Today, there is an increasing demand for the removal of tattoos. On average, one in two people wishes to remove their tattoos after about ten years. This is a result of the inevitable changes in fashion and style or simply due to growing older. For many years now, Q-Switched lasers such as the TattooStar Family of Asclepion with various wavelengths have been used to remove tattoos. Compared to other methods, this treatment has the benefit of the risk of scar formation being very low. In recent years, the Q-Switched lasers have begun to be used for the removal of permanent makeup as well.
The type of laser is a decisive factor when determining which color pigments may be treated particularly well and which colors do not respond as well to treatment. Ruby lasers (694nm), which work in the near-infrared range, have proved themselves to be almost universally deployable in practice. This wavelength, in fact, is strongly absorbed by green colored pigments, in addition to dark colors in general. Moreover, as a result of the strong absorption of the ruby laser beam by the skin pigment melanin, these devices are also used for the treatment of natural pigmented lesions. Patients generally tolerate the treatment without an anesthetic; a local anesthetic is only used in rare cases. The green light of the Nd:YAG lasers (532 nm) are very well absorbed by darker red colored pigments and by dark colors in general. The 1064 nm wavelength can be used for the removal of superficial, benign pigmented lesions.
The wavelength of the Ruby or Nd:YAG laser light is specifically absorbed by the color pigments in the tattoo. The energy is transferred and then fragments the ink particles from the connective tissue. The fragmented particles are then degraded epidermally and lymphatically. The irradiated area of skin appears whitish for between ten and twenty minutes immediately after treatment. A slight crust then forms, which will slough off after between one and two weeks. It is common for a number of sessions at intervals of several weeks to be required to remove a tattoo.
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