Tattoos have now sprung from subculture to pop culture. In years gone by they represented adulthood rites, artistry and tribal identification but nowadays you’d be hard pressed to walk down any busy Bangkok street and not see several people sporting leg tats or arm sleeves. Now that Tattoos have gone mainstream and lost their cool, many people are starting to rethink their ink and are contemplating getting them removed. Another factor in many people’s desire to get a tattoo removed is that 20- or 30-year old tattoos often fade and start to spread so they don’t look as good as they did when they were first done, plus they tend to look better on young, taut skin than on older, wrinkled skin. There have been numerous methods used over time to remove tattoos, from creams that claim to progressively fade away and remove your tattoo, to dermabrasion and Trichloroacetic acid, which removes the top layers of skin.
When the first wave of lasers first came along in the early nineties the results were less than satisfactory and often left people with burns, and textural changes on the skin. Fortunately in recent years those old lasers have been replaced with better technology and the results have improved tremendously. Traditional nanosecond lasers predominately rely on photothermal action, delivering heat to the pigment and surrounding tissue. However, these laser treatments can take up to a year or even longer to remove a large tattoo. The good news for anyone that is thinking about getting ink removed is that a major advancement in laser technology has led to the development of a machine that is fast, safe and effective with most patients experiencing nearly 100 per cent clearance after only three sessions. The PicoSure laser takes advantage of PressureWave technology to shatter the target ink into tiny particles. Ultra-short pulses, one trillionth of a second in length, hit the ink particle in the tattoo with a pressure so great that the ink shatters into tiny dust-like particles. Because the particles are so small, they are more readily absorbed and eliminated by the body. The number of sessions needed to remove a tattoo depends on several factors, including its size and colour.
It is recommended that patients wait around four to six weeks between each session so the pigment has time to be naturally expelled from the body. This new method of laser tattoo removal is relatively comfortable, with most patients saying that the procedure is much less painful than getting a tattoo. Patients may experience some minor side effects including a temporary sunburn-like sensation, but scarring is rare. Patients can resume their normal activities immediately following treatment without any downtime. Of course, every tattoo is unique and some contain several different colours and also have different volumes of ink, so it is important to speak with a qualified doctor to find out how many treatments you may need, and what to expect. This must all come as good news for the celebrity ex-lover-tattoo club, which includes Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Eva Longoria, Melanie Griffith, Marc Anthony and Denise Richards who all had their ex-partners’ names inked on to their skin in happier times.
PicoSure 755 is US FDA Cleared to treat tattoos and pigmented lesions in skin types I-VI. PicoSure 755 with Focus is US FDA cleared tp treat pigmented lesions in skin types I-VI and acne scars and wrinkles in skin types I-IV. PicoSure 532 is US FDA cleared to treat tattoos in skin types I-III