What It Is
Laser tattoo removal is a cosmetic procedure that uses lasers to remove unwanted tattoos. It is a very common procedure and works by sending powerful laser light beams to the tattoo ink using the Nd-YAG laser. The energy gets absorbed by the colours present in the ink and it will cause the particles to break up into tiny pieces. The ink is then naturally eliminated by the body.
It is important to mention that not all tattoo pigment absorbs light the same way, and different wavelengths are required in their removal depending on their colour. Wavelengths have different absorption abilities, so the depth in which it can penetrate the skin will vary. Black and grey ink goes the deepest, while green, yellow and blue do not go as far into the skin. However, this will vary depending on the age of the tattoo. For tattoos 1 to 2 years old, the colours are still superficial and the patient will achieve better results as the ink is not as deep in the skin. Patients with newer tattoos will not require as many treatments and could possibly achieve zero visibility post-treatment as the pigment is still within a treatable range. Older tattoos containing green, blue, and yellow ink will require more treatments and possibly still remain visible post-treatment.
Red tattoos cannot be treated on the same wavelength as a black tattoo, as the ink in a red tattoo would absorb all the laser energy instead of breaking down. The YAG laser emits a wavelength range of 532nm and 1064nm, which can treat dark colours such as black, and bright colours such as red respectively.
The laser removal of tattoos does not harm or damage the surrounding tissue. This is because the light is directed into highly targeted pigments in the skin, which selectively absorbs the light energy emitted by the laser. On average, a tattoo requires 5 or more treatments. The number of treatments depends on the size, colors and depth of ink used, and the depth of the ink in the skin. For most of the cases, a 95% fading of the tattoo may be accomplished.
How It’s Treated
Nd-YAG Laser – The impact of energy from the powerful pulse of light is able to remove a wide variety of tattoo pigment colours, while leaving the surrounding skin unharmed. When the laser light penetrates the skin to reach the ink, it absorbs the light and is broken down into tiny particles. The dispersed ink is then naturally eliminated from the body.