Although tattoos are still popular in the Western world, many individuals are seeking help from professionals to remove their now unwanted ink. Laser tattoo removal is the best way to do so given its safety and efficacy. However, depending on the type of ink used for the tattoo, the number of laser treatments required to remove it has been difficult to quantify. Clinicians had no way to measure scientifically how many laser treatments needed to remove a tattoo until 2009.
Since cost is a factor for most of us when considering any cosmetic procedure, dermatologists with specialization in tattoo removal techniques, Dr. Alpesh Desai and Dr. Will Kirby, developed the “Kirby-Desai Scale.” This scale not only allows medical practitioners to determine the number of treatments necessary for laser tattoo removal, but it also enables them to evaluate the overall potential success of the procedure.
The Kirby-Desai Scale appoints numerical values to six criterions: color, skin type, the amount of ink, scarring or tissue change, layering, and location. The combined scores will show the estimated number of treatments required for successful tattoo removal. The scale can only be used if the clinician is using a Q-switched Nd: YAG laser with six weeks between treatments. Particular colors are more challenging to remove than others. Specifically, if treated with the wrong wavelength of laser light. For example, green ink has smaller molecular particles than other colors and may require treatment with multiple wavelengths of light to remove it. This is true for most colored tattoos.
Many components contribute to the success of laser tattoo removal, including your immune system. By choosing a clinic that uses The Kirby-Desai scale, you will be presented with a thorough laser-removal assessment and your practitioner can customize a treatment plan. The use of this tool is standard practice in today’s laser tattoo removal, why risk being disappointed?
Kirby, William; Desai, Alpesh; Desai, Tjas; Kartona, Francisa; Patel, Getta. The Kirby-Desai Scale: A Proposed Scale to Assess Tattoo-removal Treatments, Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, March 2009, Volume 2, No. 3
Curious about what kind of technology we use at Ink Blasters LLC for laser tattoo removal? We’re down with the worldwide supremacy of Q-Plus C.
The Q-Plus series provides a much higher performance when compared to other Q-switched lasers on the market. The Q-Plus C is the first and most powerful Q-switched laser platform that combines an all-in-one unit at Nd:Yag @ 1064 / 532 nm and a Ruby @ 694 nm: three wavelengths which, with the highest achievable fluencies, efficiently targets all tattoo colors and pigmented lesions.
What does this mean for you? It means that green, red, blue, and black pigments can be removed effectively and quickly, thanks to high power, a large spot size and a high repetition rate.
Quanta takes to the market the unique advantage of working with three very stable wavelengths, wider spot sizes, square beam technology and highly energetic pulses. Quanta devices can work uniquely with all wavelengths and wide spot sizes in order to treat all kind of tattoos and pigmentations with high efficiency.
There have been several people that have heard of the PicoSure laser being the “best” laser on the market and have inquired if we use it. We have chosen not to, and here is why;
Lasers are like other technology. There is always going to be the “latest and greatest”, but is the PicoSure really? No. The proof is in the wavelengths. In fact, if you know your physics and where ink settles in the skin, the Quanta Q-Plus C works much more specific at the EXACT depth that each color ink sits.
The Quanta is the only laser in the world to uses 3 TRUE wavelengths. These wavelengths are 1064, 532, and 694. The energy of these wavelengths represent the depth that the laser targets the ink at. They are very specific. Different color ink sits in different depths of the skin. Black sits the deepest and is easiest to remove. It is targeted by 1064. Red/orange sit at the least depth in the skin and is targeted by 532. Blue and green, though sometimes harder to remove, don’t stand a chance to the Ruby 694 wavelength.
So why does the PicoSure have a wavelength that is 755? This was one of the first wavelengths used for tattoo removal. It falls right between 694 and 1064. Essentially the reactions happens past the 694 (blue/green) wavelength and stops before 1064 (black) wavelength. Yes it works, but it doesn’t go deep enough into the black and it bypasses the blue and green. Even though the colors are effected by the wavelength it does not hit any specifically, nor at the correct depth. Also the Quanta has the highest fluencies, out of any laser, in all wavelengths. (Strongest ink breaking ability)
PicoSure claims that “the area will heal more quickly, with less damage to the surrounding tissue”. Here at Ink Blasters LLC, 95% of our clients tell us that they forgot that we did a treatment by the next day, or even by that night! How much faster can you get?
Quanta is still the only laser that uses a square beam rather than a round beam. This is where the advantage comes in. On a circular beam, such as the PicoSure, spots are overlapped. Overlapping treatments result in skin damage that can be permanent. With a square beam, pulses are precisely stacked in an even fashion for best results and least damage.
We have had customers come in for a treatment and then go try a session with the PicoSure. The feedback that we have received from many was that “the difference between the PicoSure and Quanta was the huge bill I received after my PicoSure treatment”. Some have said they have actually noticed less movement of ink after a PicoSure treatment.
Remember, It’s not just the machine! It’s the knowledge of the technician. Anyone can turn a laser on, press a bunch of buttons and fire the machine. The extensive knowledge of how the machine works, physics, tattoo ink, anatomy and physiology play a huge role is safe and effective removal.
Curious how you can make the laser tattoo removal recovery process a bit more smooth? Check out these tips and let us know if you’ve got any of your own to share in the comments.
It is generally advised to wait four weeks between laser removal sessions to guarantee complete removal of the tattoo. In truth, it actually is better to wait at least 5 to 8 weeks between sessions for maximum results.
Why? Although your skin may look healed on the outside, the ink absorbed by your body is still being eliminated by your lymphatic system.
How does the lymphatic system affect laser tattoo removal?
During the process of laser tattoo removal, the ink is turned from a liquid into crystals, which the lymphatic system is then responsible for removing from the body. The lymphatic system is part of the circulatory system and comprises filters and fluids that wash particles from the body. It’s important, then, to wait until your lymphatic system has completely cleansed your body of these leftover particles before your next laser tattoo removal session. This is also why you might experience redness, scabbing, and (sometimes) blistering — it’s your body’s way of healing itself.
So how can you support your lymphatic system?
These tips will help maximize the efficiency of your laser tattoo removal treatments and save you time and money.