Any laser or IPL treatment is designed to cause a reaction to a specific coloured target (known as a chromophore) – in the case of tattoo removal, that target is the tattoo ink that has been forcibly placed in the dermis of the skin. The QS Nd: YAG laser creates very short-duration, high powered pulses. The light absorbed in the tattoo causes intense heat, and the chromophore, or ink particle, expands rapidly causing a sound wave that is audible as a popping sound or a ‘crack’ during treatment. It is this ‘crack’ that causes enough force to break up the tattoo pigment into particles that are small enough for the body’s own defence system to remove from the area. This then leads to a fading, and eventual removal of the tattoo from the skin.
Interesting fact: because the ink is removed by the lymphatic system, a urine sample taken in the hours following a tattoo removal treatment would show ink particles under a microscope! This is because the ink is removed in the blood and filtered out through the kidneys into the urine.
This type of tattoo removal can be safely carried out on all skin types and colours, and if performed properly can lead to total tattoo removal and no damage to surrounding tissues.