Laser Tattoo Removal can give varying end results depending on the technology used and the training and experience of the laser operator performing the treatments.
By definition, a class 4 laser is a lot more powerful device than a class 3B. Laser Tattoo Removal using Class 4 lasers can only be performed by people holding a laser licence which is issued by QLD health after many hours of training and performing supervised treatments. Some clinics may be promoting the inferior Class 3 (weak) laser for the removal of tattoos. There is no license required for Class 3 lasers and as such the operator may not be properly trained or have the knowledge to perform laser tattoo removal treatments. Class 3 lasers will not effectively remove tattoo pigment and will lead to a waste of time and money by the client and a disappointing end result.
Tattoo Removal lasers can be purchased from as little as a few thousand dollars, but for top of the line technology the price can be in excess of $100,000.
Tattoos consist of thousands of particles of tattoo pigment suspended in the skin. While normal body functions will remove small foreign particles from the skin, tattoo ink particles are permanent because they are too large to be removed.
Laser Tattoo Removal with a Class 4 Q-Switched laser is currently the most effective means of removing or fading tattoos with the lowest chance of scarring in comparison to other methods. Q-switched lasers emit extremely high energy, short pulses of light that shatter tattoo ink particles to allow them to be removed by the body’s immune system. The key requirement for a laser to remove tattoos is for it to be Q-switched. This means that the energy is delivered by very short pulse-durations which ‘crack’ the tattoo pigment particles which can then be cleared away by the body over time.
Lasers that are not Q-switched will not be effective on tattoos and Intense Pulsed Lights (IPLs) will also be ineffective, delivering energy that is not effectively absorbed by tattoo pigment and will likely damage surrounding skin, leading to massive scarring.
Finding out exactly what type of machine and the type of technology being used will ensure that your tattoo is removed quickly and with the least risk of side effects occurring.