Tattoos are permanent because the pigment particles in the inks are too large for your body’s cleaning systems to eliminate. When you decide it’s time for a change, you’ll need help to break up these inks. One of the more common ways these days is through the power of laser energy.
At Bayview General Medicine, we offer our patients the power of the world’s first picosecond aesthetic laser, the PicoSure® system from CynoSure®. PicoSure builds around three target wavelengths to treat a wide range of skin pigment issues, including tattoo removal. You can learn more about PicoSure tattoo removal by meeting with our specialists. To start the conversation, we’ve detailed the process here, including that all-important question: what does laser tattoo removal feel like?
The power of laser light
Your body does slowly erode tattoos, washing out specific colors and softening previously sharp lines over the years, but your original ink will never completely fade on its own. The lymphatic and circulatory systems can transport ink out of your body, but only when pigment particles are small enough to pass through these systems.
The theory behind laser tattoo removal is simple. Using targeted laser light delivered in ultra-short, high-intensity bursts, lasers break pigment particles into pieces. In practice, it’s not quite that easy.
A unique quality of laser light is that it uses only one wavelength, or color, of light at a time. While a single wavelength works well on its complementary color, it requires more energy to break up pigments that drift to either side of that wavelength.
Increasing energy means corollary damage. Healthy skin suffers as laser energy heats both pigment and surrounding tissue.
The power delivered in a cosmetic laser combines energy and time. Higher energy produced for a shorter duration causes less corollary damage. That’s where PicoSure shines. Most lasers of this type operate in the nanosecond range. A nanosecond is one-billionth of a second, a very short duration — 1,000 millionths of a second.
A picosecond, however, is even shorter. It’s 1,000,000 millionths of a second, incredibly tiny even by the standards of a nanosecond. With such a short duration, the PicoSure laser can deliver a very powerful beam that won’t have time to damage surrounding tissue. It’s ideal for treating stubborn pigmentary conditions, including tattoo ink.
What does laser tattoo removal feel like?
The delivery of powerful laser light over tiny fragments of time is surprisingly benign. It’s well-tolerated by most patients, who compare the sensation at laser activation as similar to the snapping of a rubber band against their skin.
Chances are, if you had little trouble with receiving a tattoo, you’ll have no problem with laser tattoo removal. We can even use a numbing cream before your treatments to improve your comfort level even more.
Schedule your consultation with Bayview General Medicine by phone or online. We’ll answer any other questions about the laser tattoo removal experience with PicoSure. Book your visit now.