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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1996 Apr;34(4):653-6.

Laser treatment of tattoos in darkly pigmented patients: efficacy and side effects.

Author information

1
Dermatology Laser Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Many modalities for the treatment of tattoos and pigmented lesions produce a greater risk of complications in Fitzpatrick types V and VI skin because of an increased incidence of adverse pigmentary changes and keloidal scarring. In fair-skinned persons Q-switched lasers have proved effective in removing pigmented lesions and tattoos without scarring.

OBJECTIVE:

This study was conducted to determine the efficacy and effects of Q-switched lasers on a small series of darkly pigmented patients with tattoos.

METHODS:

Four patients of Ethiopian origin with facial and neck tribal tattoos were treated with both the Q-switched ruby and Nd:YAG lasers. One black woman with a multicolored tattoo on the mid chest was treated with the Q-switched ruby laser.

RESULTS:

Clearing of all lesions was seen. The treatments did not result in scarring or permanent pigment changes other than the ones intended.

CONCLUSION:

Our results indicate that in darkly pigmented patients, Q-switched laser treatment of tattoos can be performed successfully. The longer wavelength Q-switched Nd:YAG laser is recommended when removing tattoos in darker complected persons. A test treatment is advised before treatment of large skin areas.

PMID:
8601656
DOI:
10.1016/s0190-9622(96)80068-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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