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Tattoo Removal Using the Alexandrite Laser

Tattoo Removal Using the Alexandrite Laser Abstract Background: Until the recent development of the Q-switched lasers, it was not possible to remove tattoos without causing scarring, sometimes very disfiguring. Variations in wavelengths and pulse widths used may result in different clinical effectiveness or risks. The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of the alexandrite laser in removing professional and amateur tattoo pigment without adverse tissue response. Results: We describe the clinical and histologic effects of the use of a new Q-switched laser for treatment of tattoos, the alexandrite laser (wavelength, 755 nm; pulse width, 100 nanoseconds). The results of treatment of 17 patients with professional tattoos and eight patients with amateur tattoos are analyzed. Greater than 95% removal of tattoo pigment averaged 8.9 treatment sessions. Transient hypopigmentation occurred in approximately 50% of patients, and transient textural surface changes occurred in 12%. Conclusions: The alexandrite laser is a safe and effective treatment modality for removal of black and blueblack tattoo pigment.(Arch Dermatol. 1994;130:1508-1514) References 1. Scutt RWB. The chemical removal of tattoos . Br J Plast Surg. 1972;25:189.Crossref 2. Koerber WA, Price NM. Salabrasion of tattoos . Arch Dermatol. 1978;114:884.Crossref 3. Chai KB. The decorative tattoo: its removal by dermabrasion . Plast Reconstr Surg. 1963;32:559-563.Crossref 4. Clabaugh W. Removal of tattoos by superficial dermabrasion . Arch Dermatol. 1968;98:515-521.Crossref 5. Goldstein N, Penoff J, Price NR, et al. Techniques of removal of tattoos . J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1979;5:901.Crossref 6. Apfelberg DB, Manchester GH. Decorative and traumatic tattoo biophysics and removal . Clin Plast Surg. 1987;14:243-251. 7. Piggot TA, Norris RW. The treatment of tattoos with trichloroacetic acid: experience with 670 patients . Br J Plast Surg. 1988;41:112-117.Crossref 8. Wheeler ES, Miller TA. Tattoo removal by split thickness tangential excision . West J Med. 1976;124:272. 9. Buncke HJ Jr, Conway H. Surgery of decorative and traumatic tattoos . Plast Reconstr Surg. 1957;20:67.Crossref 10. Colver GB, Cherry GW, Dawber RPR, et al. Tattoo removal using infrared coagulation . Br J Dermatol. 1985;12:481.Crossref 11. Venning VA. Tattoo removal using infrared coagulation . Br J Dermatol. 1985; 12:481. 12. Apfelberg DB, Maser MR, Lash H. Argon laser treatment of decorative tattoos . Br J Plast Surg. 1979;32:141-144.Crossref 13. Apfelberg DB, Rivers J, Maser MR, Lash H. Update on laser usage in treatment of decorative tattoos . Lasers Surg Med. 1982;2:169-177.Crossref 14. McBurney El. Carbon dioxide laser treatment of dermatologic lesions . South Med J. 1978;71:795-797.Crossref 15. Bailin PL, Ratz JL, Levine HL. Removal of tattoos by CO2 laser . J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1980;6:997.Crossref 16. Ruiz-Esparza J, Goldman MP, Fitzpatrick RE. Tattoo removal with minimal scarring: the chemo-laser technique . J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1989;14:1372-1376.Crossref 17. Yules RB, Laub DR, Honey R, et al. The effect of Q-switched ruby laser radiation on dermal tattoo pigment in man . Arch Surg. 1967;95:179-180.Crossref 18. Laub DR, Yules RB, Arras M, et al. Preliminary histopathological observation of Q-switched ruby laser radiation on dermal tattoo pigment in man . J Surg Res. 1968;8:220-224.Crossref 19. Reid RI, Muller S. Tattoo removal with laser . Med J Aust. 1978;1:389-395. 20. Reid WH, McLeod PJ, Ritchie A, Ferguson-Pell M. Q-switched ruby laser treatment of black tattoos . Br J Plast Surg. 1983;36:455-459.Crossref 21. DeCoste SD, Anderson RR. Comparison of Q-switched ruby and Q-switched Nd:YAG laser treatment of tattoos . Lasers Surg Med. 1991;3( (suppl) ):64. 22. Taylor CR, Gange RW, Dover JS, et al. Treatment of tattoos by Q-switched ruby laser: a dose-response study . Arch Dermatol. 1990;126:893-899.Crossref 23. Scheibner A, Kenny G, White W, Wheeland R. A superior method of tattoo removal using the Q-switched ruby laser . J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1990;16: 1091-1098.Crossref 24. Kilmer SL, Anderson RR. Clinical use of the Q-switched ruby and the Q-switched Nd:YAG (1064 nm and 532 nm) lasers for treatment of tattoos . J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1993;19:330-338.Crossref 25. Kilmer SL, Lee M, Farinelli W, Grevelink JM, Anderson RR. Q-switched Nd: YAG laser (1064 nm) effectively treats Q-switched ruby laser resistant tattoos . Lasers Surg Med. 1992;4( (suppl) ):72. 26. Kilmer SL, Lee MS, Grevelink JM, Flotte TJ, Anderson RR. The Q-switched Nd:YAG laser (1064 nm) effectively treats tattoos: a controlled, dose-response study . Arch Dermatol. 1993;129:971-978.Crossref 27. Anderson RR, Parrish JA. Selective photothermolysis: precise microsurgery by selective absorption of pulsed radiation . Science. 1983;220:524-527.Crossref 28. Taylor CR, Anderson R, Gange W, et al. Light and electron microscopic analysis of tattoos treated by Q-switched ruby laser . J Invest Dermatol. 1991;97: 131-136.Crossref 29. Levins PC, Grevelink JM, Anderson RR. Q-switched ruby laser treatment of tattoos . Lasers Surg Med. 1991;3( (suppl) ):63. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archives of Dermatology American Medical Association

