As you search and learn more about your options for tattoo removal, it is important to understand and be familiar with the types of lasers available on the market for laser tattoo removal. One of the first things we do at Pristine Laser Center is to educate our patients about the types of lasers we utilize for laser tattoo removal.
First, some history about lasers and tattoo removal. In the past, a variety of lasers and procedures were used and tried for tattoo removal. These included pulse-dyed lasers, IPLs, and carbon-dioxide lasers. Microdermabrasion and chemical peels were even tried for tattoo removal. Over the years, it became obvious that these techniques and lasers were not very good at removing tattoos and they often damaged the skin which led to scarring.
With the advancement in laser technology and experience gained in tattoo removal it became evident that the best lasers available on the market for tattoo removal are the quality-switched, Nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet; Nd:Y3Al5O12)--from here on referred to as Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers.
These lasers safely and effectively deliver a high amount of energy deep into the dermal layer of the skin to shatter and break up the ink particles. With the smaller ink particles, the body's lymphatic system is then able to remove the ink particles gradually over several weeks. The advantage of a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser is that it emits short, high-powered pulses producing a beam of light that contains a much higher power than if the same laser produced in a continuous wave or constant output mode. With the short, high-powered pulse, energy is delivered and penetrated deep into the skin, without damaging the surrounding tissue reducing the risk for any kind of scarring.
So, we have determined that a Q-switched Nd:YAG is the best laser for tattoo removal. So the next question might be, "Are all Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers the same?". As you might expect, the answer is No.
There are many companies touting their Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers.Some of these lasers are inexpensive, small, portable, table-top tattoo removal lasers. The draw back to these lasers is that it generally can't emit a high energy beam to destroy the ink particles, nor does it utilize a large enough spot size to get adequate penetration of energy which can lead to scarring.
For our laser tattoo removal, we utilize the Medlite C6 laser. The MedLite® uses an electro-optic (EO) high-speed shutter to produce nanosecond pulse widths. Peak energy is dispersed throughout the epidermis faster than the relaxation time of the healthy tissue. The result is a PhotoAcoustic Therapy effect, a safe, effective way to deliver energy precisely where it is needed. The Medlite C6 also provides 4 different wavelengths. Therefore we can safely and effectively remove almost any color tattoo including green and sky blue. If you have any green or sky blue color in your tattoo, this is the only laser that should be utilized.
Although this information may be technical in nature, it is very important to be educated about the different types of lasers available for laser tattoo removal and be able to research and find the best laser tattoo removal clinic in your area.
Before you start the laser tattoo removal process, be sure to inquire about the laser being used.
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Disclaimer: The material presented here is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice or recommendation. Please check with your physician.