Here at Vitality Dermatology, we currently use the Lumenis® Q-Switch technology on our M22 platform to remove black, blue, and other dark tattoos, either amateur or professional. This provides a non-invasive treatment to erase unwanted tattoos and start fresh. The Lumenis® Q-Switch technology enables tailoring of the treatment according to the type of the tattoo, to effectively target the dark pigment and destroy it. Ultrashort laser pulses target the tattoo ink in the skin and break it into small particles that are naturally dissolved by your body; the surrounding skin is left intact.
What to Expect During Treatment?
Before treatment, our providers will use a topical or local anesthetic to the treatment area. During treatment, your provider will treat the tattoo by applying ultrashort laser pulses on the tattoo area. The treatment will take between 15-45 minutes, depending on the size of the tattoo being treated. During the treatment you will feel heat on the tattoo area, and may experience a feeling similar to a band aid being ripped off.
Immediately following treatment, you will see whitish bubbles on the treated tattoo area, accompanied by some mild redness and swelling which will resolve within 24 hours. A thick crust will appear over the treated area and will fall off in about 2 weeks. In rare cases, minimal bleeding in the treated area can occur. Fading of the tattoo is gradual and will be noticed in the following weeks.
A change in the color intensity of the tattoo may be visible immediately after the first treatment. The number of needed treatments depends on the area of the body, skin color, and the tattoo itself, and can start from 2-3 treatments and up to 10 in some cases. Treatments are typically spaced 6-10 weeks apart.
How Does the Laser Work?
The laser nano-second pulses, shutter the tattoo ink into very small particles, which our bodies can dispense of. Since there is a photo-acustic effect, you can hear popping sounds of the ink particles bursting during treatment. This effect is very selective to the ink, and will not harm the surrounding skin.