Q-Switched Laser Technology – Safe & Effective Laser Tattoo Removal

With any type of medical or cosmetic procedure, it’s always important to do your research and ensure that the equipment that might be used is of the highest quality.  It is particularly important with laser tattoo removal, as you may just assume that all lasers are the same, and the treatment will be standard between one clinic and another.

Unfortunately not all lasers are the same, and cheaper, less well made lasers can actually burn your skin during a laser tattoo removal session, even having the potential to cause scarring once the sessions are over.  These type of low quality lasers can sell for as little as $2000 in Australia – in comparison to the high end European built medical lasers that can start at around $100,000 – making it easy for lower end beauty clinics and other operators to afford them, and offer laser tattoo removal as an ‘on the side’ treatment.

You should always be wary if the clinic advertises their tattoo removal service as using simply a ‘Q-Switched Laser’ without giving more details about the type of model it is, as they are likely either to be using an inferior machine or not be experienced enough to know the difference between them.

The tattoo removal laser that is used by Fade to Blank is the Quanta Q-Plus C. Manufactured in Europe, this medical-grade laser is the only true 3 wavelength Q-switched laser in the world. The Quanta Q-Plus C sets a new standard in multi-coloured tattoo removal. It actually has two Q-switched lasers in one machine, an Nd:YAG, and a ruby.

These two lasers generate 3 wavelengths:

  • The Nd:YAG laser operating at 1064nm – a near invisible (infrared) light – targets blacks, black-blues and dark greens.
  • The Nd:YAG also operates at 532nm – a green light – and targets reds and oranges.
  • The ruby laser operates at 694nm – a red light – targets the tough lime greens and sky blues

What is a Q-Switched Laser?

Q-switching is a technique for creating a pulsed laser beam, rather than a continuous wave of light.  This is preferable for a procedure such as laser tattoo removal as it means the light produced is of very high strength.  This makes it suitable for short but focused treatments, as it is efficient at creating a shockwave (called the photoacoustic effect) that will break the tattoo ink particles, allowing them to be reabsorbed back into the bloodstream.

Q-Switched laser machines vary in capability, and industry experts agree that only the genuine three wavelength Q-Switched ND:YAG system should really be used for cosmetic treatments such as tattoo removal.  The Q-Switched laser – called the Quanta Q-Plus C – that we use in our treatments at Fade To Blank, for example, is the highest quality medical grade laser on the market.

It out performs other similar lasers because it is designed for multi-coloured tattoo removal, with two high performance lasers in one, the Nd:YAG and a ruby laser. These two lasers generate 3 wavelengths that together cover all the different colours, from black and dark greens to reds and oranges, right up to the tougher colours to remove including lime greens and light blues.  Most of the lower grade lasers are not able to remove these types of difficult colours, and as a result you may need to have more treatments to get the outcome you desire.

When you’re searching for a laser tattoo removal clinic, always look for one that includes this type of information for customers, as this way you’ll know that it’s a reputable business that understands the technology they are using, and will give you the best possible outcome with no safety risks.

Why Does it Matter What Laser is used on my Skin?

Because of the way they work in a non-invasive way on your skin, lasers in general are a very safe method for removing tattoos.  However, some of the lower quality lasers can cause side effects, including burning during treatments and even scarring.  The burning can occur from excessive heat on the skin, if the laser is unfocused or lingers in one area for too long.  This can happen because of an inferior laser, or inexperience on the part of the operator.  If your skin is burnt, you may experience severe blistering that can last for weeks, and in the worst case scenario, you may find that the area has been scarred once the treatments have ended.

The laser machines at most other clinics do not feature the ruby laser and therefore they are not able to remove the light blues and greens. However, sometimes they simulate the ruby’s wavelength using impregnated dye handpieces that filter the light. However, these handpiece systems are much weaker in power, because a larger percentage (sometimes upwards of 70%) of the laser energy is blocked by the filter. As a result, handpiece systems are largely ineffective, especially in later treatment stages when powerful pulses are most needed.

The Quanta Q-Plus C delivers the tattoo removal laser energy in a square spot size. This means that the energy is distributed evenly over the target area without ‘hot spots’, greatly reducing any complications such as burning or scarring.

A laser that is less than medical grade may also mean that you need to attend more tattoo removal sessions, simply because it will be less effective at breaking up the ink.  Whereas the normal tattoo removal process can take between 8 and 18 months, it may take a lot longer to get the outcome you want with a cheaper laser machine.

Get in touch with us at Fade to Blank. We’d love to hear from you!

If you have any questions about laser tattoo removal or the type of high grade equipment that Fade To Blank uses, please contact us and speak to one of our friendly staff today.

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