Tattoo Removal Using the Alexandrite Laser

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1994 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0003-987X
eISSN
1538-3652
DOI
10.1001/archderm.1994.01690120044006
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract Background: Until the recent development of the Q-switched lasers, it was not possible to remove tattoos without causing scarring, sometimes very disfiguring. Variations in wavelengths and pulse widths used may result in different clinical effectiveness or risks. The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of the alexandrite laser in removing professional and amateur tattoo pigment without adverse tissue response. Results: We describe the clinical and histologic effects of the use of a new Q-switched laser for treatment of tattoos, the alexandrite laser (wavelength, 755 nm; pulse width, 100 nanoseconds). The results of treatment of 17 patients with professional tattoos and eight patients with amateur tattoos are analyzed. Greater than 95% removal of tattoo pigment averaged 8.9 treatment sessions. Transient hypopigmentation occurred in approximately 50% of patients, and transient textural surface changes occurred in 12%. Conclusions: The alexandrite laser is a safe and effective treatment modality for removal of black and blueblack tattoo pigment.(Arch Dermatol. 1994;130:1508-1514) References 1. Scutt RWB. The chemical removal of tattoos . Br J Plast Surg. 1972;25:189.Crossref 2. Koerber WA, Price NM. Salabrasion of tattoos . Arch Dermatol. 1978;114:884.Crossref 3. Chai KB. The decorative tattoo: its removal by dermabrasion . Plast Reconstr Surg. 1963;32:559-563.Crossref 4. Clabaugh W. Removal of tattoos by superficial dermabrasion . Arch Dermatol. 1968;98:515-521.Crossref 5. Goldstein N, Penoff J, Price NR, et al. Techniques of removal of tattoos . J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1979;5:901.Crossref 6. Apfelberg DB, Manchester GH. Decorative and traumatic tattoo biophysics and removal . Clin Plast Surg. 1987;14:243-251. 7. Piggot TA, Norris RW. The treatment of tattoos with trichloroacetic acid: experience with 670 patients . Br J Plast Surg. 1988;41:112-117.Crossref 8. Wheeler ES, Miller TA. Tattoo removal by split thickness tangential excision . West J Med. 1976;124:272. 9. Buncke HJ Jr, Conway H. Surgery of decorative and traumatic tattoos . Plast Reconstr Surg. 1957;20:67.Crossref 10. Colver GB, Cherry GW, Dawber RPR, et al. Tattoo removal using infrared coagulation . Br J Dermatol. 1985;12:481.Crossref 11. Venning VA. Tattoo removal using infrared coagulation . Br J Dermatol. 1985; 12:481. 