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Laser tattoo removal

By August 15, 2017 One Comment

Laser tattoo removal 


Some helpful hints and tips for patient’s contemplating tattoo removal. Don’t get caught with false promises and treatments. Been there done that – I am very fortunate to be the key opinion leader in laser tattoo removal, and have several companies asking me to use their tattoo removal lasers. This includes the Picosure system by Cynosure, the Revlite and the outdate C6 (well over a decade old), the Pastelle Q Switch laser and now the newest laser in Australia the Picosecond PiQo4. In August 2017 I have been asked by Lumenis to be a key opinion leader and push this laser to its limits, exploring the safest and best parameters for tattoo removal.

So- here is the truth from a guy that is fortunate enough to have 4 tattoo removal lasers. So what is the best laser for laser tattoo removal ?

  1. Revlite Laser used at Westside Laser Dermatology – or Brisbane Tattoo Removals. Good laser, updated version of the Revlite C6 BUT inconsistent energy levels. Peak and troughs, good filters for 4 wavelengths, best used for black tattoos and dermal toning. Truth be told.
  1. Picosure Laser used at Westside Laser Dermatology. Great for high density greens, but runs out of power after 2-4 sessions in the context of laser tattoo removal . This laser is in need for shorter pulse duration rather than more power for green. I also have the filter to treat red and black tattoos but this laser tattoo removal system is WAY underpowered. The best use for this laser is not actually tattoos but no downtime ethnic skin rejuvenation. Simply the best laser for fractional rejuvenation but for laser tattoo removal this is  under powered, highly marketed, good for greens, and that about it. No way will I attempt to treat RED INK with the filter. Total disgrace for the company to come up with the filtered 532 nm hand piece. Same on you! Once again this is a balanced review. The same applies for the 1064 nm filter for black ink laser tattoo removal, totally useless and under powered for removing dense black ink.
  1. Pastelle QSL– 4 wavelength laser tattoo removal and is  more reliable than the outdated C6 and much more consistent in the energy delivery than the Revlite. If I only had one laser and am on a limited budget –this it! Laser tattoo removal that is reliable, reproducible, and affordable. My go to device at the time of writing and is available at The Fiori Institute Chermside.
  1. PiQuo4- super exciting times as this will be used for laser tattoo removal in our Fiori Garden City clinic. This laser promises to deliver picosecond wavelengths to treat tattoo ink in red, greens, blues, orange, metalics and black, it supersedes the Picosure in theory….but will it deliver in clinical practice? I think so. Sound science, and with Lumenis behind the technology, I think this will be the stand out laser system. Every new technology should be better than the last, and it should out perform the 4 year old Picosure by Cynosure that is under powered and over rated for tattoo removal. No new updates by Cynosure make the Picosure somewhat backward in the field of laser tattoo removal.

For the latest in tattoo removal visit

At The Fiori Institute I have access to both the Pastelle laser at Chermside and the Lumenis PiQo4 at Garden City by early September 2017.

Is the Picosure redundant? No, absolutely not, for fractional laser rejuvenation in Ethic Skin types, it is the stand out laser at Westside Laser Dermatology. As of August 2017 I do believe this is a stand out laser for ethic skin rejuvenation, but not for laser tattoo removal.

What about the Revilte Laser ? Yes, I still use it. It works, and is good for melasma, but for more consistent laser delivery I use the Pastelle Laser at The Fiori Institute of Skin and Body at Chermside. Do I believe it delivers more consistent results than the C6 (prototype of the Revlite) or the Revlite? Yes, and I will stand by that statement.


What other factors govern laser tattoo removal in Brisbane?

Unfortunately laser procedures and training is not well regulated in Brisbane, and the boom in tattoos over the past few years has led to many new ‘tattoo removal clinics’ opening in Brisbane and Queensland over the past few months. Queensland Radiation is too busy auditing clinics and stamping revenue laser tattoo certificates to generate more revenue… however a You Tube video will be release shortly on the efforts Specialist have made to clean up the industry for patient safety. (Good viewing, with email correspondence to all parties included but email names protected from a confidential POV)


OK, let’s cut down to what is important for the patient who is considering laser tattoo removal?

Here are some helpful points to consider prior to having tattoo removal

  1. Can your laser tattoo removal center treat the colours in your tattoo? Different colours will require different wavelengths of laser to remove. Black and reds are the easiest to remove, whilst blue and greens need a special wavelength.
  2. Can your laser tattoo removal center recognise, and treat laser tattoo complications such as scarring, infection, ink allergy, and tattoo reactions?
  3. Is your laser tattoo removalist using the very best technology to remove your tattoo? This will reduce the number of removal sessions.
  4. Has your tattoo removal center given you an accurate prognosis in regards to the number of treatments required based upon your skin type, location of your tattoo, layering, sizing, colours, and medical history? This is vital to both safety and outcome.

I hope this helps you navigate the salesmanship of having used only one wavelength yet alone one laser tattoo device. Its not only about the wavelength, laser pulse duration but also about the expertise.

More on Brisbane’s leading laser tattoo center- The Fiori Institute of Skin and Body.




Join the discussion One Comment

  • Davin Lim says:

    Laser tattoo removal must be approached from a scientific and medical view point. This means predicting how many sessions of laser tattoo removal is vitally important for the patient. The truth is this- laser itself plays only 30% of the answer to this question. So what are the other predictive values for the success and treatment numbers for laser tattoo removal?
    1 .Colour of the ink- black is the easiest to remove followed by reds, then other colours. Metallic greens mix with bright greens are the hardest to remove and do best with Picosecond lasers, like the Picosure.
    2. Colour of your skin type. Darker your skin, the more treatments needed. This is reduce the unwanted side effects of laser tattoo removal like dyspigmentation.
    4. Location of tattoo- head and neck much easier than feet. Why? Because there are more lymphatics in the head and neck area.
    5. Size of tattoo- smaller the easier.
    6. Density of ink- light black much easy than dense black
    7. Depth of tattoo- this is usually related to the density. Laser tattoo removal penetrates a certain depth. The deeper tattoos may not respond to laser as well.
    8. Age of tattoo, generally new tattoos are easier to remove with lasers.
    9. History of scarring. Ethnic patients like myself are prone to keloid scars. Not ideal for aggressive tattoo removal settings.
    10. Layering of tattoo ink- more layers or cover ups, more sessions.
    11. Health of patients- recent studies in the Archives of Dermatology show that smokers need more sessions than non- smokers.
    12. Immune system of the patient plays the biggest predictive value of the number of laser tattoo removal sessions. Remember its the immune system that is the rate limiting part. Drink plenty of water, don’t smoker, eat healthy and keep to a healthy life style – this will all boost your immune system. In turn this will lead to faster clearance of your ink.
    Dr Davin Lim, The Fiori Institute of Skin and Body
    Brisbane. Australia.

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