Why Laser Wavelengths Matter For Removing Tattoos
Just as every patient is different, every tattoo that undergoes laser tattoo removal is unique.
Expert laser practitioners want to be able to remove any tattoo, regardless of the colors of ink in the design to do so, you’ll need multiple laser wavelengths to get the job done.
Different laser wavelengths are needed to remove different colors of tattoo ink.
It is all based on the concept of light absorption some tattoo pigments absorb some wavelengths of light better than others. To provide effective tattoo removal treatments, you’ll want to make sure that the laser wavelengths you use are well-absorbed by the tattoo inks you’re treating.
Safety Precautions Before Using A Laser Tattoo Removal Machine
First things first, read the advice above! If you cannot find any of the important details to consider on the product listing, no matter where its for sale, then avoid buying it until the manufacturer can clarify.
Likewise, FDA approval, positive clinical trials, recommendations from real tattooists and tattoo removers, are all things you should look for. If a laser tattoo removal machine doesnt immediately strike you as safe and professional, its best left on the shelf.
Read the manual! Safety procedures may vary from machine to machine. The manufacturer should give you a list of what you can and cant do, plus operating instructions, so read those before you do anything.
Some tattoo removal lasers will need to be operated by a professionally trained tattoo remover, but in general:
- Make sure the tattoo area is clean, dry and unobstructed.
- Use the right wavelength frequency for the tattoo colors.
- Use the right pulse frequency and a spot size thats appropriate for the tattoo size.
- Wear protective glasses to protect your eyes from the laser light.
- Do a small test patch and wait a few days to see if there are any adverse reactions before targeting the entire tattoo in a session.
The Top 5 Best Laser Tattoo Removal Machines 2021
To select these 5 best laser tattoo removal machines, we spent a long time researching! It wasnt feasible to use and test each laser tattoo removal machine ourselves so we consulted experts instead. We spoke to professionals who use laser tattoo removal machines to find out their recommendations.
We also dug deeper into the tattoo removal machines on our shortlist, checking the companies behind them to ensure they are reliable and genuine.
As for customer reviews, we reached out to genuine users of each laser tattoo removal machine to find out what they thought. You cant always trust those suspiciously positive reviews on Amazon anymore!
If youre planning to find your own laser tattoo removal machine that isnt on our list, we highly recommend that you follow our buying guide above. Do your research and turn over every stone before you settle on your chosen machine. Otherwise, you risk wasting a lot of money and potentially putting yourself in danger with a faulty or outdated laser.
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Pain Management During Treatment
Laser tattoo removal is painful many patients say it is worse than getting the tattoo. The pain is often described to be similar to that of hot oil on the skin, or a “snap” from an elastic band. Depending on the patient’s pain threshold, and while some patients may forgo anesthesia altogether, most patients will require some form of local anesthesia. Pre-treatment might include the application of an anesthetic cream under occlusion for 45 to 90 minutes or cooling by ice or cold air prior to the laser treatment session. A better method is complete anesthesia which can be administered locally by injections of 1% to 2% lidocaine with epinephrine.
A technique which helps to reduce the pain sensation felt by patients has been described by MJ Murphy. He used a standard microscope glass slide pressed against the tattooed skin and fired the laser through the glass. This technique may represent a simplest and effective method to reduce the pain sensation when treating small tattoos.
Picosure For Greens Teals And Blues
PicoSure delivers the lasers energy in trillionth-of-a-second pulses. This is particularly effective at targeting the problem colors of other laser treatments, like greens, teals, and blues. The energy delivered through the PicoSure treatment shatters these ink particles, letting the bodys natural healing process disburse them from your skin.
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Choosing The Right Wavelengths For Your Practice
Wavelength is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a laser machine. The capabilities of each wavelength are different, and it’s important to have the tools to treat your patients’ tattoos.
For practices looking to treat the full range of tattoo colors, it’s important to have three full-powered wavelengths 1064 nm for black inks, 532 nm for red and warm-toned inks, and either 694 nm or 755 nm for blue and green inks.
For more information on what to look for in a tattoo removal laser, visit this tattoo removal equipment buying guide.
What Makes The Very Best Laser Tattoo Removal Machines
According to ASDS , dermabrasion costs anywhere from a number of hundred dollars up into thousands depending on how much job needs done as well as just how deep your tattoo goes. Remember that this cost array additionally consists of all required follow-up treatments needed to entirely get rid of the ink installed under your skinâs surfaceâ a treatment which may take more time or require added rounds of treatment along with touch ups after recovery occurs if there are any kind of areas left behind by marking where pigment stays under the skin layer.
Laser Tattoo Removal Quad Cities
Dermabrasion, likewise called âthe sandpaper method,â can remove tattoos from anywhere on the body with simply one session at many plastic surgeonsâ offices. The quantity of time engaged depends mainly on the size and also color strength, however regardless of what kind you have removal should always be done within 3 days so as not danger infection later throughout recovery durations when they grow if laid off as well long after therapy has been completed Laser Tattoo Removal Quad Cities Laser Tattoo Removal Quad Cities
Current research study is checking out the capacity of multi-pass treatments as well as using picosecond laser modern technology, which appear appealing.
