About one in five people regret their tattoos. The request for tattoo removal is getting more common for a variety of reasons. Laser tattoo removal presents a non-invasive method of removing tattoo pigments using a specific wavelength of laser. Understand more about laser tattoo removal before and after your treatment.
Laser Tattoo Removal
Tattow! The word tattoo has polynesian origins, however the art of tattooing has been practiced across cultures over the centuries. While tattooing is gaining popularity among the young adults, interestingly many seek removal of their tattoos as well. Throughout history, there have been many attempts to remove unwanted tattoos. The greek physician, Aetius practiced Salabrasion, which encompasses rubbing a salt mixture onto the skin to remove the pigment. However, this proved unsuccessful in many instances as the pigments are lodged much deeper within the skin. Moving forward, it was only in the 1960s that lasers were being developed to remove tattoos.
There are various types of tattoos, and the ease of removal using laser technology depends on many factors. These include the type of tattoo, tattoo colour, location on the body, amount of ink used and skin type. For example, a professional tattoo that is located on the ankle is more difficult to remove than an amateur tattoo located on the back.
Before you embark on a treatment, you need to understand more about laser tattoo removal before and after your treatment.
How Q-Switch Nd:YAG Lasers work?
We use an advanced FDA approved Q-switch laser system that has been clinically proven to remove tattoos.
Lasers work by selectively breaking down the tattoo pigments into smaller fragments, allowing your body’s immune system to clear them away.
Laser tattoo removal before and after the treatments are spaced a few months apart. This enables healing of the skin and natural clearing of the tattoo fragments.
What can I expect during and after the Laser procedure?
A topical anaesthetic cream is applied to numb your skin, maximizing your comfort. The laser pulse feels like a rubber band snapping against your skin. You will experience some discomfort, redness and swelling after the laser, which will fade in a few days. Skin care and sun avoidance after the procedure is crucial to prevent complications like infection, scarring and pigmentation.
How many Laser sessions are needed to remove tattoo?
The number of sessions required is determined by the colour, depth, location and whether done by a professional or amateur tattoo artists. For example, an amateur tattoo usually requires less sessions as only one ink type is used and the ink is placed in a more superficial location in the skin.
The Kirby-Desai Scale gives the approximate number of laser sessions you may need. It is a validated practical tool that allows an individual to estimate the number of laser sessions needed and the costs involved. This scale takes into account your skin type, location of tattoo, layering, number of colours and history of skin scarring.
Laser treatments are spaced at least 3-4 months apart to enable healing of the skin and to allow clearance of the tattoo pigment by the body’s immune system.
- Kent KM, Graber EM. Laser Tattoo Removal: A Review. Dermatol Surg. 2011 Nov 2.
- Kilmer SL, Lee MS, Anderson RR. Treatment of multi-colored tattoos with the Q-switched Nd:YAG laser (532 nm): a dose response study with comparison to the Q-switched ruby laser. Lasers Surg Med Suppl. 1993. 5:54.
- Jones A, Roddey P, Orengo I, Rosen T. The Q-switched ND:YAG laser effectively treats tattoos in darkly pigmented skin. Dermatol Surg. 1996 Dec. 22(12):999-1001.