The art of tattoo removal is almost as old as the art of tattooing. Many methods of tattoo removal have been used in the past, but they have proven to do more harm than good. The laser tattoo removal process has evolved tremendously over the past decade.
People have tried to bleach their skin or scratch off the tattoo, which does terrible damage. There is dermabrasion, where caustic materials such as acid or sandpaper are used on the skin. This results in scarring and usually looks worse than the original tattoo.
Another way that people have removed their tattoos is through surgical excision (cutting the tattoo from the skin). This is only slightly better than dermabrasion, but it is also painful, difficult, and it leaves scars. You may have seen creams advertised, which if applied to the skin, make tattoos fade. The creams may lighten your skin, but they do not remove tattoo ink.
In addition to these treatments, lasers have been used for tattoo removal since the 1980s. The first one available, the CO2 laser, works by destroying cells through vaporizing the water molecules in the skin. This technique is much like dermabrasion. It is very painful, causes significant scarring, and leaves pigment behind.
Since there are so many methods of tattoo removal that are not effective, technology has had to catch up with the growing needs of people who desire effective, non-scarring treatments. Q-switching laser technology delivers these results. MEDermis Laser Clinic now uses the superior Spectra laser system (Lutronic), which allows us to target and control the intensity level of the beam, focusing the energy to break up tattoo pigmentation without damaging surrounding tissue.
The Q-switched laser works by delivering light at incredibly high energy for a tiny fraction of a second onto the skin. This selectively breaks up large molecules, such as tattoo pigments, and causes very little damage to surrounding tissues. The laser can also be used to remove freckles, age spots, unwanted hair, and pigmented lesions such as Mongolian spots. There is virtually no scarring or change in natural skin pigment.The Spectra is the first Q-switched Nd:YAG laser to be cleared for removal of light colored inks.
The Spectra uses a combination of high peak power and short pulse width, and have four distinct Q-switched mode wavelengths: 1064 nm, 532 nm, 585 nm, 650 nm. This translates to minimal thermal damage to the skin, while still delivering efficient removal of the targeted ink pigments. The Spectra system laser technology offers versatility, built-in-safety, and enhances clinical outcomes making it a superior tool in tattoo removal.
Don’t allow someone to tell you over the phone that their laser/technique is better without even looking at your tattoo. Laser tattoo removal must be done by someone who is trained correctly and has experience. The tattoo and skin type must be examined in order to give you details such as cost, estimated number of treatments and if you are a good candidate for the procedure.
The Spectra’s adjustable beams have been designed to meet the criteria of selective photothermolysis, which precisely focuses the energy of the laser. Light and heat from Spectra’s wavelengths are only absorbed into the target areas, minimizing damage to the tissue surrounding the unwanted tattoo ink. Tattoo removal treatments are more efficient, less damaging to skin, and produce superior results to other laser treatments. We feel that these lasers are a miracle of modern technology, and we are proud to offer this much needed service to the public.
For more information, please see Tattoo Removal FAQs.
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Mike Livermore is the founder and CEO of MEDermis Laser Tattoo Removal. Find him on Google+