How Does Tattoo Removal Work?

Everybody makes mistakes and, in most cases, it’s a live-and-learn experience. Sometimes, though, there are reminders of that mistake — perhaps none quite as obvious as that tattoo you’re regretting. The explosion in popularity of body art in the last decade led to an equal increase in the demand for tattoo removal.

There’s nothing as constant as change, and that’s why Winnie King, MD, Aesthetics and Wellness offers the PicoSure® laser, an aesthetic system that’s ideal for effective tattoo removal.

Tattoo permanence

The reason tattoos can endure for years has much to do with the size of the ink particles that get embedded under your skin. Normally, your body recognizes and removes such particles through the lymph system and capillaries of the circulatory system. These tiny pathways do a marvellous job of removing many harmful particles before they become an issue.

However, their size works against them when it comes to tattoo ink. While you may think of ink as a liquid, it’s actually comprised of pigment solids that leave the lasting image. These solids are too big to easily flush away. Couple that with the fact that tattoo inks are biologically inert, and you’ll understand why your body leaves tattoos alone.

Lasers and tattoos

As tattoos age, they may lose color and definition. Tattoo inks aren’t completely immune to the effects of your body’s detox system, so color fades and lines that were once sharp become blurred, so we know that ink can be processed — we just need a way to make it easier for your body. What’s needed is a way to break up tattoo ink particles.

Laser light concentrates and transfers energy to objects that absorb it. Tattoo ink particles, taking a blast of laser energy, shatter into smaller pieces. You guessed it: these are now small enough for your body to flush away. However, there’s one weakness in the single wavelength laser systems.

Since most lasers use only a single wavelength of light, only things that absorb light around that wavelength can be treated. That’s great for single-color tattoos, but with a wide range of colors, single-wavelength lasers provide inconsistent results.

The PicoSure advantage

Using three wavelengths, at 532, 755, and 1064 nanometers, the PicoSure system tunes to cover a wide range of tattoo ink pigments. Normally, the warm colors of yellow, orange, and red are difficult for laser systems to treat. The addition of 532nm capability makes PicoSure ideal for removing these.

In addition, PicoSure takes its name from its pulse duration, measured in trillionths of a second — a picosecond — much faster than other lasers. The short duration means that the power of each pulse can be higher without causing thermal damage to surrounding skin. This means better breakup of ink pigments and more effective tattoo removal.

Dr. King and her team proudly offer the PicoSure laser system to our patients seeking tattoo removal treatments, but that’s not all that PicoSure offers. It’s an effective skin revitalizing system as well.

Contact the office that’s most convenient for you and arrange a consultation to learn more about how PicoSure can help you achieve your aesthetic goals.

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