The key to safe and effective laser tattoo removal, for people of ALL skin types, is to pair the appropriate wave-length of light, the proper amount of energy and the correct pulse duration with the patient’s tattoo pigment colors, AND adjust for the skin-type. Subtle differences in the distribution and characteristics of the melanin found in darker skin necessitates a different treatment approach than in lighter skin-types.
Older nano-second lasers, such as the Q-switched YAG, also use 1064 nm energy, however, because these lasers are firing at such a slow rate (one-billionth-of- a-second), all of the energy is converted to heat. And, heat elevates the risk of scar, hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation.
The ‘shock-waves’ break up the tattoo pigment better than heat does.
For tattoo removal patients with Fitzpatrick Type 4-6 skin, the three items of particular interest are scarring, hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation. The risk of these complications is higher in darker skin individuals, however, the designers of the PicoSure™ laser had this in mind when they developed this versatile tattoo-removal-platform.