The FDA regulates laser devices and the inks used to remove tattoos. Some Lasers have been cleared for use in tattoo removal.
The FDA has cleared several types of lasers as light-based, prescription devices for tattoo removal. A Massachusetts company recently received FDA clearance to market its laser workstation for the removal of tattoos and benign skin lesions. Baldingblog has mentioned, in a previous post, that 21% of people who have tattoos, regret having them done. As such, this 21% of those who have tattoos, are candidates for Laser Tattoo removal. Once the ink is placed in the dermis of the skin, these inks will mostly stay in place for a person’s lifetime. Tattoos are intended to be permanent.
The laser pulses a high-intensity laser energy pulse through the epidermis targeting the pigments below the epidermis. “The laser breaks the pigment into smaller particles, which may be metabolized or excreted by the body, or transported to and stored in lymph nodes or other tissues”, says FDA’s Mehmet Kosoglu, Ph.D.. “Lighter colors such as green, red, and yellow are the hardest colors to remove, while blue and black are the easiest.”
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the procedure requires multiple treatments (typically six to ten) depending on a tattoo’s size, colors, and depth. and requires a few weeks of healing time between procedures.
In Scalp Micropigmentation, we use darker colors and when performed correctly, keep the volume of the ink small and placed in the upper dermis. If the ink would be placed too deep in the dermis, it would not be a dot, but rather a blob. Doing this correctly requires a specialized skill that takes many months to master. Unfortunately, the poorly done tattoos on the scalp, place the inks too deeply and a large volume is often used, making it more difficult to remove them. This material is summarized from an article which appears in the FDA’s Consumer Updates, January 30, 2013