When did laser tattoo removal first start? This is a question that has been asked by many people looking to safely and effectively remove their tattoos. Although the practice of removing tattoos has been around for centuries, the first laser treatment for tattoo removal was not developed until the late 1980s. Since then, laser tattoo removal has become one of the most popular and effective ways to remove unwanted ink. In this article, we will explore the history of laser tattoo removal and how it has evolved over the years.
History of Tattoo Removal
Tattoo removal has been around for centuries, with the earliest attempts being made by ancient Egyptians and Greeks. Over the years, various methods have been used to try and remove unwanted tattoos, from crude methods such as cutting and burning to more modern methods such as dermabrasion and surgical removal.
The 20th Century
In the 20th century, a variety of techniques were developed to remove tattoos. Dermabrasion and salabrasion were both popular methods of tattoo removal during this time, as well as surgical removal and cryosurgery, which involved freezing the tattooed area with liquid nitrogen.
The 21st Century
The 21st century marked the start of a new era in tattoo removal, with the introduction of laser tattoo removal. Laser tattoo removal works by breaking down the ink particles in the skin using energy from a laser. This is a much faster and more effective method of tattoo removal than the methods used previously.
When Did Laser Tattoo Removal Start?
Laser tattoo removal was first introduced in the late 1990s, with the first lasers used being carbon dioxide and Q-Switched lasers. Since then, there have been many advances in laser technology, and laser tattoo removal is now one of the most popular methods of removing tattoos.
|Time Period||Tattoo Removal Method|
|Ancient Times||Cutting and Burning|
|20th Century||Dermabrasion, Salabrasion, Surgical Removal, Cryosurgery|
|21st Century||Laser Tattoo Removal|
The popularity of laser tattoo removal has grown significantly over the years, and it is now the most popular method of tattoo removal. As laser technology has advanced, the procedure has become faster, more effective, and less painful.
Pre-Laser Tattoo Removal
Tattoo removal before lasers was a much less effective, more painful, and more expensive process. Before lasers were developed, there were several methods for removing tattoos, such as:
- Dermabrasion: This was the most common method used before lasers. It involved using an abrasive device to scrape away the top layers of the skin, removing the tattoo. It was very painful and could leave scars.
- Cryosurgery: This involved freezing the tattoo with liquid nitrogen and then scraping it off with a scalpel. It was effective but could also leave scars.
- Excision: This was a surgical procedure where the tattooed skin was cut out and the surrounding skin was sutured together. It was very painful and could result in a significant scar.
- Tretinoin: This was a topical cream that was applied to the skin to gradually lighten the tattoo. It was slow and not always effective.
These pre-laser tattoo removal methods were often painful, expensive, and not always effective. They could also cause significant scarring and skin damage. Laser tattoo removal was a much safer, more effective, and less expensive alternative when it was developed in the 1990s.
What is Laser Tattoo Removal?
Laser Tattoo Removal is a non-invasive procedure that uses laser technology to break down the ink particles in a tattoo, which are then naturally removed by the body. It is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures as it is an effective and affordable way to remove unwanted tattoos.
- The procedure works by targeting the ink particles with a high-intensity light beam, which breaks down the pigment into smaller particles.
- The body then naturally eliminates these particles, leaving the skin free of the unwanted tattoo.
- Laser tattoo removal is safe and causes minimal discomfort and is often used to treat tattoos that have become a source of embarrassment or regret.
- The procedure can be used to treat a variety of tattoo designs, including multicolored tattoos and even permanent makeup.
- The number of treatments required will depend on the size, complexity, and color of the tattoo.
How Long Has Tattoo Removal Been Around? Laser tattoo removal has been around since the mid-1990s, when the first laser device was approved by the FDA for permanent hair reduction. Since then, the technology has been adapted for tattoo removal, and the popularity of the procedure has grown steadily over the years.
When Did Laser Tattoo Removal Start?
Laser tattoo removal has become a popular procedure for those looking to erase a tattoo that they no longer want. But when did laser tattoo removal first become available? Here we take a look at the history of the process, from its beginnings to today.
Early Tattoo Removal
Tattoo removal has been around since ancient times. Early methods included the use of abrasives, dermabrasion, and salabrasion (a process involving salt). In the 1950s, the use of cryosurgery, or freezing, was introduced, and in the 1970s, lasers were first developed for medical use.
