Preparing for laser tattoo removal is quite simple once good candidacy is established and the necessary pre-procedure research has been completed. Laser tattoo removal specialists recommend the following before appointment time.

Smoking Cessation

Most professional medical practitioners advise patients to cease smoking for about a month before and after the laser tattoo removal process. Smoking narrows blood vessels and the decreased flow of oxygen can delay proper healing.

Sunlight Avoidance

Keep the tattoo out of the sun for about 48 hours before laser tattoo removal. Laser light emissions will, in effect, cause a sunburn-like phenomenon on the skin.

Pain Medications

Specialists in laser tattoo removal advise patients that they can take an over-the-counter pain reliever prior to the procedure; however, patients are not advised to take aspirin or other medications which thin the blood. These can promote excessive bruising and increase blood flow. If patients are concerned about their own low pain tolerance, doctors may either inject local anesthesia or apply a local numbing agent. Any ointment or lotion must be washed from the skin before laser tattoo removal.

Protective Eyewear

Expect to wear protective glasses during the procedure in order to prevent the laser's light emissions from damaging the eyes.

Loose-Fitting Clothing

Wear loose-fitting, soft cotton clothing if the tattoo is located under clothing, to allow for placement of a loose gauze bandage over the treatment area.

After the Procedure

Expect to receive ice therapy for about 30 minutes after laser treatment to prevent swelling. An antibiotic ointment will then be applied to the area, and the skin will be covered with a loose gauze dressing. Sometimes patients are advised to elevate the treated area and to keep the skin out of the sun.