12. Apfelberg DB, Maser MR, Lash H. Argon laser treatment of decorative tattoos . Br J Plast Surg. 1979;32:141-144.Crossref 13. Apfelberg DB, Rivers J, Maser MR, Lash H. Update on laser usage in treatment of decorative tattoos . Lasers Surg Med. 1982;2:169-177.Crossref 14. McBurney El. Carbon dioxide laser treatment of dermatologic lesions . South Med J. 1978;71:795-797.Crossref 15. Bailin PL, Ratz JL, Levine HL. Removal of tattoos by CO2 laser . J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1980;6:997.Crossref 16. Ruiz-Esparza J, Goldman MP, Fitzpatrick RE. Tattoo removal with minimal scarring: the chemo-laser technique . J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1989;14:1372-1376.Crossref 17. Yules RB, Laub DR, Honey R, et al. The effect of Q-switched ruby laser radiation on dermal tattoo pigment in man . Arch Surg. 1967;95:179-180.Crossref 18. Laub DR, Yules RB, Arras M, et al. Preliminary histopathological observation of Q-switched ruby laser radiation on dermal tattoo pigment in man . J Surg Res. 1968;8:220-224.Crossref 19. Reid RI, Muller S. Tattoo removal with laser . Med J Aust. 1978;1:389-395. 20. Reid WH, McLeod PJ, Ritchie A, Ferguson-Pell M. Q-switched ruby laser treatment of black tattoos . Br J Plast Surg. 1983;36:455-459.Crossref 21. DeCoste SD, Anderson RR. Comparison of Q-switched ruby and Q-switched Nd:YAG laser treatment of tattoos . Lasers Surg Med. 1991;3( (suppl) ):64. 22. Taylor CR, Gange RW, Dover JS, et al. Treatment of tattoos by Q-switched ruby laser: a dose-response study . Arch Dermatol. 1990;126:893-899.Crossref 23. Scheibner A, Kenny G, White W, Wheeland R. A superior method of tattoo removal using the Q-switched ruby laser . J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1990;16: 1091-1098.Crossref 24. Kilmer SL, Anderson RR. Clinical use of the Q-switched ruby and the Q-switched Nd:YAG (1064 nm and 532 nm) lasers for treatment of tattoos . J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1993;19:330-338.Crossref 25. Kilmer SL, Lee M, Farinelli W, Grevelink JM, Anderson RR. Q-switched Nd: YAG laser (1064 nm) effectively treats Q-switched ruby laser resistant tattoos . Lasers Surg Med. 1992;4( (suppl) ):72. 26. Kilmer SL, Lee MS, Grevelink JM, Flotte TJ, Anderson RR. The Q-switched Nd:YAG laser (1064 nm) effectively treats tattoos: a controlled, dose-response study . Arch Dermatol. 1993;129:971-978.Crossref 27. Anderson RR, Parrish JA. Selective photothermolysis: precise microsurgery by selective absorption of pulsed radiation . Science. 1983;220:524-527.Crossref 28. Taylor CR, Anderson R, Gange W, et al. Light and electron microscopic analysis of tattoos treated by Q-switched ruby laser . J Invest Dermatol. 1991;97: 131-136.Crossref 29. Levins PC, Grevelink JM, Anderson RR. Q-switched ruby laser treatment of tattoos . Lasers Surg Med. 1991;3( (suppl) ):63.

Journal

Archives of DermatologyAmerican Medical Association

Published: Dec 1, 1994

References