It just burns the tattoo off right?
Updated: Aug 20, 2019
Knowing your laser operator understands how Tattoo Removal works is super important, would you get an electrician to wire your house that was just winging it and thinks the colour coded cables are just to make them look pretty!?
With your skin being the biggest organ of your body trusting that your chosen operator understands the trauma involved with shooting it with a laser should be pretty high on your priority list. Also high on that priority list should be knowing the clinic has the right equipment to efficiently and safely get the job done.
So if it doesn’t burn it off, how does it work?
The concept is pretty simple, the laser machine produces short pulses of concentrated light which passes through your skin and is absorbed by the ink in your tattoo. The ink is then shattered into tiny fragments, small enough for your immune system to remove them from the area through your lymphatic system.
*Fun Fact: Your body is constantly trying its hardest to get rid of your tattoo from the day you get it, the ink pigments are just too big to let it!*
So you know how your significant other asks you to open a jar of spaghetti sauce for them and after nearly putting your shoulder out you finally open it and hand it back to them all chuffed just for them to say - “oh but I loosened it for you!” That’s basically the relationship of the laser and your body, the laser “loosens” the ink then your body steps in and does all of the hard yards to get rid of the ink.
This is how the general health of people getting a tattoo removed contributes to the efficiency of the removal process amongst a long list of other contributing factors (which I’ll write about soon).
So you just flick the machine on and point and shoot?
Well no not really..
Tattoos have changed significantly over the years, with the main change being the increase of ink colours available. With different colours comes different requirements to remove said colours and the main requirement being the wavelength at which the light beam is delivered.
Black is surprisingly the easiest colour to get rid of using the wavelength of 1064 nanometers (nm) which also attacks purple and dark to medium blues. Wavelength 532nm smashes red, orange and brown ink and the remainder of colours (yellow, green and light blue) require lasering with both wavelengths (see picture below).
You may have heard of a Pico laser machine (or you may not have). Pico Lasers (usually) deliver only a single wavelength of 755nm which predominantly targets yellow, green and light blue ink. For this reason we do not use this type of machine. At Clean Skin Laser we use a Q-Switch Nd:YAG machine delivering dual wavelengths of 1064nm and 532nm, it is the most versatile machine available for efficient tattoo removal of all colours.