/she is going through the treatment too fast. Your safety and comfort are top priorities in most clinics, but note the staff can’t read your mind.
Don’t force yourself to go through it if you can no longer stand the pain. Remember, you’ve a right to speak up.
For women, experts recommend they schedule their appointments before or after their menstrual cycle but not during. Physiological and hormonal changes make the body highly sensitive and intolerant to pain, thereby increasing discomfort levels during tattoo removal.
Contact your tattoo-removal clinic if you find your appointment falls on the date your menstrual cycle is due.
It helps to place yourself in the hands of credible and reliable professionals to effectively manage pain after laser tattoo removal, as well as speed up recovery after the procedure. Bear in mind that reputable tattoo-removal clinics place top priority on their patients’ safety and comfort.
Refuse to compromise your standards; this is risky, and could place you in a dangerous predicament. Cover all the bases when asking around for the right clinic to have your tattoo erased. Again, your safety is key.