Q-Switched Tattoo Removal Laser
The Q-switched laser is a powerful device used for treatment of tattoos and various pigmented lesions. It can remove brown spots and freckles in one treatment and can also significantly lighten stubborn melasma. Tattoos generally require multiple treatments to remove.
What Q-Switched Laser Treats
How It Works
Different laser wavelengths target different colors of pigment in the skin. The laser breaks the pigment apart in the skin. If the pigment is superficial, it usually crusts and flakes off within 2 weeks. If the pigment is deep, as in tattoos and certain birthmarks, then the blasted pigment particles need to be gobbled up and removed by your body’s cells. This process can take several months in order to appreciate the full effect of the laser treatment.
What Can I Expect?
Tattoo removal is slow and generally takes 10-20 treatments every 8-12 weeks apart. However, at the Bellevue Laser & Cosmetic Center, we also offer the R20 method. This is a technique where four passes of the laser treatment is performed during each session, with 20 minutes between each pass. Essentially, this is like getting four treatments in one. We repeat treatments every 8-12 weeks. The R20 method significantly improves the rate of clearance of the tattoo, cutting down the overall time and number of treatment sessions by at least half. We generally charge twice as much for the R20 method as we would for a standard single pass treatment session.Some colors may be more challenging to remove and may not disappear completely.Depending on the size and location of the tattoo, we may apply topical or local anesthetic prior to your laser treatment.You will feel and hear an immediate “pop” as the laser breaks apart the pigment in the skin. Afterwards, the treated sites will look crusty.We apply Aquaphor healing ointment immediately after the treatment. Wound care includes gentle cleansing once daily and application of Aquaphor until the crusting heals, which usually takes about a week. It is important to not be tan when you have the procedure done and to avoid direct sun exposure on the treated site for at least two weeks.