Remove Unwanted Tattoos
Tattoos are no longer taboo like they were a few decades ago. These days, anyone wishing to turn their body into a canvas can enjoy imagery ranging from Pokémon to photorealistic art of family members.
Sometimes, a tattoo can be a mistake. Tattoo artists, at least the experienced ones, take a moment to consider your requested design before engraving it on your skin. If your tattoo has a spelling error, for example, it works to your advantage if your tattoo artist catches it and lets you know.
If you do end up with a bad tattoo or one you regret, covering it up with a bigger design may be an option. When it’s not an option, however, your best bet is laser tattoo removal.
To understand how tattoo removal works, it is important to first explain the science of tattooing.
The Science of Tattooing
During tattooing, a special dye is injected into the subdermal layer of the skin at the rate of 3,000 pricks per minute. This activates the human body’s defense mechanism.
A special group of cells called macrophages is deployed to the prick site. A fraction of the dye is digested by the macrophages, while a majority seeps into another cell type called fibroblasts, making the design permanent.
This explains why, with time, a tattoo begins to fade slightly – the macrophage cells clean up any dye remnants that escape. The scabbing noticed in the early recovery period of a tattoo is the digested dye released by the macrophages.
Laser Tattoo Removal
To remove a tattoo, the skin must be irradiated with an intense beam of energy capable of breaking up the dye molecules safely.
Mono-colored tattoos of black dye are the easiest to erase, because black absorbs light of all wavelengths. Colored tattoos are harder to remove and require a greater number of sessions for complete fading.
The pulse intensity of the laser beam is dependent on the size of the tattoo. Regardless of the tattoo color or dimensions, complete removal is possible only through multiple sessions.
The process of laser tattoo removal is done using a specialized laser called a Q-switched laser. The pulsed light emitted from the laser explodes the underlying dye into smaller particles, which are flushed out of the system by the body’s natural immune response.
There are three types of Q-switched lasers:
• Q-Switched Alexandrite Laser: Works best on blue, black, and green inks. The wavelength emitted is 755nm.
• Q-Switched Ruby Laser: Works best on blue, black, and green inks. The wavelength emitted is 654nm, which is shorter than that of the Alexandrite laser. This makes it less penetrative. The effectiveness of the laser is poor with darker skin tones.
• Q-Switched Nd:YAG Laser: This laser offers the longest wavelength at 1064nm. The machine can also pulse a wavelength of 532nm. This short wavelength is effective in treating yellow and orange tattoo ink. This laser is highly versatile for a wide range of tattoo colors, and is the type of laser we use for tattoo removal at Texas Facial Aesthetics.
Find Out More About Laser Tattoo Removal
Want to learn more about laser tattoo removal? Arrange a consultation with experienced medical professional Dr. Matthew Richardson or Dr. Jordan Cain. Contact us today for your consultation.