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March 06 2017


Advantages of Using a Laser to Remove a Tattoo

Is a tattoo no longer permanent? It seems that it is not. The removal of a tattoo through laser treatment is a medical practice that involves removing colored or black pigments introduced under the skin. Two processes are needed to ensure this process is a success: Surgical ablation and laser. Dermabrasion, or "sanding" of the epidermis, can also be considered when the tattoo is not deep and extensive, but this technique is used very little these days.

Whatever the protocol chosen, the removal of a tattoo is easier when it has been performed by a professional in cosmetic dermatology. Indeed, a professional tattoo artist "inks" the skin using various pigments with the aid of a machine (dermograph) and places it on the same plane. Conversely, the pigments used by an amateur tattoo artist is most often injected at different depths into the skin, and sometimes resulting from personal mixtures of inks. Because of this, it is more difficult for the doctor to erase it homogeneously.


The Q-Switch laser is the only type of laser indicated for the removal of tattoos. Swept over the tattooed area, this laser is absorbed by the pigments present in the skin and causes them to burst. Keep in mind that this laser does not destroy it, rather the laser breaks the pigments up into tiny particles. These microscopic pigment grains are then naturally eliminated by the body. They are small enough to be digested by macrophages (cells of the immune system that function to destroy foreign bodies).

Each pigment color (orange, yellow, red, turquoise, etc...) corresponds to a particular setting of the Q-Switch laser. It is important to contact a doctor that uses a well-equipped laser! Moreover, this kind of laser does not require a cooling system because its impact is too short to heat or burn the skin. The Q-Switch laser can be applied to all tattoos, regardless of their size, and on all skin types. However, people with darker skin might require longer laser times, especially if the tattoo to be eliminated is black. This is because the laser struggles to differentiate melanin, the natural pigment from the skin, from the black pigments of the tattoo.

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