A very common question that we get here at New Look is how long does it take for the skin to heal after a laser treatment. A short answer is that most of the healing takes place within the first 72 hours but it can take up to one to two weeks to heal completely after your first treatment and then it takes less time with each session. Here are some of the key factors that affect time of healing after a laser tattoo removal treatment:
1. How many treatments have you had?
2. How dense is the ink in your tattoo?
3. Are both the wavelengths of light needed for your laser tattoo removal treatment?
4. How well does your immune system respond to injury?
You will tend to heal faster and faster as you progress through your treatments. After your first laser tattoo removal session you may take from one week to two weeks to heal completely. After your second treatment it may only take you five days. After your third maybe only three days until you heal within 24 hours of your last treatment. As you progress in the number of treatments you have had, you have less ink which has a result of less damage to the skin.
Density of the ink is important because the more dense your tattoo is, the more the laser energy is absorbed and the longer it takes to heal. With a very old tattoo that is not very dense, it may only take five days to heal even after your first treatment.
If we go over your tattoo with both the 1064nm and the 532nm wavelength of light (usually because of colors or very, very faded black) it may take longer for you to heal as well. For instance, if you have a black tattoo that has been lasered four times to the point where it is very, very faded, we may decide to add the 532nm as well to get the last bit out. Since you have had two lasers go over the same area you will probably require slightly longer to heal than the previous treatment when we only used one.
The last thing that is important to talk about is the immune system. If your immune system is good shape because you are healthy then you will follow the general rule that it takes one to two weeks to heal after your first treatment and then less time as your treatments progress. However, if you have diabetes or other health problems it could take you slighty longer. Not to worry, everyone is usually healed, including having no scabs, after the first month. Most of the healing is done within the first 72 hours.