Tattoos can be
Tattoos have always had a certain degree of popularity among various subcultures, but in recent years have become more socially accepted as the self-expression of identity.
While tattoos are permanent, patients’ perspectives aren’t, and they sometimes fall out of love and wish to get a tattoo removal. There are a variety of tattoo removal lasers around that can be done even without numbing cream and for patients with different skin types. In our experience, the common reasons for laser tattoo removal are:
Discovery Pico Plus is a second-generation triple wavelength picosecond q-switched laser that generates the highest peak power in Singapore and the world. With more than 5 times the peak power of the most powerful nanosecond Nd:YAG laser beams (Starwalker) and 450 picosecond laser pulses that are more than 10 times shorter, it results in a more photoacoustic effect with less collateral damage. This means that I can use it to shatter pigments more effectively leading to quicker tattoo removal results, fewer treatment sessions required and lower risk of complications such as scarring.
The tattoo removal process can be customised with three active wavelengths are needed to cover almost all colours of tattoo ink pigments. 1064 nm wavelength targets dark green and black pigment, 532 nm wavelength targets red, orange and yellow ink, and the 694 nm wavelength targets notoriously hard to treat green and blue ink. Most picosecond lasers are limited to two (532/1064nm) wavelengths with the third wavelength deriving from inefficient dye conversion. Discovery Pico Plus is the first picosecond laser to include a full power Ruby 694nm wavelength able to deliver up to 1200 mJ of energy and not just few hundred mJ such as other “red” lasers.
One of the most popular choices in Singapore, the Ultrapulse fractional CO2 laser is absorbed by water in cells. It produces ablation of a fraction of the skin vaporizing many tiny channels. Due to the short pulse duration, there is deep penetration of the skin with minimal collateral damage, reducing downtime and the risk of complications like post-inflammatory pigmentation. It is used to pretreat the skin before shattering the tattoo pigments with q switched laser. The results of this laser removal technique in Singapore highly depend on the doctor's experience with the laser.
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy is another choice in Singapore. It uses a hand-held device to transmit focused shockwave energy deep into the tissues, this enhances tattoo removal by increasing lymphatic drainage and metabolic activity, thereby accelerating the clearance of dermal pigment vacuoles produced by the picosecond laser and minimizing side effects such as redness, swelling, crusting.
I use Discovery Pico Plus picosecond q-switched laser that has the highest peak power available for tattoo removal. This high peak power is especially crucial for faint remnant tattoos that are hard to clear with traditional nanosecond laser treatment. Furthermore, picosecond lasers’ shorter pulse durations confine the laser energy better, which results in less collateral damage. This higher safety margin and effectiveness allows for more aggressive treatment and better tattoo clearance in fewer sessions.
Another option is to use Q switched laser tattoo removal. The photoacoustic breakdown of tattoo pigment creates superheated gas and steam trapped within the skin. This optical shielding or "frosting" prevents subsequent laser pulses from reaching deeper-lying pigments. The superheated gas bubbles cause collateral damage resulting in scarring and blistering. In my opinion, the critical things that need to be managed in laser tattoo removal are:
My approach is to use a combination of fractional ablative laser, q-switched laser (sometimes referred to as FracTAT) and shockwaves to address these pain points. The fractional laser drills micro-channels in the skin that act as pressure relief ducts through which the superheated gases can escape without building up excessive pressure. Numbing cream will be applied before the treatment commences. The advantages of :
Shockwave therapy further enhances tattoo clearance by increasing lymphatic drainage and metabolic activity, thereby accelerating the clearance of dermal pigment vacuoles produced by the picosecond laser and minimizing side effects such as redness, swelling, crusting.
Overall, combination treatment improves the efficacy, safety and tolerability of laser tattoo removal in Singapore hence I strongly recommend it over conventional old fashioned single q-switched laser tattoo removal. To my knowledge, it's not common for a triple combination technique to be used in Singapore for tattoo removal.
FOUNDER / MEDICAL DIRECTOR