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8 Tips to Speed Up Your Tattoo Removal Journey

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For many people, a tattoo is a part of their personal story that they wouldn’t choose to alter. However, we can’t all get it right all the time. The thought of laser tattoo removal can be daunting, but if you approach it right, the process doesn’t have to be. In fact, your body responds to the treatment by working in conjunction with the laser to help speed the process along.

The laser penetrates the top layers of your skin, breaking down the ink. Once the ink particles are smaller, the body’s immune system targets and destroys them using special white blood cells called macrophages. This is where your body needs your help. Here we show you the ways in which you can speed up the tattoo removal process.

1. Avoid exposing the treated area to the sun

tattoo covered in the sun

Exposure to the sun increases the levels of melanin in the skin, which absorbs the ultraviolet radiation from the sun. If you are considering or undergoing laser tattoo removal, it is vital that there is not too much melanin in your skin during the procedure. Not only will it be more difficult for the laser to break up the ink pigment, but increased melanin levels also make your skin more susceptible to burning. In order to have your tattoo removed efficiently and safely, in as few sessions as possible, it is recommended that you keep the tattooed area out of the sun for at least six weeks prior to beginning your treatment.

2. Exercise regularly

woman jogging in park

Image credit: Shutterstock

While a link between tattoo removal and exercise might not be immediately apparent, what exercise does is improves the immune system by boosting the cells in your body that attack foreign bodies, including broken-down tattoo ink. Visiting the gym a few times a week, or even just walking for half an hour a day, can speed up the healing process.

3. Sleep well

man with tattoo sleeping on bed

Image credit: Shutterstock

Lack of sleep has a negative effect on the immune system, making us less able to fight bacteria and more prone to infection. Some people need more sleep than others, but seven hours a night is thought to be the ideal. Less than six, and your immune system can start to suffer. Some tips for improving your quantity and quality of sleep include getting into a regular routine, such as going to sleep and waking up at the same times each day. Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine before bed, and make sure your television and computer are turned off to ensure you are going to sleep in a restful, sleep-conducive environment.

4. Drink plenty of water

man with tattoo pouring water

Image credit: Shutterstock

Your immune system needs proper hydration in order to work efficiently, but water can help to speed up the tattoo removal process in a wide variety of ways. It increases your kidney function, allowing them to flush out toxins such as broken-down ink more quickly. It also helps in the production of lymph, which is what carries your white blood cells through the body, allowing them to break down foreign bodies and remove toxins from your blood. In addition, water helps to keep your skin in good condition. Skin, like all the other organs in the body, needs proper hydration in order to keep it functioning at its best. The better condition your skin is in, the more efficiently it will respond to the laser treatment.

5. Eat more immunity-boosting foods

oats almonds banaana

Image credit: Shutterstock

Certain foods contain properties that help to strengthen your immune system. Oats and barley contain a type of fibre called beta-glucan, which has high antioxidant properties and helps to speed up the healing of wounds. Almonds are an incredible source of Vitamin E, which is vital for a healthy immune system.

6. Don’t smoke

no smoking sign

Image credit: Shutterstock

Smoking has been shown to impede the tattoo removal process seriously. An Italian study concluded that the chances of successful tattoo removal after 10 sessions were reduced by 70% in smokers. Giving up smoking has all kinds of health benefits; but if you’re desperate to get rid of some unwanted ink, this might be the extra impetus you need to kick the habit.

7. Follow the aftercare advice

ice pack on tattoo after laser treatment

Image credit: Andrea Catton Laser Clinic

Once you’ve been through a process like laser tattoo removal, it can be easy to get a little blasé about the aftercare. However, following the advice you’re given is essential if you want to speed up the healing process. For 48 hours after treatment, it is important to avoid anything that could irritate the treated skin, such as tight clothing, moisturisers, make-up or perfume. Try to keep the treated area cool and dry, so avoid exposing the treated skin to the sun, hot baths, saunas or swimming. Obviously, do not scratch or shave the treated area, as this is highly likely to cause irritation. It is also important to exercise caution in all these areas until all blistering has subsided and your skin feels healed. If you have any problems or doubts at all during the healing process, you should contact your tattoo removal clinic and your doctor.

8. Keep to your appointment schedule


Image credit: Shutterstock

This may sound highly obvious, but the treatment will work quicker if you keep to regular sessions. Missing appointments will naturally slow the tattoo removal process down. However, it is not advisable to have sessions too quickly after one another. Every six to eight weeks is the optimum time to wait between sessions, as this allows your body time to break up and flush out the ink particles, and your skin time to heal sufficiently before your next session.

By following all these tips, you can give your body the best possible chance of a speedy, trouble-free tattoo removal and healing process. And who knows? You might just notice some other health benefits, too.

What NOT to Do Before Your Laser Tattoo Removal Session

Andrea Catton

Andrea has over over 40 years experience delivering beauty and skin care treatments and has over 20 years laser experience. Regarded as the number one PicoSure laser technician in the UK, Andrea is trained and qualified to use Aculight HR IPL, Chromolite IPL, N-Lite laser, Ellipse, Episoft MD IPL, ADL Sapphire Nd:YAG, RevLite & PicoSure. Andrea is also a member of the British Institute & Association of Electrolysis, British Medical Laser Association and is fully qualified to teach IPL & laser hair removal.

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