Laser Tattoo Removal for Different Skin Types
Tattoo removal can seem like a daunting procedure. There are many clinics promoting that they have the best laser for tattoo removal. But the truth is, not one laser suits all. Tattoo removal effectiveness depends on the machines and the clinic’s experience. Pulse Light Clinic has 4 different laser tattoo removal machines to accommodate all skin types and ink types.
How does laser tattoo removal work?
Laser works by targeting the pigment in the tattoo with the correct wavelength for maximum absorption. Each colour requires a different wavelength to work effectively.
The high power of the laser and short pulse duration shatters the ink into tiny particles, small enough to then fit into the bloodstream. Over the 8 weeks or more following the procedure the white blood cells clear up the debris from the broken ink naturally through the body. This clears the way for the next layer underneath to be seen and hit by the laser, and is repeated until the ink is cleared, typically 6 sessions with a Picosecond laser, (previously 12 with the Q-switch lasers). Picosure was the first picosecond laser to be introduced paving the way for faster technology, allowing coloured and black ink to be removed in half the time.
What are the different skin types?
In laser treatments the Fitzpatrick scale is used to select the skin types of the client, this is determined by the amount of melanin in the skin and exposure to UV light (ability to tan). Using the scale greatly helps in understanding the skin’s ability to react with different wavelengths, allowing clinics to create personalised treatments.
Which lasers are suitable for each ink colour and skin type?
Due to the melanin considerations in the skin it is important to understand which ink colours are in fact removable on which skin type. The fairer the skin type, the less melanin, therefore the more laser light is reflected and not absorbed. Lower melanin levels greatly reduce the chance of side effects such as hypopigmentation (permanent skin lightening). This is also why you should also be at your natural skin tone and not tanned when undergoing laser.
N.B white ink is irremovable and can oxidise
|Fitzpatrick skin type||Skin colour and eyes||Reaction to the Sun||Wavelengths suitable||Laser machine||Colour of removable ink|
|I||light, pale, freckles, (blue eyes)||always burns, will never tan||532nm, 615nm, 585nm, 755nm, 785nm, 730nm, 1064nm||Revlite, Picoway, Picosure, Picosure Pro||black, red, green, blue,orange, purple, brown, pink
|II||white,peach,fair, (blue, green, hazel eyes)||usually burns, struggles to tan||532nm, 615nm, 585nm, 755nm, 785nm, 730nm, 1064nm||Revlite, Picoway, Picosure, Picosure Pro||black, red, green, blue,orange, purple, brown, pink
|III||white, light brown, olive (dark blue, green, hazel, brown eyes)||tans well, occasionally burns||532nm, 615nm, 585nm, 755nm, 785nm, 730nm, 1064nm||Revlite, Picoway, Picosure, Picosure Pro||black, green, blue,orange, purple, pink
(yellow and red may need hydroquinone)
|IV||olive, light to moderate brown, (brown eyes)||tans easily and rarely burns||1064nm (possibility for 755nm, 785nm, 730nm with the use of hydroquinone)||Revlite, Picoway, Picosure, Picosure Pro||Black ink (blue and green possible in some cases with the use of hydroquinone)|
|V||brown, dark brown, black, (brown and dark brown eyes)||tans very easily, very unlikely to burn||1064nm||Revlite, Picoway||Black Ink|
|VI||very dark brown, black (dark brown eyes)||tans very easily, will not burn||1064nm||Revlite, Picoway||Black Ink|
What should I do If I have red or green ink on dark skin?
Pulse Light Clinic has the largest array of wavelengths for tattoo removal, with over 15 years of experience in tattoo removal. Book a consultation with an expert to check the best options for your skin type.