Throughout history and in most cultures, people have tattoed designs on their skin. Consequently, there have always been some who desired their removal!
The Q-Switched Medlite C6 laser
The Q-Switched Medlite C6 laser can also be used to treat pigmentation and stretch marks. Dr Teska also has a special interest in the removal of permanent makeup including permanent eye liner and other cosmetic tattoos.
Skin Temple has a Medlite C6 laser, and was the first laser clinic to introduce this laser in Victoria. Our Medlite C6 laser is regularly serviced (something not possible with any Chinese imported laser machine!) and is capable of removing most colours. Black will rapidly fade, green and blue require more patience. The light beam is filtered down to a single wavelength which is then selectively absorbed by the dye in the tattoo without damaging or piercing the surrounding skin. The dye is thus broken down into small particles which can then be absorbed by the body’s own immune cells and removed. Some recent developments in the laser industry have occurred, with a new Picosure laser arriving in Australia in late 2013. The Picosure laser uses a single wavelength at a very brief pulse duration to shatter the pigment very aggressively. Like with all new laser modalities, it remains to be seen whether the extremely high (4x greater) cost of this new laser will be matched by the manufacturer’s claims of fewer treatments. It is likely that Picosure will also cause more hypopigmented scarring in the treatment areas too, due to the aggressiveness and almost certain blistering that occurs with each treatment. Certainly, for stubborn tattoos in areas not prone to scarring it may be useful, so are Ruby lasers however, and they are very inexpensive in comparison to the Picosure. Most importantly though, cosmetic tattooing almost always responds very quickly to Q-YAG (Medlite), so the significantly extra (3-4x) expense of a picosure treatment is unlikely to be of any real patient benefit.
Laser light will not cause skin cancer because the light has had all harmful and unnecessary wavelengths (including UV light) removed, to leave only the wavelength required for selective treatment of the target lesion.
Does it hurt?
The concentrated light beam can be felt on the skin’s surface and varies in sensation. Removing a black tattoo is generally quite a painful procedure, so local anaesthetic can be used if necessary. Other coloured inks are not as painful. The procedure is extremely quick fortunately, so the pain, whilst intense, is very very brief!
What does a treatment involve?
Specialised laser safety glasses are worn to protect the eyes from the laser beam. The treatment is very quick and can usually be done easily within a 15 minute appointment, including all pre and post care. Cosmetic tattoo eyeliner removal is done using sterilised metal eye shields, that sit on the eyeball much like a metal contact lens.
What happens after a treatment?
Antiseptic cream and an occlusive dressing are applied for 24-48 hours following the treatment. Sometimes a crust will form over the treated area and this should be treated with care and protected from sun exposure for 4 weeks. Do not pick at the crusted areas.
Scarring with the Q-switched Medlite C6 is uncommon in comparison with other forms of tattoo removal but, as with other laser systems, loss of pigmentation in the treated skin can occasionally occur. This change is usually temporary and gradually resolves with time.
How many treatments are necessary?
The number of treatments required varies depending on the colour and type of dye and the depth of the ink. Black amateur tattoos respond the fastest while green and blue tattoos can require up to 20 treatments. The treatments are usually done at 8 week intervals. The tattoo will continue to fade gradually over this period. Cosmetic tattooed makeup will often fade much faster, with most clients requiring only 1-3 treatments.
Who performs the treatment?
All laser treatments at Skin Temple are performed only by Dr Teska, a registered specialist medical practitioner with 15years of medical laser experience. We no longer employ Dermal Therapists or Laser Therapists to conduct ANY laser procedure at Skin Temple.
Cost of treatment
The cost of laser treatment with the Medlite C6 varies depending on the size, colour and time required to treat the tattoo. Prices for tattoo removal start from $275 per treatment. Permanent makeup (cosmetic tattoos) start from $385 per treatment. Treatments are regarded as cosmetic and therefore incur a 10% GST charge and are not claimable from Medicare. For exact quotes, please contact reception for an appointment with our onsite cosmetic skin doctor, Dr Teska. We are unfortunately unable to see your tattoo over the phone (!), and experience has taught us that most people will underestimate the description of their tattoo, so you will need to come in!
Why choose Skin Temple as your service provider?
Skin Temple is owned by an experienced female cosmetic physician, Dr Alicia Teska, with 13years of clinical cosmetic experience, including working with a cosmetic dermatologist. Dr Teska has also completed post-graduate studies in the field of Dermatology, gaining a Certificate in Dermatology from Monash University in 2005. All cosmetic injectable and laser procedures done at Skin Temple are performed only by trained, insured and experienced medical practitioners.