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When you got it, that tattoo seemed like a good idea at the time, but you had some regrets later on and had it removed. Tattoo removal is not always as simple and easy as having the tattoo put on in the first place. There are often some side effects involved in tattoo removal that you would rather keep covered up. Here are some ways to cover-up those side effects and get your skin back to normal again.

Keep in mind that what are presented in this article do not constitute all inclusive cures. Serious consequences can come from burns and infections associated with tattoo removal. For these you need to consult a health care professional.

woman painting tattoo on man

5 Quick Ideas to Cover-Up the Side Effects of Your Tattoo Removal

1. Hyperpigmentation/Hypopigmentation

Some common issues with tattoo removal are hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation. Essentially, your skin will be over pigmented (darker) or under pigmented (lighter) after tattoo removal. These pigmentation changes relate to light wavelengths of the laser and how it affected the melanin production in your skin. Those pigmentation issues are not life threatening and will resolve themselves after while, you will probably want to even them out so that they more closely match the surrounding tissue pigment.

What to do:

  • Increase production of melanin using herbal supplements such as: 500 mg of standardized St. John’s Wort daily or 40 mg of Ginkgo Biloba daily.
  • Drinking 2 to 3 cups of green tea daily will help increase melanin production.
  • Mix 5 tsp of turmeric powder in 1 cup of mustard oil and apply the paste to the affected area in order to darken hypopigmentation.
  • A mixture of several drops of basil extra in 1 Tbsp of lime juice applied to the affected area will also encourage melanin production.

2. Scabbing

Scabbing is a normal reaction after skin tissue has been broken. In the case of tattoo removal, scabbing typically takes place after blistering. Scabbing, though it is unattractive, is really a sign that your damaged skin is healing. The scab creates a protective layer so that the tissue underneath can heal. Do not pick and scratch at your scabs. Instead take care of them and keep them and the area around them moist and keep them from scarring. They will heal on their own. But there are some ways to speed up the process.

What to do:

  • Mix 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar in ¼ cup of warm water. Using a cotton ball, bathe the scabs using the solution and allow it to sit for 20 minutes before rinsing it off.
  • Tea tree oil applied with a cotton ball will also help relieve itching and promote rapid healing.
  • 1 Tbsp of baking soda dissolved in a ½ cup of warm water can also be used to help moisten and heal the affected area.
  • You can also smear on a layer of honey over the scabs and let it set for 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing it off.

fresh basil

3. Itching

More common than any other issue after tattoo removal is itching. Itching may accompany redness as a typical side effect. Because of that  the place might be a bit unsightly, but the biggest problem associated with itching is the maddening desire to scratch, which will only make things worse. Keep in mind that itching is actually a good sign that your immune system is at work healing the damaged skin. There are some things to keep you from going completely out of your mind, stop the itching and speed up the healing process as well.

What to do:

  • Bathe the affected area with apple cider vinegar as mentioned above.
  • Using a wooden spoon or stick, mix Bentonite clay with enough water to make a paste the consistency of peanut butter. Smear the clay over the affected area and cover with gauze. Leave it in place overnight and rinse it off in the morning.
  • Crush fresh basil leaves or mint leaves into a poultice and apply them to the affected area. Wrap the area in gauze to hold it in place and leave it overnight.
  • Extract the gel from an aloe vera chute and apply it to the affected area 2 or 3 times a day.

4. Blistering

If you have ever got a really bad sunburn or a snow burn from skiing, then you already have some experience with the same sort of blistering as you get from tattoo removal. The process of laser tattoo removal is a burning of the skin tissue in an attempt to break down and disintegrate the ink pigments in your skin. Obviously, if you burn your skin enough to remove deeper pigmentation, you are going to get blisters. Remain calm and take good care of your blisters to prevent scabbing and scarring later on.

What to do:

  • The first rule with blisters is do not pop them. Blisters are there to protect your skin from infection while the tissue underneath heals.
  • We mentioned both apple cider vinegar and aloe vera above. Both of those remedies will also work for blisters.
  • You can also clip off the end or pierce a vitamin E capsule and use a cotton swab to apply the gel from inside the capsule to the affected area.
  • Witch hazel on a clean cotton ball applied to the affected area is also effective.
  • Brew a cup of green tea, allow it to cool to room temperature and use a cotton swab or the tea bag itself to apply tea to the affected area.

cube of ice

5. Swelling

Swelling or inflammation are also common with tattoo removal. Inflammation is a sign that your immune system is at work and is helping to prevent infection. Inflammation does cause some pain at times. So, reducing inflammation is often a high priority. You don’t need to panic and you don’t need to down handfuls of anti-inflammatory medications. There are several natural ways to deal with inflammation.

What to do:

  • One of the remedies for hypo-pigmentation also works for inflammation. That remedy is turmeric and mustard. Turmeric is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory agents on earth, including OTC anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Besides turmeric, you can substitute ginger, garlic, cinnamon or cloves in mustard, olive or coconut oil to help reduce inflammation.
  • Ice is always good for reducing inflammation. Wrap a bag of crushed ice or even a bag of frozen peas in a thin towel. Then, hold it in place over the affected area for 20 minutes. You can repeat this remedy several times a day for the first 48 hours after tattoo removal.

To Healing

Because you are burning your skin when a laser is used for tattoo removal, you are bound to experience one, several or all of these side effects. Don’t panic, most of these side effects will go away on their own. But you can speed up the process and more rapidly cover up the side effects of your tattoo removal and get back to normal.

If you have questions, comments or alternate remedies for any of the side effects listed above, please feel free to include them in the section below.

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