When a patient is having large areas treated for laser tattoo removal and the areas have very dense tattoo ink, it is not unusual to have an allergic-like response immediately after treatment including the development of raised hives around the area treated. Some theorize that this is related to the body reacting to a large amount of fragmented ink particles all at once. Symptoms may be immediate swelling, redness, and itching to the area. The skin/tissue surrounding the tattoo may become raised and hard.
To minimize this reaction, it may be recommended to take an anti-histamine (Benadryl) one hour prior to the procedure each and every time there is a laser tattoo removal treatment performed. Using hydrocortisone cream (not ointment) and cooling measures immediately following the treatment will also help lessen this response. For those patients that experience a profound, exuberant reaction, it may be necessary to divide the laser tattoo removal treatments into two separate visits.
Make certain your practitioner is experienced and knowledgeable in how to manage negative side effects following a laser treatment.