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Tattoo removal

Tattoo removal

How are tattoos removed?

We remove decorative, cosmetic and traumatic tattoos with Q-switched lasers. We use Q-switched ruby lasers (Lappeenranta, Tampere, Lahti, Kuopio) and one Q-switched KTP/Nd:YAG laser (Oulu). Before tattoo removal, we treat the tattooed skin area with a fractional CO2 or Er:Glass laser. The pre-treatment improves the efficiency of the treatment and cosmetic result. When removing a tattoo, the Q-switched laser breaks down the tattooed pigment with a photoacoustic pressure wave. The broken-down pigment is removed from the area by the immune system.

How can colours be removed?

The Q-switched ruby laser is overpowered for the removal of black, blue, green and magenta tones, and it also fades grey and brown tones. The effect on red, yellow and white tones is minimal. A Q-switched KTP/Nd:YAG combination laser is the best option for removing red, yellow and orange (KTP) tones and black and blue (Nd:YAG) tones.

How many treatment sessions are needed?

The number of treatments required depends on the color, amount, depth, and anatomical area of the pigment. The exact number of treatments cannot be predicted, but you can get a rough estimate with the Kirby-Desai counter. The treatment interval is at least 6-8 weeks. A black tattoo can usually be removed completely. However, this is not always possible if the pigment is located deep enough in the dermis.

Is removal painful?

The laser removal of tattoos is always rather painful. Before treatment, EMLA anaesthetic cream available from the pharmacy without a prescription can be applied to the skin for an hour. If necessary, pain can also be relieved with painkillers. During treatment, the skin can be cooled down with cold air, which also relieves pain. The rhythm of laser processing and breaks also help with pain management.

What are the after-care instructions?

The gauzes and bandages applied to the removal area are removed the following day after treatment. The gauzes can also be detached in the shower. The skin will be red after laser treatment, and blisters can form on the removal area. Do not puncture the blisters, if possible. The treatment area is showered, and it is protected with clean gauzes daily but avoid touching the area with bare fingers. When a scab forms on the treatment area, ensure that clothing does not rub on the area. The scabs will heal by themselves with time.

All in all, the healing process takes approximately 2 weeks. During sunny seasons, an SPF50+ sun lotion is applied during the treatment series. Hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation may develop in the treatment area, which will usually correct itself within 6-12 months.

Can tattoo removal cause a scar?

Removing a tattoo usually leaves a slightly lighter mark on the skin. Sometimes a tattoo can fade away completely without leaving a trace. Development of actual scar is possible both from taking the tattoo and from removing the tattoo. Q-switched lasers do not heat the tissue very much, so the risk of scar is minimal, but possible if the patient has a known or latent tendency for hypertrophic scar.

How do I access treatment?

An appointment at the reception or a remote appointment is booked with Epilaser’s dermatologist for the removal of a tattoo. The dermatologist shall assess the need for laser therapy and the customer’s suitability for treatment. The dermatologist can also carry out the first treatment session unless the tattoo is extremely large. The physician will usually make an SV3 referral to laser treatment sessions carried out by a nurse.