Today, cosmetic medical lasers designed to eradicate tattoos range from a single wavelength of light to a broad spectrum of light, the varieties of which are intended to obliterate the ink in the tattoo without damaging the skin.
Certain colors of light are absorbed by specific corresponding colors of the tattoo ink. The light energy vaporizes or fragments the ink particles. Your body then absorbs these ink fragments naturally and the color fades over the next couple of weeks.
The newest lasers for this, known as Q-switched lasers, are specifically useful for tattoo removal.
- Alma SINON Q-Switched Ruby Laser (QSRL)
- Cynosure RevLite: Q-Switched laser, 650 nm (red) wavelength
- Jeisys Tri-Beam: The Tribeam by Jeisys is a Q-Switched Nd: YAG laser used to deliver multiple wavelengths of energy in nanosecond pulses, allowing it to effectively target unwanted molecules of pigment while minimizing the risk to the surrounding tissues. The Tribeam laser is used to remove unwanted tattoos, as well as to lighten and improve the appearance of other unwanted forms of pigmentation in the skin, such as melasma, age spots, and sun spots. Tribeam treatments are safe for all skin types and require no downtime.
- Syneron Candela PicoWay: Picoway is a Q-switched laser designed to effectively treat unwanted tattoos in fewer sessions than traditional tattoo removal lasers. Picoway does this by delivering concentrated energy to the targeted ink in a faster, shorter burst, measured in picoseconds-one trillionth of a second. These high-powered bursts of energy shatter ink into tiny particles, making it easier for your body’s natural processes to clear the pigment. Picoway has wavelengths to target both black tattoos and tattoos with multiple colors. Picoway is safe for all skin types.
What are other removal options?
Laser tattoo removal is the safest, quickest, and most likely to leave your skin intact following treatment. Other treatment options are surgical excision, chemical peel, and traditional dermabrasion. These various treatment options are invasive treatment methods and often result in scarring.
What are treatments like?
First, the tattoo is cleansed and photographed. Emitting laser or pulsed light, the laser hand device glides over the surface of the tattoo. The size and color of the tattoo determine the length of treatment time. A tattoo roughly the size of a quarter may take approximately 3-5 minutes to treat. Ice, BLT cream, or Lidocaine injections can be used to numb the area prior to treatment so that there is no discomfort during the procedure. Following the laser treatment, a vigilon dressing is applied to the area to keep it clean and protected to promote healing. We ask that you leave the dressing on for 48 hours.
How many treatments are required?
Size, color, location, and the age of the tattoo determine the number of treatments necessary to effectively complete removal. During the consultation, your treatment regimen will be reviewed and any questions you have will be answered.
What results can I expect?
The results and appearance of the tattoo vary from patient to patient. After each treatment sesson, you will see the tattoo become lighter and lighter. Due to the various levels of professionalism and types of inks used in tattooing, the results and the number of treatments may vary. Typically, multiple treatments will be required and are scheduled 6-8 weeks apart.
Are there any possible side effects?
Some patients experienced redness, swelling, tenderness, crusting, sunburn sensation, or itching immediately following treatment. We will discuss your treatment program with you at the time of your consultation, and can tell you more about what to expect from your treatment. If you experience anything different than what is discussed with you following your treatment, report back to us for a follow-up visit.
For more information, please contact The Laser and Rejuvenation Center.
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