What can I do for blisters after Laser Tattoo Removal? (photos)

I had my 5th laser tattoo removal treatment on Monday. (Now Saturday). It was more agonising than normal, my wrists were so swollen and I couldn't move them properly. I woke up the next day and this is what they look like. At this stage, they look a little worse. It is so sore to touch and my wrists are throbbing with pain. This didn't happen previously. I spoke to the girl who did it and she said its normal. What can I do? How long will they take to clear up?

Doctor Answers 5

Tattoo removal

Blistering is not uncommon after the tattoo removal. It is better to leave it alone , it might take a few days to heal . What you can do is apply gently Aquaphor or Vaseline (petrolatum) , not sure what is your brand name in your country . Cover it with a sterile cover dressing and change it every 24 hrs  for the first few days after treatment if it happens again . I wound recommend to verify with your health care provider that has done the treatment for the best post –care guidelines.


Montreal Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Tattoo Removal

Thank you for your question in regards to tattoo removal. Blistering is not completely uncommon after a laser tattoo removal treatment. It is best to just leave them alone and let heal. Do not pick or scratch blisters. This could cause you to have scarring once healed. To be sure what is best for you, see two or more board-certified providers in your area for a complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have treatment. I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 150 reviews

Blistering Is Not Uncommon

Blistering after laser tattoo removal is not an uncommon reaction.  What we discovered was that one way to minimize this is to use an additional laser during treatment that prevents blistering.  However, this is a specialized technique and many tattoo removal facilities do not have the equipment or expertise to perform it.  The good news is that with adequate skin care, your blisters will probably heal up just fine so don’t worry.  I recommend using a bland ointment such as Vaseline to the area to protect the skin barrier, keep it clean with gentle cleanser, and avoid picking or scratching at the area until it is fully healed.

Douglas Wu, MD
San Diego Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Blistering isn't normal after tattoo removal

I wouldn't consider this a normal. I treat with Biafine cream. It must be kept moist to avoid scarring. I know that blistering does occur after tattoo removal in some cases, it isn't considered normal and we try to avoid this type of reaction.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Blisters after tattoo removal

It is not out of the ordinary to have blistering 5 days after laser tattoo removal.  In general, it is best to leave the blisters alone. They should go away on their own in a few days. However, if they are really bothering you, the doctor can drain them in the office. It should be done using sterile technique, not at home. Also, if after about a week, it appears to be getting worse rather than better, I would recommend that you have your doctor look at to be sure that you don't have an unusual reaction or infection. 

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.