What is it?
Tattoo regret is an increasingly common issue. Safe and effective tattoo removal is best approached by tailoring laser therapy to the individual skin type, unique characteristics of the tattoo (location, colors, density of ink), and patient goals.
A tattoo can be faded gradually over a series of laser treatments, and some clear completely while others many take several sessions to fade a little bit each time. Occasionally a tattoo may be resistant to laser treatment despite multiple sessions, advanced combination therapies may be used to further lightening such as topical drug therapies, optical enhancing technologies, or a combination of different laser therapies. Laser treatment of tattoos that contain white ink (titanium dioxide) or red-brown ink (ferric oxide) is not recommended because of the paradoxical darkening, instead of lightening, of these types of ink. The Q-switched laser beam oxidizes the ink and it turns permanently greyish.
Keeping the tattooed area protected from getting tanned before and after laser treatment lowers the risk for complications.
|Treatment Option||Key Benefit||Average Number of Treatments||Amount of Downtime||Comfort Measures|
|Q Switched Ruby laser||Best suited for completely un fair skin types||5-8+||Redness swelling, some crusting may occur for a week||Topical anesthetic cream advised for all tattoo laser treatments|
|Q Switched KTP laser||Best suited for red tattoo ink||5-8+||Some redness and mild swelling for a few days|
|Q Switched 1064 laser||Best suited for dark inks. Safer for darker skin types or slightly tanned skin||5-8+||Redness and swelling for a few days, some crusting may occur if the ink is very dark|
*The actual number of treatment sessions varies greatly depending on the unique properties: darker density ink requires more sessions, certain areas of the body fade more slowly than other areas, and amateur or traumatic tattoos clear very quickly (typically within 3-5 sessions)