The history of decorative tattooing dates back thousands of years. The desire to remove them has probably existed just as long. Early attempts to remove tattoos have had less than desirable results. The advent of Q-Switched lasers has permitted the removal of tattoo inks with a very low risk profile. The Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser available with the IPL Quantum platform is especially suited to the removal of dark blue and black inks and extends the clinical capabilities of this very versatile system.
Tattoo dyes consist of pigmented solid particles. In the same way as other pigmented lesions, these pigmented particles can be targeted by a dedicated laser and eliminated.
Types of Tattoos
If not done properly, tattoos can give you infection or keloids. And if you are allergic to some ingredients, tattoos can give you itchy scalp and some other adverse reactions.
Older methods of tattoo removal were ineffective or risky. They included dermabrasion, surgical removal and grafting, camouflaging, bleaching and chemical peeling.
Laser treatment is the newer and better option.
Different tattoos might require different types of laser in order to remove them, depending on the type of ink, the color, and the depth of the tattoo.
Q-Switch lasers release high-powered pulses of extremely short duration. The intense and rapid heating induced by light absorption leads to a photo-thermal effect. As the chromophore is heated, it undergoes sudden thermal expansion generating shock waves audible as a popping sound with each laser pulse. This photo-acoustic effect generates forces that allow fragmenting tattoo pigment particles. The pigment treated this way gradually becomes shallower over time until it fades away. The peripheral tissues remain unaltered making the treatment selective and safe.
The Lumenis Q-Switched Nd:YAG is very effective for the removal of dark tattoos and the safest for skin of color. Using a top-hat beam profile ensures control of homogeneous energy delivery and maximum safety without hot-spots nor any risk of side effects or complication for the patient. The versatility of 5 spot sizes allows to use the ideal parameters for the clearance of dark tattoos.
Q: How does the laser work?
A: The laser delivers high intensity light in pulses of a few billionths of a second into the treated area. The tattoo inks selectively absorb the light without damaging the normal surrounding skin tissue in the process. The tattoo ink is broken into smaller particles that are then harmlessly removed by the body in the weeks following treatment.
Q: How many treatments will it require?
A: Removing a professionally applied tattoo is usually a fading process that requires a series of treatments spaced at least 6 weeks apart. Professional tattoos usually require 5-10 treatment sessions for satisfactory clearing. The depth, color and amount of ink, as well as the location of the tattoo on the body are all determining factors in how quickly the tattoo can be removed. Most amateur, 'street tattoos" and traumatic tattoos are removed in fewer treatments.
Q: What to expect in the treatment?
A: Pain - like a rubber band snap, blanching and edema is common. In some individuals, scabs may appear for a few days.
Q: What about lightening an existing tattoo?
A: Many tattoo artists encourage customers to receive a minimum number of laser treatments to lighten an existing tattoo before covering it with a new one. This will dramatically reduce any chance of the old tattoo appearing through the new one. In most cases, a minimum of 2-4 treatments is all that's required to lighten an existing tattoo.
Q: How are tattoos cleared?
A: By Phagocytosis, by bodys lymphatics - particles broken to smaller sizes invisible to the eye.
Contraindications for laser