A laser injects the skin with intense light, which penetrates the skin to break up the ink particles and leads to the tattoo fading. The body’s immune system will then remove these pigments over time. The laser energy is harmless, and only targets the pigmented skin, leaving the un-inked surrounding skin unharmed.
Tattoo inks tend to be made of compounds from heavy metals such as lead, copper and manganese. Some red inks even contain mercury. The metals in the ink is give tattoos their permanency.
Tattoo removal laser also known as Q-switch lasers are heat producing, fast and operate in a narrow frequency. The heat and speed is crucial to breaking up the ink particles in a tattoo. The heat will cause expansion and the speed has to be quick enough not to burn the skin. This breaks up the ink into smaller particles that the white blood cells can carry away.
Laser tattoo removal procedures are quick but can cause some discomfort, so cool air is used to soothe the area during treatment. Patients should avoid exposure to the sun or tanning beds for a week after treatment.