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Mechanism Of Laser Action
Experimental observations of the effects of short-pulsed lasers on tattoos were first reported in the late 1960s by Leon Goldman and others.In 1979 an argon laser was used for tattoo removal in 28 patients, with limited success. In 1978 a carbon dioxide laser was also used, but because it targeted water, a chromophore present in all cells, this type of laser generally caused scarring after treatments.
In the early 1980s, a new clinical study began in Canniesburn Hospital‘s Burns and Plastic Surgery Unit, in Glasgow, Scotland, into the effects of Q-switched ruby laser energy on blue/black tattoos. Further studies into other tattoo colors were then carried out with various degrees of success. Research at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow also showed that there was no detectable mutagenicity in tissues following irradiation with the Q-switched ruby laser. This essentially shows that the treatment is safe, from a biological viewpoint, with no detectable risk of the development of cancerous cells.
It was not until the late 1980s that Q-switched lasers became commercially practical with the first marketed laser coming from Derma-lase Limited, Glasgow. One of the first American published articles describing laser tattoo removal was authored by a group at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1990.
Q-switched lasers are the only commercially available devices that can meet these requirements.
Variables Determining Tattoo Removal
To understand the response rate of lasers, it is imperative to first understand the variables involved in tattoo removal which are depicted in and . Three broad aspects are involved, the laser used, the skin phenotype and tattoo dependant factors, which includes the type, depth and size of tattoo . A rarely appreciated aspect of tattoo removal is the role of the host immune response, which ultimately phagocytoses the tattoo particles and drains them away via the lymphatics. Thus it is the inflammation consequent to the laser therapy and the concomitant stimulation of the host response that ultimately results in removal of tattoo ink via the lymphatics.
Variables that affect tattoo removal. The normal process involves fragmentation followed by phagocytosis and transport via the lymphatics. Each step plays a role and thus the variations in results are enormous. The colour and mix of tattoo colour is probably the most important determinant in laser application for tattoo.
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The Basic Laser Tattoo Removal Process
During a laser tattoo removal procedure, the practitioner guides a laser over the area of the tattoo. Unlike a laser pointer that produces a continuous beam of light, tattoo removal lasers produce pulses of light energy.
Each pulse of energy penetrates the skin and is absorbed by the tattoo ink. As the tattoo ink particles absorb the energy, they heat up and then shatter into tiny fragments. Then, over the weeks following treatment, the bodys immune system flushes the tattoo ink particles away from the location, lightening the appearance of the tattoo. Each laser treatment breaks down more and more of the tattoo ink until none remains.
Important Factors To Consider When Evaluating The Best Laser Tattoo Removal Machine To Buy
Now that you are aware of the wavelength options available, youll need to consider a few important factors when investing in a tattoo removal machine. Weve broken down three key factors to consider:
- The laser technology and which lasers are best for tattoo removal services. Whether that be cosmetic, professional, or amateur tattoos.
- Spot size and why its important to have spot sizes available for your removal equipment.
- Ease of use, such as checking reviews like this guide for detailed guidance.
There is tattoo removal equipment available for cosmetic, professional, and amateur tattoos. Tattoo ink, unlike removal machines, is not FDA regulated.
The best tattoo removal laser will have a variety of spot sizes. Large spot sizes such as 10 mm target the deepest ink, while smaller ones such as 3mm target the ink closest to the surface. We find that starting with a larger spot size to target the deepest ink and working our way to the surface with smaller spot sizes is the most effective method to remove tattoos safely.
You will also have to consider the ease of use. Its important to check the reviews written for the laser of your choosing. Analyze the size of the laser tattoo removal equipment, its accessibility, cost, and technology. Ready to determine the best laser available for you? Continue reading this guide for detailed guidance. Well be breaking down the cost of laser tattoo removal machines next.
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Lucid Q Ptp Laser Tattoo Removal Machine
- Price Range: $$$$$
- Best For: professional tattoo removal
- Home Use: no, commercial buyers only
The Lucid Q PTP laser is a Q switched Nd: YAG tattoo remover with 1064nm and 532nm wavelengths available. Its a large unit and is designed for professional use within a clinic so you may struggle to buy one of these if you want it for home use!
Described as the fastest laser tattoo removal machine, this unit is easy to operate, and has smart technology for auto-calibration. Put simply, its good for beginners who dont want to spend all day with their nose in the manual looking for the right instructions.
The speed of this tattoo laser is up to 25hz and it can maintain that speed and energy with spot sizes up to 10mm. Thats good for most tattoo sizes.
Also worth noting is the fractional HP mode which allows this laser to be just as effective at targeting pigmentation in darker skin tones as well as lighter skin tones.
Important Note: if you need the 585nm and 650nm wavelengths for your tattoo colors, youll need to buy this as an add on as its not included in the standard Lucid Q PTP machine.
