Laser tattoo removal (actual patient of Dr Chu's)  


Removal Img2

Dr. Chu has been removing tattoo ink with lasers since 1994. Tattoo ink is removed by using a specific wavelength of light which passes through the skin but is absorbed by the ink. The rapid absorption of light energy causes the tattoo ink to destruct, where it is then removed by the body's natural filtering systems.  Different colors of ink respond to different wavelengths of light energy. The Picosure laser delivers the light in a very short, high intensity pulses for maximum ink destruction. The speed at which the light is emitted by the Picosure is 100 times faster than the previous generation of Q switched lasers(like the Medlite) and making it less painful, more effective in removing ink, & decreasing healing time following treatment.  The use of this specific combination of wavelength and rapidly pulsed light results in minimal damage to the skin while providing maximum tattoo ink removal.

Is the process painful?

All tattoo lasers emit one wavelength of light in very short flashest called pulses. The impact of the energy from the powerful pulses of light is similar to the snap of a thin rubber band or speck of hot grease on the skin. The large majority of patients only require topical anesthesia.  In very sensitive areas, a local anesthetic is injected before treatment to make the treatment completely painless.  Some patients prefer topical anesthesia & use of a cooling unit to avoid the discomfort of needle injections.  

How many treatment sessions will it take to remove the tattoo?

The Picosure tattoo has decreased the number of treatments required to half the sessions required by the previous generation of Q switched lasers(Medlite, Q switched YAG, Ruby,  & Alexandrite lasers). With the new Picosure laser professional tattoos usually require  4-8 treatments as opposed to 8-10 treatments with the older lasers, while amateur tattoos usually require 2-4 treatments, all spaced approximately a minimum of 6 weeks apart.  The number of treatments depends on the amount and type of ink used and the depth of the ink in the skin.

Do all colors of ink disappear equally as well?

The previous generation of Q switched lasers(eg Medlite)  were ineffective in treating green & vivid colors.  Unlike these older lasers the Picosure laser is very effective in removing all colors of ink but white & yellow inks may not fade completely.  

Will the tattoo completely disappear?

In most cases, yes. Greater than 95% fading of the tattoo may be accomplished. However, it is very important to know that over 100 tattoo inks are in use worldwide today, none of which are regulated by the FDA. Not knowing which tattoo ink, how deep or how much was used, makes it impossible for the physician to predict the degree of removal on any given tattoo.

Will a scar result from laser treatment of tattoos?

Any change in texture or color of the treated area of skin under a tattoo usually resolves within weeks to months after treatment with laser.  The new Picosure laser minimizes this transition period due to it's much faster delivery of the laser energy thereby decreasing healing time and because it requires approximately half the number of treatments as the Medlite laser(and all other Q switched lasers).  It is important to note that a tattoo of longstanding duration in a sun exposed area of skin may exhibit "ghosting" because the skin under the tattoo ink has been protected from the sun & will be at least temporarily lighter than the surrounding skin which has been discolored by many years exposed to the ravages of the sun. In addition, if the area is not treated properly during the healing phase of each treatment, an infection may occur & scarring is much more likely.   



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