Laser Tattoo Removal
A tattoo is a permanent mark or design made on the body, when pigment is inserted into dermal layer of the skin through ruptures in the skin’s top layer. Tattoo is applied by using an electric tattoo machine with needles that rapid puncture the skin with an up and down motion. Tattoos are meant to be permanent, so removing them is difficult.
A tattoo is a sear filled with ink. Once the ink is removed, the sear (micro scar) remains. Before laser become popular for tattoo removal starting in the late 1980’s the doctors were using different procedures often-painful, often scar-inducing, like Dermabrasion, Cryosurgery, and Excision. Nowadays the effective alternative of this procedure is laser treatment because is bloodless, low risks of scarring and minimal side-effects.
The type of laser used to remove tattoo depends on the tattoo’s pigment (more than 100 inks are available), using a technique known as Q-switching. The Yag lasers are particularly advanced in the removal of red, blue and black ink.
The block pigment absorbs all laser wavelengths then is easiest to remove. The mechanism of laser pigment destruction is based on a laser light absorption selectively by the tattoo pigment without damaging the surrounding skin and a rapid thermal expansion – up to 300 oC in nanoseconds, which causes the tattoo pigment to fragment in smaller particles that are then removed by body’s immune system. The unfortunate thing about tattoos is that both – getting them and having them taken off can be uncomfortable and much more expensive than having put on. The number of sessions requested, depends on the amount and type of ink used and how deeply it was injected.
Three-week intervals between sessions are required to allow pigment residue to be absorbed by the body. Side-effects of laser procedures are generally few but may include hyper-pigmentation (abundance of color in the skin ate the treatment site) and hypo-pigmentation (treated area lacks normal skin color).
Other possible side-effects include infection of the site, lack of complete pigment removal and 5 percent of permanent scarring.
Olimpia Carmen, Laser and Skincare Specialist
Laser Treatment Clinic
+971 4 348 5575