Laser therapy has become a renowned technique for tattoo removal. However, as a general rule, every process has its pros and cons. The cons of the process can be avoided if the practitioners make a careful study of the patient before suggesting him any treatment. Besides this, every patient must be aware of the effectiveness and possible side-effects. This way, a patient can expect a genuine expectation and compliance with the treatment.
Prior to the treatment, everyone should visit the doctor to understand the procedure. The doctor will tell him the everything about it. He will also analyze his skin for any scar over the surrounding tissue as this may be an indication of possible infection lying in the area. This means that the success of the tattoo removal treatment depends upon the physical condition of the patient also. Other than this, the type of tattoo also governs the type of treatment to be given to the patient. For example, Q-switched laser is avoided in the patients who has undergone gold therapy as this may cause pigmentation.
It is believed that a new tattoo is tough to remove in comparison to an old one. An amateur tattoo takes 4-6 treatments but that is not true for professional ones because they require 7-8 treatments. The location of the tattoo on the body is another determining factor in the governing the effectiveness and time in the tattoo removal process. Tattoos placed on acral sites are easier to remove than those at the truncal sites.
Due to the above discussed reasons, not everyone receives the same success with the process. A recent review reveals that among the 238 patients who underwent this therapy, 1.26% of individuals received complete clearance without any pigmentation. For other patients, the results were less successful because they came for laser treatments and were less informed about the process.
What lasers can be used in the treatment?
If a practitioner wants to achieve selective photo-thermolysis, a QS laser is effective. This is because, its exposure time is in nanosecond which is half the thermal relaxation time of the tattoo pigment. With this, method minimal damage to the surrounding tissue is caused. However, here also, it is not necessary that the pigment of the tattoo responds to the QS laser treatment.
Another device used in this regard is QS Nd:YAG laser which is used on Fitzpatrick type IV to VI patients. This classification of the patients is done on the basis of the color of the skin and its exposure to the sun.
Whatever treatment is used, a practitioner should ensure that the patient goes through minimal pain to have a pleasant experience. This can be achieved using topical anesthesia or intra-lesional anesthesia.
Further studies are being performed by the scientists and the doctors to ensure maximum benefits with minimal after effects of the tattoo removal treatment. By far, laser tattoo removal is the most successful in this category. Similar laser hair removal has also been evolved for the effective removal of unwanted body hair.