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How does tattoo removal work?

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Video Overview

How does tattoo removal work? Tattoo removal works basically by fracturing the ink particles that are coloring the skin. This is kind of a complicated process. What we do is we use a laser that is firing very, very fast. The pulsations are literally nanoseconds, so instead of delivering heat which could burn the skin, we actually use shockwaves to take that big tattoo pigment that your body cannot process and breaks it into much smaller pieces that your body can process.

Everybody asks, well, how long does this take. Well, a lot of that depends. It depends on the color of the tattoo, which is really the chemical composition of the inks - they are all different. It also depends on how much ink was placed in there and how deep it was put into the skin. When we do tattoo removal, we want to make sure that we have the appropriate laser wavelength. That is determined by the color of their tattoo.

Unfortunately, one wavelength of laser cannot treat all tattoos. In our office, we have four different wavelengths. That way, we can treat not only black and dark blue tattoos, but we can get to the red ones, the green ones, the blue ones and actually be effective in treating those. What happens after we fracture that ink and it becomes much smaller, the immune system, little macrophages in the immune system will start to collect that ink and now move it to the lymphatic system where the body can drain it away. Over a series of treatments, normally anywhere from five to ten treatments, that tattoo will lessen until it is almost invisible.

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