The American Academy of Dermatologists recommends a laser tattoo removal protocol of three to five years — the same length interval that some of the most popular laser tattoo removal procedures are currently undergoing.
“The fact that the industry was willing to take an extended timeframe to come up with a protocol for laser tattoo removal suggests that laser tattoo removal will become a mainstream treatment that will quickly and uniformly provide cosmetic and/or aesthetic results that will rival those of other surgical procedures,” the AAD reports. Some studies have suggested that laser tattoo removal might actually be less effective than some of the more popular and invasive surgical procedures, such as barbering, laser hair removal and dermal fillers, and might even require more care to remove, AAD says.
However, lasers in general have undergone some of the most dramatic changes to their ability over the last decade. “The fact that laser tattoo removal is so new is a great testament to how highly considered each new technology really is,” Robert Spadaro, the chairman of the AAD board, told Forbes in 2010.
What the procedure actually entails
Though laser tattoo removal sounds like it will be less invasive than an existing procedure, it’s not just any old laser: The laser treatment, which aims to change hair color, includes “high-energy pulses fired in a circular pattern,” according to the AAD. This is meant to “further change the color by triggering different wavelengths of light to be released to hit specific regions of the skin.”
In addition to color changes associated with laser tattoos, the laser treatment may also induce skin cells to develop new pigments when used as part of the treatment, to help restore the damaged areas on the skin.
For an example, see the video by the AAD below.
Is laser tattoo removal 100 percent successful?
While doctors say that laser tattoo removal has had a lot of success — in part thanks to the rapid development of laser technology — the technology, however, is currently under development. According to the University of Illinois, there is “no evidence that laser tattoo removal has been found to be non-inferior” to surgical procedures, even at the time of the procedure, as well as in recent literature.
The procedure, which can be performed on both men and women, is currently done at a clinic called CTAQ, which is based in Las Vegas. According to the AAD, the CTAQ has also had some of the most disappointing results with those
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