Tatoo removal

For many years now Q-switched lasers with various wavelengths have been used to remove tattoos. Compared to other methods this treatment has the benefit that risk of scar formation is very low. For a short time the Q-swithed lasers are use for removal of permanent make-up, too. As the high-energy laser pulses of these devices are only a number of nanoseconds long, they are absorbed by the pigment particles selectively without causing any coincident thermal damage to tissue. The ink particles are fragmented by the laser irradiation; the fragments are then reabsorbed by phagocytosis. The type of laser is a decisive factor as to which colour pigments may be treated particularly well and which colours do not react as well to treatment. Ruby lasers (TattooStar Effect R manifactured by Asclepion), which work in the near-infrared area, have proved themselves to be almost universally deployable in practice. As a result of the strong absorption of the ruby laser beam by the skin pigment melanin, these devices are also used for the treatment of natural pigmented lesions. Patients generally tolerate the treatment without an anaesthetic; a local anaesthetic is only used in occasional cases. The wavelength of the ruby laser light is specifically absorbed by the colour pigments in the tattoo. The energy is transferred and then fragments the ink particles from the connective tissue. The fragmented particles are then degraded epidermally and lymphatically. The irradiated area of skin appears whitish for 10 - 20 minutes immediately after treatment. A slight crust then forms which sloughs off after about 1 - 2 weeks. It is usual that a number of sessions at intervals of several weeks (optimally 6 -8) are required to remove a tattoo. Whereas in the past it was often fringe groups in society which liked to have tattoos, decorative tattoos have become extremely popular among young adults in recent years. This has been accompanied by demand for their complete removal. If one looks to the future, it may be foreseen that with the next change in fashions at the latest, tattoos and permanent make-up will change from being decorative to being a stigma - a sign that the wearer is part of a past generation. Many of them will be removed with Q-switched lasers.

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