Q-switched FAQ

Q: How does the laser work?

A: Targeted destruction of tattoo ink by selective absorption of a specific wavelength emitted by a nanosecond high-intensity pulse laser forms the basis of Q-switched laser tattoo removal. After light absorption, ink molecules are partially destroyed and broken into smaller fragments by photoacoustic and pressure waves, as well as by the quick conversion of laser high-energy pulse into heat. Subsequently, ink fragments undergo phagocytosis by macrophages and are removed via the lymphatic vessels.

Q: How many treatments will it require?

A: Removing a professionally applied tattoo is usually a fading process that requires a series of treatments spaced at least 6 weeks apart. Professional tattoos usually require 5-10 treatment sessions for satisfactory clearing. The depth, color and amount of ink, as well as the location of the tattoo on the body are all determining factors in how quickly the tattoo can be removed. Most amateur, ‘street tattoos" and traumatic tattoos are removed in fewer treatments.

Q: What about lightening an existing tattoo?

A: Many tattoo artists encourage customers to receive a minimum number of laser treatments to lighten an existing tattoo before covering it with a new one. This will dramatically reduce any chance of the old tattoo appearing through the new one. In most cases, a minimum of 2-4 treatments is all that's required to lighten an existing tattoo.

Q: Can Q-switched laser remove hyperpigmented lesions?

A: Most pigmentary skin lesions, whether epidermal or dermal, acquired or congenital, can be treated with Q-switched laser. Though the clinical indications of a Q-switched NdYAG laser are numerous, like lentigines, café-au lait macules, freckles, dermal pigmented lesions like Nevus of Ota, Nevus of Ito, mongolian spots, Hori’s nevus and other flat pigmented birthmarks.

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