The Birth of Laser Tattoo Removal
The first laser specifically designed for tattoo removal was the Q-switched laser, which was developed in the early 1990s. This type of laser was designed to be more effective than other methods of tattoo removal, and it was the first to be able to break up the ink particles in the tattoo and remove them from the skin.
Modern Day Laser Tattoo Removal
- Faster Treatment Times: Today’s lasers are faster and more powerful than ever before, providing faster and more effective treatment times.
- Effective on All Skin Types: The latest lasers are designed to be effective on all skin types, including darker skin tones.
- Fewer Side Effects: Modern lasers are much gentler on the skin, meaning fewer side effects and less discomfort.
Today, laser tattoo removal is a safe, effective, and popular choice for those looking to remove an unwanted tattoo. While the procedure has come a long way in the past few decades, it is still important to consult a qualified medical professional before undergoing any type of tattoo removal.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Laser Tattoo Removal
- It is considered to be a safe and effective method of tattoo removal compared to other methods.
- The procedure is relatively quick and most tattoos can be removed in a few sessions.
- It is less painful than other methods of tattoo removal, such as dermabrasion or excision.
- The laser can remove tattoos of different colors and depths with minimal scarring.
- The procedure is expensive and may not be covered by insurance.
- The laser may cause changes in the skin’s pigmentation, leading to permanent discoloration.
- The procedure can be painful and may require multiple sessions.
- The tattoo may not be completely removed even after multiple sessions.
Safety and Risks of Laser Tattoo Removal
- Laser tattoo removal is generally safe when performed by a qualified professional. The procedure is minimally invasive, making it relatively low-risk. Most people experience only mild discomfort during the procedure.
- Though rare, certain side effects can happen. These can include temporary inflammation, redness, swelling, blisters, and scarring. The risk of side effects increases if the tattoo is large, brightly-colored, or if a non-medical laser is used.
- Laser tattoo removal can cause long-term changes in skin color. This is especially true for individuals with darker skin tones. It is important to note that the laser only affects the pigment in the tattoo, not the skin itself. Therefore, skin may appear lighter or darker than it did before the procedure.
- Eye protection is essential during laser tattoo removal. This is because the laser can cause damage to the eyes if not properly shielded. Patients should always wear protective eyewear during the procedure.
- Laser tattoo removal is not recommended for everyone. People with certain medical conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, may be at a higher risk of experiencing complications. Also, pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid laser tattoo removal.
Cost of Laser Tattoo Removal
- The cost of laser tattoo removal can vary significantly, depending on the size, color, and location of the tattoo. A small, black tattoo may cost as little as $50 per session while a larger, colorful tattoo may cost up to $500 per session.
- Laser tattoo removal is often more expensive than other forms of tattoo removal such as dermabrasion or salabrasion. However, laser tattoo removal is considered to be the most effective method of tattoo removal.
- The cost of laser tattoo removal can also vary depending on the number of treatments required. In some cases, only one treatment may be necessary while in other cases, multiple treatments may be required to completely remove the tattoo.
- The cost of laser tattoo removal can also depend on the type of laser used and the experience of the technician performing the procedure. Some laser tattoo removal treatments may be performed in a doctor’s office or dermatology clinic, while others may require a visit to a specialized laser tattoo removal facility.
- The total cost of laser tattoo removal can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the size and complexity of the tattoo. The price may also depend on the facility, the number of treatments, and the experience of the technician.
Comparison of Laser Tattoo Removal to Other Methods
Before lasers, tattoo removal was a difficult and painful process. Traditional methods such as dermabrasion, salabrasion, excision, and cryosurgery were used to remove tattoos, but these methods could cause scarring, infection, and other complications. In addition, traditional tattoo removal techniques often required multiple treatments, making them costly and time-consuming.
In comparison, laser tattoo removal is far less invasive and requires fewer treatments to achieve results. Lasers are able to break down the ink particles in tattoos, which allows them to be naturally absorbed by the body. The lasers also target the ink particles without damaging the surrounding tissue. This results in less pain, fewer side effects, and faster healing times.
