Many individuals find they no longer want an old tattoo. Sometimes it has become professionally or personally embarrassing, or just no longer fits the individual’s taste. Older tattoos can also fade, spread, and become cosmetically displeasing. Older methods of tattoo removal were less than satisfactory. Dermabrasion and excision often leave scarring in place of the tattoo. The Q-switched laser is quite effective at removing some colors and types of inks but is completely ineffective against others. The Picosure laser has overcome these problems.
Laser tattoo removal
The idea behind laser tattoo removal is that the energy of the laser is absorbed by the ink, causing the ink to break down. The body then removes the ink by-products. The first lasers developed for this process are called Q-switched ruby lasers. These lasers produce short bursts of very intense energy. If they weren’t being switched on and off, the high-intensity energy would severely damage the skin.
Instead, the short bursts are efficiently absorbed by certain colors of tattoo ink, causing it to break up. Unfortunately, many colors such as green, purple, and blue are barely affected by these lasers.
The Picosure laser emits ultra-short (picosend long), extremely high energy bursts of light that completely destroys ink particles. The ink particles are badly damaged, allowing the body to easily clear them away. Fewer treatments are needed, and better tattoo clearance occurs than with traditional tattoo laser removal. Because the bursts of energy are so short, the surrounding skin is only mildly damaged.
Is there any tattoo Picosure cannot treat?
Because of the wavelengths of light that Picosure emits, it is not as effective on red and yellow inks. If a person has a multicolored tattoo, the best approach might be to remove as much ink as possible with Picosure.
Are there any side effects?
It is possible that darker skin might experience some depigmentation after a series of Picosure treatments. However, the depigmentation appears to only be temporary, and the skin will return to its normal tone after a few months.
How many treatments? Does it hurt?
Patients report that the treatment stings and feels somewhat like getting the tattoo in the first place. There may be blistering and scabbing of the treated area after each session. The length of each session depends on the size of the tattoo. The number of treatments depends entirely on the nature of the tattoo.
If your tattoo has been interfering with your career or social life, laser tattoo removal might be a solution for you. Contact Skin Deep Laser MD today to make your appointment.