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What is Fluence and Why Does it Matter with Laser Treatments?


In short, fluence is energy concentration. But, “What exactly does that mean?” you may ask. And why does it matter when it comes to laser technology? Great questions! You may remember our recent blog and video with the Astanza Science Guys, ​​where they discussed laser wavelengths for tattoo removal and how each laser beam works somewhat differently in how it targets the ink underneath the skin.

Similar to the varying wavelengths of Nd:YAG lasers and Astanza’s Q-switched lasers, fluence is another piece to the puzzle of how they work and an essential measurement for treatment and effectiveness. Ready to learn more about the science and technology of lasers for tattoo removal? Let’s dive in.


Fluence and Why it Matters in Nd:YAG Lasers

Earlier, we mentioned that fluence = energy. But what exactly does that mean? In radiometry, fluence is the radiant energy or exposure received by a surface area. In other words, it's the exact measurement of energy received by any point in the surface area, which is the skin in the case of laser tattoo removal.

The way Nd:YAG Q-switched lasers measure fluence is in Joule(s) per centimeter squared (expressed as J/cm2). To penetrate into deeper layers of the epidermis and dermis, we increase the fluence in subsequent sessions to achieve optimal laser tattoo removal results in a gradual and safe way.

Reach Ink Deep in the Skin

While many systems on the market now offer large spot sizes, few offer adequate and appropriate fluence levels for treating dense tattoo ink. The Astanza Trinity features a large 5 x 5 mm squared spot size for faster treatment, deeper penetration, and efficient ink shattering.

The Astanza Trinity system combines the power of two standalone lasers: The Duality Q-switched Nd:YAG laser and the EternityTSR Q-switched ruby laser. This specialty-combined laser produces three different wavelengths: 532 nanometers (nm), 1064 nm, and 694 nm. The 694 nm is a ruby wavelength produced by the EternityTSR, while the Duality produces the 1064 nm and 532 nm. Utilizing these three wavelengths in one device gives practitioners exceptional tools for treating folks with multicolored, unwanted tattoos. 

Watch the video below for a brief recap of wavelengths and how they target the skin:


So now that we've reminded ourselves of the three types of wavelengths, what are the fluence levels for each wavelength of the Astanza Trinity?

  • Up to 3.6 J/cm2 at the 5 mm square spot for 1064 nm
  • Up to 1.8 J/cm2 at the 5 mm square spot for 532 nm
  • Up to 5.5 J/cm2 at the 5 mm square spot for 694 nm

Achieving Optimal Results

Peak power is the result of the pulse width and the energy used. The smaller the pulse width, the greater the energy production and the higher the peak power. Higher peak power levels allow aesthetic practitioners to treat tattoos with greater fluence (energy level) without compromising the treatment spot size, resulting in optimal tattoo fading and increased patient satisfaction.

Effectively using the tattoo removal laser at large spot sizes allows deeper penetration into the dermis and less ink scattering in the skin's tissue. By focusing the laser beam deep into the skin, practitioners achieve the best response with deeper-placed ink particles – yielding faster ink clearance and fewer hard-to-remove tattoos.

Now you know how the fluence pairs with the wavelengths to achieve the best laser tattoo removal results. If you’re interested in learning more about laser tattoo removal, contact Astanza today to speak to a tattoo removal expert and learn more about laser technology and the rapidly-growing demand for this procedure.

If you’re ready to dive in and get laser tattoo removal certified, check out our upcoming training courses here.

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