Tattoo removal can be challenging, but with a few simple tricks and important techniques, results can be astonishing. Eric F. Bernstein, MD, MSE, shared his tips as a laser treatment expert on the third day of the Cosmetic Bootcamp Virtual Meeting.
First and foremost, noted Dr Bernstein, is the laser operator and personnel eye protection. Different colors of link require different wavelengths, so physicians and aesthetics specialists should know the wavelength of the laser being utilized for treatment. Multi-wavelength glasses should be used to cover as many wavelengths as possible. However, if the numbers have worn off, throw the glasses out and replace with new ones, emphasized Dr Bernstein.
Second, continued Dr Bernstein, physicians should not be intimated by lasers. While there are multiple wavelengths and purposes, every laser comes down to a few simple attributes:
- Fluence (J/cm2)
- Spot size (mm)
- Pulse duration (ms)
- Wavelength (nm)
In a 2013 study, the prevalence of tattoo ink color was examined in an Italian population. The study found that black ink was the most prevalent color, followed by red, green, yellow, white, light blue, blue, pink, and violet. Knowing which tools to use can make laser tattoo removal more successful.
When attacking a tattoo removal with lasers, aesthetic specialists should keep in mind some general guidelines to their lasers as outlined in the Table below.
Dr Bernstein also highlighted how important it is to respect melanin pigment and perform test spots on darker skin. He noted how easy it is to cause hyperpigmentation; if hyperpigmentation occurs, dermatologists should not retreat the laser until the hyperpigmentation is gone. He also recommended using bleaching agents to remove postinflammatory hyperpigmentation prior to laser treatment.
Read more insights from CBC 2020 at our Cosmetic Bootcamp Insights page.
Bernstein EF. Laser tattoo removal. Presented at: Cosmetic Bootcamp Virtual Meeting; July 12, 2020.