A novel titanium sapphire picosecond-domain laser safely and effectively removes purple, blue, and green tattoo inks

Several subjects with multicolor tattoos underwent four removal treatments with a 785nm handpiece. The patients saw extensive clearance of most colors with limited side effects.

PubMed Reference:Bernstein EF, Bhawalkar J, Schomacker KT. Lasers Surg Med. 2018 May 20.

Study Details: 

  • 15 subjects (5 males, 10 females, skin phototypes II-IV, mean age 36 years) with 22 multi-color tattoos, containing black (n=15), blue (n=8), or green (n=13) tattoo ink
  • 4 treatments at 6-10 week intervals with 785nm handpiece, 2-4 mm spot size, 3Hz repetition rate, mean 1.4, 2.6, 3.0 and 2.0 J/cm2for treatments 1-4, respectively
  • 3 blinded physicians reviewed digital clinical images, using a 11-point scale (0=no clearance, to 10=100% or total clearance)

Study Results:

  • Blinded assessment found 85%, 81%, 74%, 61%, 11%, and 5% clearance from baseline photos for purple, blue, green, black, red, and yellow pigments, respectively
  • Typical erythema, edema and one case of pinpoint bleeding. No hyper-, hypo-pigmentation or scarring
  • The 785nm laser wavelength has special affinity to purple, blue and green tattoo pigments
  • In practice, the 1064nm wavelength would be used for black ink, while the 532nm laser would be reserved for yellow and red ink