What is Laser Tattoo Removal?
Laser tattoo removal has become the standard treatment for tattoo removal because it offers an effective, safe and fast solution for removing unwanted tattoos. With the right laser, all common tattoo colors can be removed — black and dark tones, blues and sky blues, reds and tans, and greens. At Chelsea Cosmetics Laser Tattoo Removal (LLTR), we utilize Fontana’s QX MAX, which is state of the art when it comes to tattoo removal. This laser is solely designed for laser tattoo removal and is the most powerful and fastest laser for this purpose currently on the market.
Why is it is different?
The QX Max laser affects the tattoo with very short and strong laser pulses that penetrate deep into the skin, without injuring the top layer. These pulses are then absorbed by the pigments in the ink and as the laser light is transformed into photoacoustic waves, it mechanically breaks up the ink into smaller particles. These are then naturally absorbed by the body’s own immune system.
The number of treatments depends on the size of the tattoo as well as its location, depth and color. Amateur tattoos are the easiest to remove whereas professional tattoos may require more treatment sessions. The tattoo will fade slowly between treatments as the body remove the remainders of the tattoo pigment.
Why is wavelength important?
Fotona’s precisely controlled Nd:YAG laser 1064 nm wavelength is the ideal tattoo removal tool. The Nd:YAG is the optimal modality for conversion into 532 nm, 585 nm and 650 nm wavelength, allowing effective removal of all types of multicolored and complex tattoos. Also, because of its selective nature, the Nd:YAG can not easily be absorbed in melanin.; therefore, this wavelength can be safely used on all skin types.
Advantages for patients
Laser tattoo removal is easy to perform and has an unsurpassed treatment success rate compared to alternative methods. With easy-to-follow protocols and an “at the touch of a button” treatment setting, practitioners are able to treat patients with confidence and high success rates. Removing tattoos with the laser is the least invasive and most patient friendly method possible.
How does it work?
Laser removal of pigmented lesions works by restoring the pigments in the skin without the need for excision. This process in completed in 3 simple steps:
Step 1 – LIGHT ABSORPTION:
The laser produces short nanosecond pulses of intense light that passes harmlessly through the top layers of the skin to be selectively absorbed by the melanin pigment in the lesion.
Step 2 – PIGMENT BREAK-UP:
The laser is transformed into photoacoustic waves, which mechanically breaks up the melanin pigment into smaller particles.
Step 3 – PIGMENT REMOVAL:
These particles are then removed by the body’s own immune system as the skin’s macrophages clear the excess pigment from the area.
Treatment with the laser varies from patient to patient depending on the age, size and type of tattoo (amateur or professional). The color of the patient’s skin, as well as the depth to which the tattoo pigment extends, will also affect the removal technique.
In general, this is what will happen during an office visit for tattoo removal using the newer lasers:
- Protective eye shields are placed on the patient.
- The skin’s reaction to the laser is tested to determine the most effective energy for treatment.
- The treatment itself consists of placing a hand piece against the surface of the skin and activating the laser light. As many patients describe it, each pulse feels like a grease splatter or the snapping of a rubber band against the skin.
- Smaller tattoos require fewer pulses while larger ones require more. In either case, the tattoo requires several treatments and multiple visits. At each treatment, the tattoo should become progressively lighter.
- Immediately following treatment, an ice pack is applied to soothe the treated area. The patient will then be asked to apply a topical antibiotic cream or ointment. A bandage or patch will be used to protect the site and it should likewise be covered with a sun block when out in the sun.
Most patients do not require any anesthesia. However, depending on the location of the tattoo and the pain threshold for the patient, the physician may elect to use some form of anesthesia (topical anesthesia cream or painkiller injections at the site of the procedure)