Tattoo Removal

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The laser has two parts, a body and a stylus. The body is the size of a small refrigerator, with an articulated arm that makes the stylus easy to point almost anywhere.

It generates a powerful beam with a 532 nanometer wavelength.

This Nd:YAG laser stylus has a clear plastic tip, so Shea, the technician, could aim the laser beam very precisely. The beam is invisible, but leaves a little trail of ashen skin behind it.

The clinic supplied protective shades for Tara and I.  It is important that everyone in the room looks very stylish.

They also insisted that I speak with an Austrian accent.

In just a couple of minutes, Shea was finished with the first laser. The upper part of Tara's tattoo, the red and orange bands, were puffy and white. The surrounding skin was red.

The object was to heat these specific pigments without doing too much damage to the surrounding tissue, what the literature calls a controlled cutaneous thermal injury. 

Next, the Lambda Laseaway, a long-pulse and Q-switched ruby laser was used on the black, blue and green areas of the tattoo.

The ruby laser shows a visible red dot where it is hitting the skin.


Tara and I both got a kick out of the Lambda Laseaway. The same company makes a Portable Microwave Gaydar for the US Military.

It had a little readout that reported the amount of light-energy it was dispensing: 9 joules/cm²

Shea traced the black edges of the tattoo and covered all of the dark colored areas at the bottom. The skin is really getting wholloped at a microscopic level, causing pressure shockwaves, blood vaporization and tissue aerosolization. 

When Shea was finished, She covered the area with an anesthetic gel and covered it with a bandage.

The tattoo removal session lasted about 15 minutes, and it cost $150. Tara called me up later in the evening to ask if I wanted to take a photo of the blisters that formed.

I didn't.

Please read page three of Tattoo Removal

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