Does Laser Tattoo Removal Leave Permanent Damage
No, laser tattoo removal shouldnt leave any lasting damage. You might experience discomfort during the session and in the days after, as your skin heals, but this shouldnt be permanent. In most cases, your skin will return to normal after the tattoo is fully removed. If your tattoo is very heavily pigmented, you might struggle to completely erase the tattoo and restore your skin with this method of removal.
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What Kind Of After
Immediately after treatment, an ice pack will be applied to soothe the treated area. Youll be told to apply a topical antibiotic cream or ointment. You should use a bandage or a patch to protect the site.
You can shower the next day, but its best to avoid scrubbing the affected area. The treated area should also be covered or protected with sunscreen when youre in the sun. You shouldnt pick at the area because picking makes scarring more likely.
There Might Be Some Pain During The Session
But consider this warning from Cirlin first: Pain is completely individualized, and if you tell someone that something is going to hurt, they go into it with that expectation. That said at my practive, we offer a topical numbing cream, which helps to take the edge off the procedure.â Just know that even with a numbing cream though, your experience may not be totally pain-free. âWe also use a piece of equipment called a chiller that uses cold air to help keep our clients comfortable, she says. Itâs definitely worth asking for a consultation with your practitioner ahead of time if youâre worried about pain.
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How Lasers Work To Remove Tattoos
The lasers used in the tattoo removal process break down these artificial pigments, thus removing the tattoo from the persons skin. However, there are certain requirements that must be met to ensure that only the targeted skin area is treated with the laser so as not to damage surrounding tissue. The requirements are:
- Penetration of the laser should be sufficient enough to reach the tattoo pigment.
- The color of the laser must correspond to the absorbability of the pigment. For example, red lasers are used to treat green skin pigments2.
- Duration of the laser blast must be precisely timed to avoid scarring and burning of surrounding skin tissues. In tattoo removal, laser blasts should only last nanoseconds.
- Sufficient energy is required for the laser to break down tattoo pigments. If energy is too high, it could damage the skin tissues. If it is too low, no pigment fragmentation will occur3.
Tattoo Removal Lasers: Types & Differences
The use of lasers is the top way dermatologic surgeons and trained physicians are removing unwanted tattoos. Whereas before, dermabrasion and surgical excision were two of several methods used, they have since taken a backseat to laser technology because it’s more effective and if performed by a skilled specialist, the risk of side effects are limited.
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Watch For Potential Side Effects
The most common side effect is a darkening or lightening of the skin, known as either hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation. This usually corrects itself within 6 to 12 months after treatment. Scars are also a potential risk as well as infection, burns, and textural changes of the skin.
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The Tattoo Removal Process
Laser tattoo removal can significantly diminish the appearance of your tattoo, and may be able to remove it completely. Lasers use heat and light at specific wavelengths to break up the ink in your tattoo. These ink particles are then removed by your bodys own immune system.
The tattoo removal process requires several visits to a specialist. During your first consultation with a professional, youll be given a general timeline thats based on the location, age, and color of your tattoo. Its possible your body will respond more quickly, or more slowly, to treatment than expected.
On average, tattoo removal requires 8-10 laser treatment sessions, spaced 6-8 weeks apart. The total time required to remove a tattoo can depend on several factors.
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Browse Through 100+ Successful Before And After Tattoo Removal Photos
Questions you might have when beginning the tattoo removal process are, What will the results actually look like? What can I expect before and after the removal process? And what does it look like when its in progress?
Below, you can see actual before and after photos from real Removery clients. These clients worked with our staff to determine a removal plan that worked for them and their specific artwork.
Laser tattoo removal works by applying concentrated energy to ink particles, breaking the particles into smaller ones. Your immune system is then able to flush out the smaller ink particles. To effectively break up the ink, each laser treatment works at a different skin depth. So multiple sessions are required to target all of the ink in your tattoo.
The number of sessions youll need depends on factors, including depth and density of the tattoo ink, ink composition, and ink location, along with your health and lifestyle choices.
Whether you have a finger tattoo, a back tattoo, it is on your neck, or another area, we can remove it, but we must consider location and other factors. Youll also need to complete some tattoo removal aftercare to keep your skin healthy after treatment.
Understanding Laser Tattoo Removal Technology
How does the laser tattoo removal device work? Well, the machine generates short pulses of high-intensity light to the target area. The light effectively shatters the tattoo ink while leaving the surrounding tissue unharmed. The shattered ink particles are then harmlessly removed through your bodys immune system in the following weeks. With time and continued sessions, a seemingly permanent tattoo can be removed. You can learn more about the technology behind the laser here.
Another important factor when determining the best removal equipment is wavelengths, pulse duration, and spot size. All lasers have options to utilize multiple wavelengths in order to effectively target different ink colors within the skin. The amount of power available within a pulse at a certain wavelength determines how efficiently a tattoo can be removed while leaving the remaining tissue unharmed. Learn more about pulse duration and the types of laser wavelengths in the next section.