Understanding Tattoo Laser Treatment

    Lisa Walker

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    Understanding Tattoo Laser Treatment

    It is more popular than acne laser treatment and about on par with laser hair removal. This is not necessarily because it is the best option for tattoo removal but because it is a proven method that has received a lot of media attention. Another reason that it is popular is that it’s one of faster ways to have a tattoo removed. Most free tattoo removal programs for ex-gang members use tattoo laser treatment exclusively. If you don’t qualify for this you much ask yourself how much does tattoo removal cost? Laser tattoo removal cost can range from $1,000 to $10,000 which makes not affordable for most people.

    Now let’s take a minute and discuss exactly how tattoo laser treatment works. In order to remove a tattoo with lasers, A tattoo removal specialist uses a tattoo removal laser to bombard the skin cells that are holding the tattoo ink with heat. The tattoo removal laser actually breaks the tattoo ink up into very tiny particles. The particles are then naturally absorbed by the human body. Unlike intense pulsed light therapy tattoo removal which uses multiple wavelengths of light, tattoo removal laser emit one specific wavelength at a time.

    Depending on the color of the tattoo ink to be removed, the laser tattoo removal specialist will use one or more specialized tattoo removal laser machines. There are three tattoo removal lasers that are used for removing tattoo ink. Modern tattoo removal lasers are called Q-Switched lasers.



    Q-switched ruby laser (694 nm) – This laser is effective at removing blue, black, and green tattoo ink.

    Q-switched Nd: YAG laser (532 nm, 1064 nm) - The 532 nm laser is effective at removing red tattoo ink and the 1064 nm laser is effective at removing black and blue tattoo ink.

    Q-switched alexandrite laser (755 nm) – This laser is effective at removing black, blue, and green tattoo ink.

    Some of the potential risks associated with laser treatment for tattoo removal are as follows.

    • There is a risk of scarring with laser removal.
    • There is a risk of experiencing pain during and after the treatment. In some cases, a numbing agent may be applied to the tattoo prior to treatment to minimize the pain that the patient experiences.
    • There is a risk of hyper or hypopigmentation with tattoo laser treatment. This basically means that the skin may end up being slightly lighter or slightly darker than the surrounding skin.
    • There is a risk of infection when using tattoo removal laser for tattoo removal. This can be minimized by proper post-treatment care.
    • There is a risk of blistering with laser removal. Sometimes very large blisters form over the treated area. These blisters should not be popped as blisters are nature’s band-aids. Puncturing the blister may lead to infection.
    • There is a risk of unsatisfactory results. In some very rare cases, it may not be possible to fully remove all of the tattoo ink if the ink was deposited extremely deep beneath the skin when the tattoo was applied.
      People who are considering laser treatment should understand that to fully remove the tattoo it will take several treatments. If a laser tattoo removal technician attempts to be too aggressive with any single treatment session, the risk of scarring is much higher. The best results are accomplished with several laser removal treatment sessions.

    It is not possible to remove all tattoo ink with one single laser. It’s not uncommon for a laser tattoo removal technician to use one or more of the lasers defined above in a single treatment session. One of the reasons that several types of lasers are required for removing tattoo ink is because tattoo ink of different colors absorbs different wavelengths of light. Since lasers are devices that output only one wavelength of light at a time, a particular tattoo ink pigment may not be affected by certain wavelengths of light.

    New research is currently being performed on a tattoo removal lasers called picosecond lasers. Preliminary findings suggest that these picosecond lasers may be more effective at removing the new brightly colored tattoo inks.


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