Bleeding after laser tattoo removal session, is this normal? (photo)

I just got home from my removal session I feel I should mention that the session prior, I got an ice burn (they freeze the area before lasering) but I gave it two months for it to completed heal. I've never bled this much before I'm concerned that it might leave a scar or something. I called the place and the girl who performed on me said that it was normal to bleed, but I want to make sure. The areas that are bright red are dried blood. How should I care for this? How should I wash the area?

Doctor Answers 4

Tattoo Removal -- Pico/Q Switched Laser

Bleeding is likely due to treatment performed too aggressively. I suggest speaking to your treating dermatologist as they will have suggestions for wound care.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Bleeding after tattoo removal session?

Hello, thank you for your question. Bleeding is a possibility when doing laser tattoo removal, but is not necessarily the response that we would like to see. Taking care of the tattoo post treatment is definitely an important part of successfully removing a tattoo with minimal to no scarring. Post care instructions are as follows:
POSTOPERATIVE TREATMENT CAREImmediately after treatment, there should be a “slight frosting” on the area that is treated. Erythema (redness) and edema (swelling) at the treatment site can occur and may last up to 2 hours or longer. Pinpoint bleeding may also occur.An ointment (Aquaphor, bacitracin, or even Vaseline) should be applied to the treated area and covered with a non-stick bandage.After treatment, the skin will scab over. It is very important not to pick, scratch or aggressively wash the area to prevent possible scarring. This crust should flake off in 7-10 days.Avoid sun exposure to reduce the chance of hyper-pigmentation (darker pigmentation)Use sun block (SPF 30+) at all times throughout the course of your treatments.There are no restrictions on bathing except to treat the area gently, as with any other wound. Good Luck!

Mark A. Blair, MD
Phoenix Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Bleeding after Tattoo Removal

We typically recommend applying Aquaphor Healing Ointment to the lasered area until any scabbing resolves.  Any time the skin is broken there is a small risk for infection so watch for any abnormal symptoms such as redness, pain, etc.  Call your doctor if you have any concerns.Regards,Dr. Ort

Richard Ort, MD
Lone Tree Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

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Wound care after laser tattoo removal

In general, this is not the desired outcome but it does occur. Open skin wounds should be treated with aquaphor until closed. I could take a week or 10 days for this to heal.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
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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.