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Laser Tattoo Removal – What you should be looking for.

What should You be looking for in tattoo removal?

What is the goal of tattoo removal?? That sounds like an obvious question doesn’t it?

You are trying to remove that ink that no longer makes you happy.  But, that is not all we are trying to achieve.  We are also trying to remove your tattoo ink while maintaining the integrity of you skin. You know, keep it healthy with no scarring.  What is worse? A tattoo? Or a scar in the shape of that tattoo?  I have seen that result too many times to count. It does not have to be and should NOT be your final result. 

During laser tattoo removal, scarring occurs when you get blistering.  Can a tattoo removal cause a blister? Sure; it does happen. Especially over boney prominences.  Should an entire tattoo be blistered…ABSOLUTELY NOT!  Over treating a tattoo occurs when you are trying to compensate for an underpowered laser or an inexperienced, aggressive technician is performing the treatment. 

Remember, we are not trying cut the ink out like cutting a piece of glass.  The laser is acting like a hammer to break up the ink using a mechanical force.  All the magic happens under the skin while keeping the surface of your skin intact.  Yes, there will be swelling, and redness and the area will be sore for a few days, but by day 4-5 it should look like nothing has even touched the skin. The white blood cells are busy doing their job of taking away the ink. What you WILL experience during this time is intense itching. That is a good thing.  

Pico in not a brand of laser for laser tattoo removal.  It is a technology. Not all picosecond lasers are the equal.  PicoWay has the shortest pulse duration of all picosecond lasers with the most power.

Here are some key ingredients to look for in a successful treatment.

Pulse duration - Let’s describe it as the length of time the laser is in contact with the tissue while doing laser tattoo removal. Longer pulse duration means more time in the skin, which can then have unwanted reactions to surrounding tissue which can mean more pain, and blistering.  A shorter duration is like a quick jab; in and out so quick that it shatters the ink with little to no damage to surrounding skin. 

Spot Size- This is the size of the area targeted with each laser pulse.  A smaller spot size is concentrating all the energy into that laser pulse. Now I am cutting glass.  Lots of concentrated damage.  This is how underpowered lasers get results, but it also causes lots of blistering and scarring. It is fine to go small when you have less ink in the tissue, but using a small spot size on a saturated tattoo is asking for trouble.  Larger spot sizes disperse that energy over a larger area including penetrating deeper to the bottom of the ink.  The laser is looking for pigment.  The laser doesn’t need to look too hard on a saturated tattoo to find that ink. 

Wavelength- This is the pigment colour that the laser is looking for. 

1064nm- Black and brown (dark) colours. This is a long wavelength that looks deeper into the tissue. This wavelength is the only wavelength safe for dark skin. 

755-785nm- is looking for blues and greens.  This does not go as deep and you would not use this on a FP skin type 5-6 or even some type 4.

 532nm- This is a very superficial wavelength and is looking for yellow, orange and red.  White pigment has no colour so cannot be targeted with laser.  If there is white in your tattoo it will oxidize and turn gray.  

Here is a testimonial from a client removing multiple tattoos:

“Pain: the pain is tolerable as it’s short term. It’s about tens times the pain of the actual tattoo and more of a snapping pains opposed to grinding. But instead of sitting for hours you sit for minutes. 

Perceptions/changes I didn’t know what to expect and I think like most people I wanted to see changes immediately. I noticed a difference after the first treatment but could also tell that there was a long way to go. I was more concerned with not scarring as I didn’t want to change a tattoo for a permanent scar. At different times I would see minimal changes and other times major changes in the lightening up of the tattoo. (Mine were all very dark to begin with) 

I have so far had great success and I have several people come up and comment on them. I had someone that worked at another clinic comment on it saying that it looks text book and that’s exactly how laser tattoo removal should look.”

A laser used for Laser Tattoo Removal has a lot of power and can cause severe damage. Make a wise choice when looking to have your tattoo removal done.  Price cannot be what drives your decision.  Knowledge is key.  Your knowledge as well as the technician’s knowledge.

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