How Laser Tattoo Removal Works
The Duolite QS system releases high energy in extremely short times (max 6 ns), producing a “photo-acoustic” effect that breaks down the derma cells containing the tattoo pigment. Thanks to the rupturing of the membrane of these cells, the pigment is released and eliminated by the lymphatic-draining system. These short laser emissions allow for confining the thermal effect exclusively to the target to be hit – in this case the tattoo pigment – therefore safeguarding the surrounding tissues.
In order for the treatment to be effective, the laser light must be absorbed by the pigment. The colours of tattoos are often multiple and therefore one single session may not be sufficient for eliminating them all. Thanks to its dual wavelength, Duolite QS, allows for removing numerous colours with one single system. By working in the infrared (1064 nm) black and blue tattoos can be removed even in dark phototypes thanks to the low interaction of this wavelength with the skin melanin. The green light (532 nm) instead acts on red or reddish colours.
What type of tattoo can be removed with laser?
Duolite QS can be used on professional, amateur, cosmetic, and traumatic tattoos. The different dyes present in the tattoo may respond differently to the laser treatment. When the pigment is black or blue the best results are obtained by treating them with a wavelength of 1064 nm. Red tattoos are treated with a green laser light of 532 nm.
Benign pigmented lesions
As in the case of treating tattoos, the wavelength emitted by the Duolite QS system allows for acting on the melanin in a different manner according to its density and depth. The pigmented lesions are divided into epidermal and dermal, depending on the depth of the pigment.
Epidermal lesions (freckles, cafè-au-lait spots, sunspots, etc.) can be treated by using a wavelength of 532 nm, which is specifically absorbed by the melanin and therefore acts mainly at the superficial skin levels. Dermal lesions (Ota’s Nevus, Ito or Hori’s Nevus, Mongolic spot…) are located more in depth and therefore a wavelength is necessary that penetrates further into the skin. In this case the 1064 nm wavelength of the Duolite QS system is used. As with the removal of tattoos, only the Q-switched emission is capable of treating dermal lesions efficaciously without running the risk of scarring.
What results can be expected?
In many cases the tattoo completely disappears. This result cannot always be achieved due to the diversity and different characteristics of the pigments, and therefore an intense fading effect is often obtained.
Is the tattoo removal treatment painful?
The procedure does not usually require an anaesthetic. The effect of the laser is described as similar to the sharp ping of a rubber band on the skin. Some areas are more sensitive than others. In the case of particularly sensitive patients, a topical anaesthetic can be applied before treatment.
What should be done after the treatment?
The skin surface treated must be protected and medicated. An antibiotic cream is applied immediately after the operation and on the following days. There may be the formation of oedemas or small scabs. In this case it is important not to pick off or scratch the scabs to prevent any possible scarring or dyschromies. The lesion usually heals in 4 to 10 days. During the entire duration of the treatment it is important to keep the skin protected from the suns’ rays by using a total sun block.
What are the possible side effects?
As the laser beam selectively targets the pigment to be removed, safeguarding the surrounding skin, the possibility of scarring is very rare. In some cases, especially with dark phototypes, there have been reports of hyper/hypopigmentation, usually transitory, in the area treated. In order to restrict the onset of this, it is important to carefully follow the post-treatment instructions and avoid exposure to the sun.
Some patients may develop allergic reactions and therefore it is important to carry out a preliminary test on a small area before proceeding with the removal of the entire tattoo.
How many treatments are necessary?
The number of treatments will vary according to the type of tattoo, the colour, the depth and the density of the pigment, the anatomical site, and the age of the patient and the tattoo. Amateur tattoos usually respond better and are eliminated in from 1 to 4 sessions, spaced 4 weeks apart. More sessions are usually necessary for professional tattoos – on average 6 –10 – with 6 to 8 week intervals in between.
How Much Does Laser Tattoo Removal Cost?
Treatment costs vary depending on the area to be treated and the number of sessions required. Schedule a personal consultation for more details.
Laser Tattoo Removal Results
- Hale (Re-Enhance Clinic)
- Wakefield (Re-Enhance Clinic)
- None Available
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