What type of laser do you use? I use a "Sapphire and Ruby" Q-switched KTP/ YAG laser. This type of laser delivers the energy quickly. Quality-switched lasers are the only lasers that should be used for laser tattoo removal.
How does it work? The laser tends to pass through normally pigmented skin and specifically targets the pigment on the tattoo ink deep in the dermis layer. Short pulses of light energy shatters the pigments into tiny particles. These small particles of ink are then evacuated from the body through normal immune response. As the ink particles are removed, the tattoo begins to fade.
Is laser tattoo removal dangerous? Tattoo removal lasers are very safe when used by a trained laser operator with proper safety equipment (goggles to protect the eyes). The radiation emitted by a tattoo removal laser is non-ionizing and carries no risk of cancer or other abnormal cell growth.
Does it hurt? Lasers will cause some discomfort and it is usual to experience a small amount of pain in the area afterwards (like you do after having a tattoo). The laser pulses have been likened to having your skin 'pinged' with an elastic band. This is usually tolerated by most people without any anaesthetic. Some areas can prove more sensitive than others, especially around the ankles or the shoulder blade. Fortunately, the discomfort does decrease as treatment progresses and the tattooing fades. In my experience most patients tolerate the discomfort of treatment very well but local anaesthetic cream can be applied if required.