How does tattoo removal work?
The Q-switched laser is used to remove unwanted tattoos on the skin. These lasers produce fast, high-intensity pulses over the area of the tattoo. The Q-switched laser breaks up the ink particles in the tattoo; the body’s natural immune system then flushes out the ink particles. Traditional tattoo removal is effective, though it can be a frustrating process. The tattoo industry is largely unregulated, meaning that there is no way to predict exactly what type of materials we are targeting when we remove tattoos. Therefore, tattoo removal can require a lengthy series of treatments. Generally, six to ten treatments are required, though difficult-to-remove colors can sometimes take up to twenty treatments.
Yes, a recently published study in the American Academy of Dermatology introduced a revolutionary method of removing tattoos with only one or two treatments. The new method, referred to as the R20 method, uses the Q-switched laser in an alternative way. Instead of only completing one pass of the laser during the office visit, there are four passes used to treat the tattoo during the same visit. The passes are completed with a twenty minute rest in between treatments. Immediately after the treatment pass, there is a whitish appearance of tiny bubbles produced on the surface of the tattoo. The laser cannot target the tattoo through this whitening, so the twenty minute break between treatments is necessary for the whitish bubbles to disappear. After twenty minutes, the whitish appearance has resolved and the laser can once again target the pigment of the tattoo. The R20 method of completing four tattoo removal treatments during one office visit allows the laser to reach greater depths that with one single pass of the Q-switched laser. In clinical studies, one treatment was sufficient to nearly clear a tattoo of black ink. The R20 method of tattoo removal is effective and safe; there were not increased side effects seen with the new method of treatment.
What is the cost of the new R20 Tattoo Removal?
Traditional tattoo removal costs $400 per session. The R20 method allows four treatments to be performed in one session, and requires only one to four sessions total. The price of one R20 session is $1600.
Are there any options for those who live outside of NYC?
Yes, Schweiger Dermatology has just launched a new program, “Fly In for Clear Skin” which includes round-trip airfare to NYC, one night hotel stay in Midtown Manhattan and four passes of the R20 tattoo laser.