Having a well-stocked and prepared laser tattoo removal or hair removal clinic is critical to a good first impression and can help with the return rate of your clients. Here are some things to consider when getting supplies set up your laser tattoo removal and hair removal clinic:
Treatment area: The treatment bed should be a clean environment. Having a bed that is torn, fraying, or otherwise less-than-ideal can be off-putting. We prefer a tattooing chair because they tend to be versatile and allow you to treat any body part efficiently. They are heavy and don’t slide around when a patient gets on the bed, can spin, raise/lower the back and leg sections, and have removable armrests which come in handy when treating something that stretches across the body. For bonus points, having a second chair with an armrest pedestal makes it easier to treat patients with forearm, hand, and knuckle tattoos, since they will have a great anchor point to keep their arm steady during treatment.
All these features help improve a practitioner’s ease of treatment, but practitioner comfort is also essential, particularly when treating large tattoos or for exceptionally busy clinics. Having a rolling chair or stool that can raise and lower and without armrests getting in the way can make a practitioner’s treatment space a little more comfortable, and also help reduce fatigue in treatment.
Additionally, make sure you have a method to ensure a clean treatment environment. Treatment table paper rolls help reduce contamination and can be conveniently cut and measured for each patient. Clorox wipes can be used to clean the bed of any residual sweat and makeup. Nobody wants to lay in the previous patient’s biological shadow.
Numbing: There are many ways to numb tattooed areas ahead of treatment, and having a reliable pain mitigation method is critical for a positive patient experience. Astanza Laser recommends the Zimmer Cryo 6 chiller system. It is an extremely professional and reliable numbing method and can help reduce treatment times because of how quickly it cools the
skin. Other options, such as ice packs are also useful. Ice packs are extremely cost-effective, but in a bustling clinic, there needs to be a significant stockpile of ice packs. Otherwise, you might be left with a warm pack, which isn’t going to be good for a first impression OR a treatment experience. Local lidocaine injections are possible too, however, they need to be injected by a nurse or other medical professional, which isn’t necessarily required in laser tattoo removal. Lidocaine injections have the effect of trading one unpleasant experience for another. Lidocaine creams are also a possibility, though they require an acting time of at least 30 minutes ahead of treatment and significantly increase the time commitment for a patient to undergo the removal process.
Bandages: Tattoos come in all shapes and sizes, and so should your bandages. In addition to having non-stick telfa pads (our preferred method of covering treated areas), having various types of tape with different adhesives can help patients follow their aftercare a little more closely. For instance, Transpore tape is great for keeping bandages on, but the adhesive in the tape may irritate the skin more than others. If the treated area is on a joint, it may be necessary to use Transpore tape to keep the bandage on securely. Having 2”x2”, 4”x4”, and 4”x8” bandages are great to have and can be used to in combination to cover large areas. A variety of adhesive bandages (i.e. Band-Aids) is another asset for some smaller tattoos (facial tattoos, knuckles, etc.) and can be used to covered an area appropriately.
Another bandaging option that has gained popularity amongst tattoo shops is SaniDerm. It is good for keeping the area clean and dry and also manages to keep the area somewhat breathable. It is a no-frills option but is a little more expensive than other bandaging options.
Ointment: We recommend using a thin layer of Aquaphor ointment to make sure the skin stays hydrated. Ointment helps prevents scabs from forming, but applying too much of it immediately after treatment can cause the skin to hold more heat than it ordinarily would, thereby increasing the risk of blisters. Other options include Neosporin and A&D ointment, though these are usually more expensive than Aquaphor, and not necessary since the procedure is nonablative, and infection isn’t an immediate concern.
Aftercare: Aftercare in laser tattoo removal is extremely important. Having a branded aftercare sheet for each patient to take home can help answer their questions quickly and effectively. Knowing general aftercare and FAQs forward and backward can also help establish you as an authoritative expert on tattoo removal. Having a branded goody bag with starter treatment dressings and other aftercare materials is an excellent way to establish your brand, encourage patients to follow through with aftercare, and familiarize them with the materials needed to take care of their skin.
Other General Concerns: Being adequately trained on your system can’t be understated. Any signs of uncertainty, such as fumbling around with the laser settings or interface, can make you look uneducated, ill-prepared, or worse, incompetent. Being knowledgeable and comfortable with your laser, the consultation, and aftercare steps will help set the tone for your success as a laser practitioner.