1 in 5 US adults has a tattoo and almost 20% have tattoo regret. The laser tattoo removal industry is booming and experts expect the trend to continue. In fact, spending on laser tattoo removal is expected to hit $83 million by 2018.
Many people are surprised to learn that women make up 74% of all laser tattoo removal cases. In fact, the typical laser tattoo removal patient is female, single, college-educated and between 25-39 years old.
This in-demand treatment is a perfect fit for any aesthetic practice. Not only does it allow practitioners to provide a service their patients are looking for, but it also opens up a new business model and revenue stream.
There are three factors to consider in regards to successful laser tattoo removal:
Ink Particle Size
Several decades ago, most tattoos consisted of a single color – typically black or dark blue ink. Because of this, the 1064nm Nd:YAG emerged as the gold standard for laser tattoo removal. This wavelength effectively treats all dark inks. However, today’s tattoos are typically made of many ink colors – from pastels, vibrant jewel tones and more. For a truly successful laser tattoo removal business, practitioners need more than one wavelength.
Ink colors have differences in light absorption, which means multiple wavelengths are needed to treat a colorful tattoo. Even black tattoos may require multiple wavelengths to achieve significant clearance.
Alma offers several options for laser tattoo removal:
1064 nm Nd:YAG for dark inks, available on Harmony XL PRO and PiocClear
532 nm KTP for red, yellow and orange inks, available on PicoClear
694 nm Q-switched Ruby for green and resistant black inks, available on Sinon
650 nm dye pack for green inks, available on PicoClear
585 nm dye pack for blue and light blue inks, available on PicoClear
Ink Particle Sizes
Laser tattoo removal works, in part, by targeting ink particles and breaking them up into smaller pieces that can be absorbed and flushed by the body. We have found that pulse duration can play a significant role in achieving superior clearance of tattoo inks. While traditional nanosecond lasers work very well, the total number of treatments needed to achieve the desired results can be overwhelming to the patient. With the introduction of picosecond technology, practitioners are able to offer excellent results in fewer treatments. The ultra short picosecond pulse creates a photoacoustic effect that can shatter ink into the tiniest particles, allowing for faster tattoo clearance.
The art of placing a tattoo is an imperfect science. Ink is distributed to multiple layers of skin. This is another reason that multiple treatment sessions are needed to effectively eliminate a tattoo. It is important to choose a laser tattoo removal system, like PicoClear byAlma Lasers, that allows practitioners to precisely control the energy (fluence) and spot size to achieve the desired results.