Enlighten III Tattoo Removal FAQ

How does laser tattoo removal work? 

Tattoos comprise thousands of ink particles suspended in the skin. Normal human bioprocesses remove foreign particles from the skin, but tattoo particles are too big to be removed. With laser treatments, tattoo pigment particles are broken into smaller pieces that can be removed by human processes. Although clinical researchers first experimented with lasers on tattoos in the late 1960s, it wasn’t until the 1980s that lasers became a viable, safe method for tattoo removal.

What does successful laser tattoo removal depend on? 

Successful laser tattoo removal depends on four factors:

  1. Penetration: The laser light must go deep into the skin to reach the tattoo pigment.
  2.  Absorption: The color of the laser light must be more highly absorbed by the tattoo pigment than the surrounding skin. Different tattoo pigments therefore require different laser colors.
  3.  Duration: The laser pulse must be very quick (nanoseconds to picoseconds) so that the tattoo pigment is heated to fragmentation temperature before its heat can dissipate to the surrounding skin and cause burns or scarring.
  4.  Intensity: Each laser pulse must deliver enough energy to fragment the pigment. If not, no removal will take place.

What are the advantages of the Cutera enlighten® laser for laser tattoo removal?

The Cutera Enlighten can remove all ink colors on any skin type so in fewer treatments than traditional tattoo removal technologies. It is the market’s first triple wavelength and dual pulse duration laser platform.  In addition, enlighten’s variable pulse durations (2 ns and 750 ps) enable a faster, more efficient clearance of pigmented lesions and tattoo ink, regardless of density. These factors mean that you will experience faster treatments, with less discomfort and very little downtime.

What are the Cutera enlighten® laser’s features? 

  • Longer (2 nanoseconds) and shorter (750/660 picoseconds) pulse durations
  • Three fully-integrated laser wavelengths – 532 nm, 1064 nm & 670 nm

What is there to love about the enlighten® laser?

This laser is loved by those with multi-coloured tattoos, or those with dark skin tones, as the laser’s settings can be modified to deliver multiple types of light that different colours will respond best to. The end result is a safer, and easier way to get rid of unwanted tattoos on the body, and across skin tones. In one treatment, with one machine, we are able to pass over a coloured tattoo, reducing the time a patient is in session.

What is the enlighten®  laser used for?

Other than tattoo removal, this laser can be used for:

  • Discoloured skin
  • Sun damage and sun spots
  • Freckles
  • Acne scars
  • Wrinkles

How many treatments of the enlighten® laser is required in order to achieve complete tattoo removal or skin rejuvenation results?

In terms of tattoo removal, the number of treatments for  with the enlighten® laser can vary quite a lot, as the number of treatments will depend on:

  • Skin tone
  • Depth of the ink in the skin
  • Type of tattoo
  • Colour of the ink.

In terms of skin rejuvenation, you will require 2 – 4 treatments on average, though again, this depends on what is being treated, the intensity of the condition and your skin type.

What can I expect during an enlighten® laser treatment?

Before we start your laser treatment, we apply a numbing cream on the treatment area. The laser process involves passing a handpiece over the tattoo or affected skin area. We stop and pulse the laser in small increments, until the entire treatment area has had an opportunity to absorb the laser light.

Pain can occur in some individuals, but it is relatively minimal, and the tolerance depends and varies between individuals. The sensation of the laser energy can be likened to snapping a rubber band on your skin with each pulse. The numbing cream helps to reduce this sensation. After treatment we cover the area with Polysporin®, to help the treatment area heal.

Is there any downtime with an enlighten® laser treatment?

After a enlighten® laser session, there can be a healing time. The skin that had the laser pulses penetrated into it may turn red, and may also blister. For this reason, we ask that you use Polysporin® to aid the healing. After your treatment, you  may cover the area with gauze if need be, though we do ask you to leave the treatment area open during healing if possible. However, when engaging in any activity that can cause infection (such as working in a dusty place, or spending time outdoors), we do ask that the area be covered. Of course, as with any cut or scrape, it is advisable to avoid swimming and sun exposure, or activities that can irritate the skin. You should be able to return to work, or go out in public, if you are comfortable. Generally speaking, it can take a few days for the skin irritation to subside.