Astanza is proud to have our technology used and trusted by some of the leading laser practices around the world. One of our most renowned clients is LaserAway, the nation's leader in aesthetic dermatology. LaserAway exclusively uses the Astanza Duality Q-switched Nd:YAG laser to perform tattoo removal at their numerous locations nationwide.
Earlier this year, LaserAway created a video featuring Dr. William Kirby, Board Certified Dermatologist, LaserAway's Chief Medical Officer, and creator of the Kirby-Desai scale. He also won the second season of the CBS reality show Big Brother and has made several television appearances as an aesthetic dermatology expert. In the video, Dr. Kirby addresses some of the most commonly asked patient questions regarding how tattoo removal works.
In this article, we'll break down each question that Dr. Kirby answers to give you a better understanding of this advanced laser procedure and why you should invest in laser treatment to remove your unwanted ink.
How does laser tattoo removal work?
Laser light enters the skin and destroys ink by breaking large ink particles into smaller and smaller pieces with each laser session. Over time, your immune system naturally removes those fractured particles away. Laser tattoo removal uses selective photothermolysis to target the ink in a specific area without harming any surrounding skin tissue. In the video, Dr. Kirby breaks down photothermolysis into three categories: photo meaning light, thermo meaning heat, and lysis meaning destruction. Put it all together, and you get the mechanism of action for tattoo removal, which is the selective use of light to heat up and break down ink particles in the skin.
How many sessions are required to remove a tattoo?
The amount of treatments needed for laser tattoo removal is unique to each patient. However, one thing is certain; multiple treatments are required. Many laser practices use the Kirby-Desai Scale, which uses various parameters, including patient skin type, location of the tattoo, amount of ink, and more to best approximate the number of treatments a tattoo will need.
Can all tattoos be removed?
Tattoos with a lot of dense ink, neon colors, or scarring from cover-ups pose some difficulty and can't always be removed completely. However, the vast majority of tattoos can be faded significantly, and many tattoos can be erased entirely. Contrary to popular belief, black ink, the most common pigment found in tattoos, is also the easiest pigment to remove, making laser tattoo removal an excellent solution for most tattoos.
Does laser tattoo removal hurt?
Pain from the laser is one of the biggest patient concerns about laser treatment. Dr. Kirby shares that while the laser may feel uncomfortable, treatments are very tolerable. Most laser tattoo removal businesses offer some method of numbing to make treatments all the more comfortable. At LaserAway, a laser technician applies numbing cream 30 minutes before treatment, removing at least 50% of discomfort. Other laser clinics use ice packs, lidocaine injections, or noninvasive skin numbing technology like the Zimmer Cryo 6 cooling machine to alleviate the skin. Furthermore, tattoo removal treatments are very fast and take anywhere from a few seconds to 15 minutes, depending on the tattoo's size.
Which tattoos are easier or harder to remove?
Tattoos that are easier to remove are typically older tattoos that have faded over time, tattoos located in the upper body region that receive more blood circulation, and tattoos with black ink. Tattoos that are harder to remove are tattoos found on lower body parts, new tattoos, cover-up tattoos with numerous ink layers, and tattoos with bright colored inks. Pigments like vibrant greens and bright blues are generally categorized as difficult to treat or even untreatable because they require a specific wavelength to remove them. Luckily, the Astanza Trinity full-spectrum laser features a unique 694 nm ruby wavelength that specifically targets and removes bright pigments that traditional lasers cannot.
Laser tattoo removal is one of the fastest-growing aesthetic procedures in the market today. More consumers with tattoo regret are investing in laser tattoo removal thanks to its effective treatments, safe application, and fast results. If you are interested in starting a laser tattoo removal business or expanding your aesthetic practice with this popular service, download our free Tattoo Removal Laser Buying Guide eBook to learn more!