Enlighten laser by Cutera is a picosecond laser that can be used to treat and remove tattoos. The Enlighten laser actually has two lasers within it that allow it to treat tattoos as well as remove pigmented lesions. Brown spots are very common and a lot of people like to have them removed whenever possible.
All tattoos can be treated with the Enlighten laser even though certain colors respond better than others. Looking back at older tattoo removal lasers, it took multiple treatments to remove a tattoo and it often left some scarring or a ghosting effect that left a pale spot. The newer lasers such as the Enlighten have a very fast laser so it does the job in a picosecond. A picosecond is a trillionth of a second and it is able to quickly break up the little packets of pigment which creates less damage to the surrounding tissue. It also helps doctors remove the tattoos faster as most tattoos can now be removed after as little as 2 treatments.
The approach for a facial tattoo really depends on the color. Certain colors are easier to remove than others. For example, black or red are easy to remove. Certain colors like yellow or very light blue are more difficult to completely remove.
When patients first arrive for their treatment, the doctor applies a numbing cream, like emla to the tattooed area. The treatment does not take a lot of time. The laser is very fast so most treatments can be done in two to five minutes. The skin will be a little bit raw afterwards so patients will need to put some antibiotic ointment on the treated area for a couple of days. In general, patients need to wait six to eight weeks before doing another treatment.
The treatment does sting a bit but the numbing ointment that is put on beforehand helps a lot. It does not take away all of the discomfort but it certainly takes away a lot of it and makes the overall treatment tolerable for patients.
The Enlighten laser is the most recent tattoo removal laser currently available on the market for patients and there are many advantages to using it. The first advantage is the use of Picosecond Technology which allows the laser to operate in a very fast manner and that is a big help with the effectiveness of the tattoo removal. Also, the fact that it has two wavelengths allows doctors to effectively target different colors better.
Another huge advantage is that it takes a much smaller number of treatments to remove a tattoo with this laser.
In general, the biggest advantage with the laser is the fact that it is the most effective choice and it creates the least amount of surrounding damage. When doctors target the pigment for treatment, it is usually deposited fairly deep within the skin so it is very difficult to remove anything using treatments such as dermabrasion or any topical treatments. A laser can penetrate the skin and target the packets of pigmentation that creates the tattoo while creating minimal damage to the surrounding tissue. That is really the key as to why the laser is such an effective treatment choice.
As mentioned above, the biggest limitation is that certain colors are not able to be treated as effectively as doctors would want to achieve the best results. These colors mostly include the yellows or the light blues. Other than that major limitation, it is a very effective treatment.
In general, any type of laser can create some damage to the surrounding skin. There can certainly be a little bit of blistering or irritation of the skin but that tends to heal rather nicely. Doctors are always concerned about making sure that there is not a lot of damage to the cells that produce pigment in the skin so patients do not get any light patches afterwards. This is a concern with any tattoo removal laser treatment.
Right after the treatment is completed, the skin is going to be a little raw and irritated. Patients will need to put a little bit of antibiotic ointment on it for a couple of days after the laser treatment.
There is not much pain after the treatment. By the next day, there should be no pain felt by the patient but there will be a little bit of skin irritation. Gradually, the tattoo dye starts to fade away as the body begins to reabsorb it as time passes.
It generally takes four or five treatments to completely remove the tattoo and, depending on the tattoo size, each treatment should last two to five minutes. Obviously, something as big as a full back tattoo is going to take a little bit longer to treat. If the tattoo is small in size, it will take less time to treat with the laser.
The number of people that have tattoos continues to increase in America and about 20% of people that have them ultimately wish they did not have any tattoos. The number of people who want tattoo removal is a rapidly growing number. The newer technologies like Enlighten really make it possible for skilled professionals to effectively remove any tattoos. There have not been a lot of good options before the creation of new tattoo removal laser technology such as Enlighten.
Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team- MA
Based on an exclusive interview with Jeffrey Rockmore, MD in Albany, NY