Furthermore, laser tattoo removal is more precise than other methods. Laser treatments can be customized to target only the areas of the tattoo that need to be removed, thus reducing the risk of scarring. This makes it an ideal option for those who are looking for a more precise and less invasive form of tattoo removal.
Overall, laser tattoo removal is a safe and effective way to remove tattoos. It is faster, less painful, and more precise than traditional methods, and it requires fewer treatments to achieve results. Therefore, laser tattoo removal is the preferred choice for many people who want to remove their tattoos.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of laser is used for tattoo removal?
Q-Switched lasers are the most commonly used type of laser for tattoo removal. They have become the gold standard in the industry due to their precision and ability to target the pigments in the tattoo without affecting the surrounding skin. Q-Switched lasers use short pulses of high-intensity light energy to break down tattoo pigments into tiny particles that can be absorbed by the body.
- Q-Switched Nd: YAG (1064nm) is one of the most widely used lasers for light and dark tattoos and is considered to be the least painful of the laser treatments.
- Q-Switched Ruby (694nm) is ideal for treating black and blue inks, as well as some other colors.
- Q-Switched Alexandrite (755nm) is the preferred laser for treating red ink and other lighter colors.
- Q-Switched RevLite (561nm) is the newest laser technology and is effective for treating tattoos with a wide range of colors.
How long does a laser tattoo removal session typically last?
- Small tattoos: A small tattoo can take anywhere between 5 minutes to 10 minutes, depending on the size and colour.
- Medium tattoos: Medium-sized tattoos can take between 10 and 20 minutes.
- Large tattoos: Large tattoos may take several sessions, each lasting between 20 and 40 minutes.
The amount of time it takes for a laser tattoo removal session to be completed depends on the size and colour of the tattoo. Small tattoos can take anywhere between 5 minutes to 10 minutes, while medium-sized tattoos can take between 10 and 20 minutes. Large tattoos may take several sessions, each lasting between 20 and 40 minutes.
How Many Laser Tattoo Removal Treatments Are Typically Needed?
Number of Treatments:
- The number of treatments needed for fully removing a tattoo can range from 4-14 sessions.
- The number depends on various factors, such as the size, colour, age and type of ink used.
- Age of the tattoo also plays a major role in the number of treatments required.
- A newer tattoo requires fewer treatments than an older one.
- The size of the tattoo and the colour of the ink can also affect the number of treatments.
- Darker inks tend to need more treatments than lighter inks.
- Tattoo removal treatments are typically spaced out by 4-8 weeks.
- This gives the skin time to heal between treatments and also gives the body time to break down the ink.
- More frequent treatments may be required for more stubborn tattoos.
What are the Potential Side Effects of Laser Tattoo Removal?
Laser tattoo removal is a relatively safe and effective procedure, but, like any medical treatment, it can cause some side effects. These include:
- Redness and swelling at the treatment site
- Itching and discomfort at the treatment site
- Blistering at the treatment site
- Infection at the treatment site
- Scarring at the treatment site
- Changes in skin pigmentation
If you experience any of these side effects, it is important to speak to your doctor or healthcare provider. They will be able to provide advice on how to manage the side effects and, if necessary, provide medical treatment.
Are there any special considerations for people with darker skin tones?
- Laser Beam Strength: People with darker skin tones require larger laser beam sizes to ensure that the pigment is targeted without damaging the surrounding tissue.
- Pulse Duration: Longer pulse durations are needed for darker skin tones to ensure that the pigment is targeted without damaging the surrounding tissue.
- Type of Laser: Different types of laser beams are required for people with darker skin tones, including Q-switched lasers, Picosecond lasers and others.
- Anesthesia: People with darker skin tones may require anesthesia to reduce pain during the procedure.
- Number of Treatments: People with darker skin tones may require more treatments to achieve the desired result.
- Risk of Scarring: People with darker skin tones are at higher risk of scarring due to the increased melanin in their skin.
Laser tattoo removal has come a long way since its inception in the early 1990s. While the procedure has seen some improvements in technology and effectiveness, the basic premise has remained the same. It is now a widely accepted, popular procedure that can provide effective results. While laser tattoo removal is not a perfect solution, it is a viable option for those looking to remove a tattoo for any reason.