Tattoo Removal with Q-switched 1064 nm Nd:YAG and 532 nm KTP Laser
A patient with a Fitzpatrick Skin Type 2 presented with a ladybug tattoo of Kirby-Desai Rank 8. We needed to remove both darker tattoo colors (black, grey), which commonly respond more intensely to laser treatments, and the lighter color (red) which is more complex to remove.
With a Q-switched laser, the optimal laser source for tattoo removal because of its nanosecond pulses with very high peak powers, we preformed a test area. After a few days we evaluated the test spots in
order to make sure that there were no adverse effects like scarring or blistering, in which case we would have to assess other treatment options. In this clinical case the test lesion cleared well and we were able to proceed with treating the rest of the tattooed area.
We moved the laser beam across the tattoo, using the wavelengths specified in the Table below for each individual color. The treated area develops raised white spots and the patient experiences a mild stinging sensation across the treated area. The area then takes between 7 and 10 days to heal. After the area had completely healed we allowed the body’s natural clearance methods to remove the broken up tattoo ink and waited approximately 6 more weeks before the next treatment. This same general procedure was followed during all subsequent treatments.
Two different wavelengths had to be used for successful removal of this tattoo. The density of the concentration of pigment determines the number of treatments needed. In our case, the tattoo was treated over a series of 4 sessions using the Q-switched Nd:YAG laser at 1064 nm wavelength and a Qswitched KTP laser at 532 nm wavelength. By the fourth session the tattoo had faded significantly.