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Dermatol Surg. 2012 Jan;38(1):1-13. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2011.02187.x. Epub 2011 Nov 2.

Laser tattoo removal: a review.

Author information

1
Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, 609 Albany St., Boston, MA 02118, USA. kathrynkentmd@gmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Tattoos have played an important role in human culture for thousands of years, and they remain popular today. The development of quality-switched (QS) lasers has revolutionized the removal of unwanted tattoos.

OBJECTIVES:

To thoroughly review the literature on laser tattoo removal pertaining to its history, its theoretical basis, the various devices used, potential adverse effects, and future developments.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

An extensive literature review of publications related to tattoo removal was conducted.

RESULTS:

Reports exist demonstrating the efficacy of laser removal of different tattoo types, including professional, amateur, traumatic, cosmetic, and medical. The literature supports the use of different QS lasers for removal of tattoos. Some colors have a more-complete response using particular wavelengths.

CONCLUSION:

QS lasers can effectively and safely remove different types of unwanted tattoos.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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