How a Q-switched Laser Works
The Duolite QS system releases high energy in extremely short times (nanoseconds), producing a “photo-acoustic” effect that breaks down pigment (tattoo or melanin) into small particles, allowing the body's own natural immune system to clear the pigment. These short laser emissions allow for confining the thermal effect exclusively to the target to be hit, safeguarding the surrounding tissues.
In order for the treatment to be effective, the laser light must be absorbed by the pigment. The colours of tattoos are often multiple and therefore one single session may not be sufficient for eliminating them all. Thanks to its dual wavelength, DuoliteQS, allows for removing numerous colours with one single system. By working in the infrared (1064 nm) black and blue tattoos can be removed even in dark phototypes thanks to the low interaction of this wavelength with the skin melanin. The green light (532 nm) instead acts on red or reddish colours.
What type of tattoo can be removed with laser?
Duolite QS can be used on professional, amateur, cosmetic, and traumatic tattoos. The different dyes present in the tattoo may respond differently to the laser treatment. When the pigment is black or blue the best results are obtained by treating them with a wavelength of 1064 nm. Red tattoos are treated with a green laser light of 532 nm. In many cases the tattoo completely disappears, although this cannot always be achieved due to the diversity and different characteristics of the pigments.
Benign pigmented lesions
As in the case of treating tattoos, the wavelength emitted by the Duolite QS system allows for acting on the melanin in a different manner according to its density and depth. The pigmented lesions are divided into epidermal and dermal, depending on the depth of the pigment.
Epidermal lesions (freckles, cafè-au-lait spots, sunspots, etc.) can be treated by using a wavelength of 532 nm, which is specifically absorbed by the melanin and therefore acts mainly at the superficial skin levels. Dermal melasma (facial pigmentation) and dermal birthmarks (e.g. Ota’s Nevus, Mongolian spots) are located more in depth and therefore a wavelength is necessary that penetrates further into the skin. In this case the 1064 nm wavelength of the Duolite QS system is used. As with the removal of tattoos, only the Q-switched emission is capable of treating dermal lesions efficaciously without running the risk of scarring.
What to expect?
The procedure does not usually require an anaesthetic. The effect of the laser is described as similar to the sharp ping of a rubber band on the skin. Our Zimmer cooling provides an effective numbing effect, which makes treatment generally tolerable. Some areas are more sensitive than others. In the case of particularly sensitive patients, a topical anaesthetic can be applied before treatment.
After the treatment, the skin is inflamed (similar sensation to sunburn) and my have small white or dark scabs if the pigment is superficial. Appropriate aftercare advice will be provided after the treatment. It is important not to expose the skin to sunlight, and scabs should not be picked off. Healing takes place over 4 to 10 days.
How many treatments are necessary?
The number of treatments will vary according to the type of tattoo or pigmented lesion treated. Amateur tattoos usually respond better and are eliminated in from 1 to 4 sessions, spaced 4 weeks apart. More sessions are usually necessary for professional tattoos - on average 6 –10 - with 6 to 8 week intervals in between.