I recently wrote a blog post stating that I think it’s time to amend the definition of ‘recalcitrant’ when it comes to laser tattoo removal. The basis for this belief is that modern inks are much different than their older cousins; the India inks that Q-switched lasers were developed to remove. (Modern tattoo inks require removal with a PicoSure laser with Boost and a 532nm handpiece.) We know that some of the earliest tattoo pigments were simply made of ashes mixed with water. Reportedly, Samoans used nut soot and sea water for their elaborate tattoos. Dry pigments have also been dissolved into a number of liquids including rose water, glycerin, alcohol and the list goes on and on. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of ways to make a tattoo. I once had to remove a tattoo that was made from the soot of a melted blue razor handle mixed with water. But modern inks don’t breakdown very easily because they’ve been designed to hold up over the years by adding proprietary metals and exotic ingredients like those listed below.
Click the chart to see the most common ink ingredients in your tattoo:
Besides new inks being tough to remove, sometimes patients will also have reactions to a particular ink ingredient following the tattooing process itself. Additionally, photo-aggravated reactions can be seen following exposure of a brand new tattoo to sunlight. The area will become swollen and raised. Yellow pigment created from cadmium sulfide is one of the primary offenders but this can also be seen in red inks where trace amounts of cadmium are added to brighten the color. Fortunately, I’m one of the few PicoSure laser tattoo removal providers in the U.S. who has the 532nm handpiece that RAPIDLY & SAFELY removes red and yellow pigments, including their variants such as orange ink.
Although most tattoo inks were once considered safe and relatively inert, each patient is different and can have a variety of reactions to the myriad of exotic chemical compounds found in the pigments. Occasionally a patient will tell me that they want their tattoo removed due to an adverse reaction to the ink following the tattooing process. If you have an irritated, recalcitrant or tough tattoo ink you would like to safely and successfully remove with the state-of-the-art PicoSure laser I can be reached by phone @ 512-479-9997 or just stop by my NEW location in Austin, TX: Austin Medspa on W. 6th St.