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Cosmetic Laser Services Glossary A to Z
Table of Contents
ASDS, also known as the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, is the largest specialty organization in the United States representing dermatologic surgeons who have been trained to treat the health and appearance of a person’s skin through each period of a person’s life. Members of ASDS are considered to be leaders in the industry and pioneers in the field because many are involved in the research and studies that lead to the improvement of cosmetic tools used by professionals worldwide. These members are responsible for the development of new technology and treatments that perfect the skin’s health and appearance. Their work has brought about the creation of devices that tighten the skin, eliminate wrinkles, and remove blemishes, hair, and fat.
Procedures that are considered dermatologic surgeries are:
Non-ablative laser rejuvenation
Non-invasive body contouring
Aside from the many cosmetic contributions that ASDS members make, they also contribute to studies that have aided in minimizing the effects of skin cancer. Some members are experts in skin cancer prevention, detection, and treatment, and their efforts have helped minimize the life-threatening effects of this disease.
ASDS has more than 6,000 members and provides countless tools that allow members to continue their education and make important professional connections. ASDS does this by organizing networking events, mentoring programs, awareness activities, and more, giving members the ability to ensure the growth of this field.
Founded in 1980, ASLMS is the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery. Originally designed to encourage physicians and scientists to exchange information, this is the largest organization dedicated to promoting education and research in the medical laser field. ASLMS members represent an array of professionals, including physicians and surgeons trained in over 50 medical specialties, nurses and other medical professionals, physicists, biomedical engineers, and biologists. Together, these professionals contribute their knowledge and skills to the research and development of new laser devices, and then adapt them for use in the medical field.
ASLMS has more than 4,000 members, 20 percent of whom reside outside of the United States. All members attend regular educational and networking events that are designed to promote the exchange of new research, discoveries, and technological tools.
This organization supports member research projects in the field through grants and awards, which help contribute to the development of tools that are used in the medical laser industry. This support is not restricted to medical laser equipment. Safety is a large part of the industry. Any new advancements in the field are presented at yearly conferences, allowing ASLMS members to stay up to date on what’s new.
The latest medical laser to hit the market was the PicoWay, developed in 2015. It stands out from the rest because it’s the first to be safe for all skin types, eliminating the trouble that some may have with hyperpigmentation. The PicoWay is the first medical laser that provides short pulses, resulting in better clearance, minimal discomfort for patients, and most importantly, fewer treatments, making it ideal for laser hair removal.
Absorption refers to the concept of light absorption during laser tattoo removal treatments. Each pigment absorbs wavelengths differently, making some ink colors easier to remove than others. Wavelengths shatter pigment, allowing the body’s immune system to discard pieces. This process causes the tattoo ink to fade. Without absorption, fading will not occur.
Different colors absorb and reflect each wavelength differently, and tattoos respond to wavelengths the same way. For example, red tattoo ink will absorb all colors of the visible light spectrum except the color red. To shatter the ink of a red tattoo, it should not be treated with red light because the light will be reflected, and the ink will not absorb it.
Typically, ink colors that absorb wavelengths easily and are the fastest to remove are darker colors such as black, dark blues, and dark greens. Lighter colors like white, yellow, orange, and even red tend to be more difficult to remove, but newer lasers use technology that makes breaking down these lighter colors easier, making complete laser tattoo removal possible for all colors of ink.
Other factors that contribute to the rate at which a tattoo fades are:
Location – Tattoos that are closest to the heart tend to fade faster because healthy blood flow breaks up ink particles at a faster rate.
Professional vs. Amateur Ink – A professional tattoo artist will penetrate the skin deeper and more evenly, which will make removal much simpler. However, professionals tend to use higher quality ink that will take longer to break up. An amateur tattoo artist might use cheaper ink, but the ink will likely be uneven. This makes the tattoo extremely difficult to remove.
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs)
Advanced registered nurse practitioners, or ARNPs, are nurses who have earned an advanced degree. They must earn at least a master’s degree in nursing, and they can generally work in any healthcare field. ARNPs can concentrate on several specializations while in school and train to become a nurse practitioner (NP), a certified nurse midwife (CNM), a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), or a clinical nurse specialist (CNS). Their broad training allows them to work in virtually any healthcare setting, including hospitals, ambulatory clinics, and long-term care facilities.
Those who have earned their nursing degree as an ARNP have been prepared with the advanced clinical education, skills, and scope of practice necessary to prepare them for the medical field. They’re known for their high degree of knowledge and problem-solving skills when it comes to achieving optimal outcomes for their patients.
Many laser technicians are only required to take a training course of approximately 30 hours to instruct them on how to use medical lasers to perform certain procedures. They have no medical training or advanced degrees to ensure safe and smooth procedures. Since these standards do not exist, Body Details decided to create them by only staffing our treatment centers with the best of the best. A certified physician’s assistant or an ARNP performs every laser hair removal treatment. Additionally, we make sure that our laser technicians are certified by our established team of medical directors and medical laser manufacturers.
An adverse reaction is an unexpected reaction to a drug or procedure. With regards to laser tattoo removal, an adverse reaction might also be considered an unexpected side effect. Common and expected side effects include blisters, swelling, redness, pinpoint bleeding, raised skin in the area of the tattoo, and temporary darkening or bruising of the skin. These are not considered adverse reactions, however, and they usually clear up within a few hours or days.
Although hypopigmentation occurs at a rate of five percent when laser tattoo removal is done properly, hypopigmentation-caused scarring is still the most common adverse reaction after treatment. This happens when melanin is removed, creating a significant contrast between the normal skin tone and the affected area.
Though rare, infection does occur after a laser tattoo removal session. It’s particularly common when treatments aren’t performed properly or the best medical lasers aren’t used. Additionally, it’s important that those who undergo laser tattoo removal treatments follow appropriate aftercare procedures. Not doing so puts the skin more at risk for infection. Always refrain from picking scabs or popping blisters, because these actions are likely to cause scar formation.
Muscle soreness is extremely rare after laser tattoo removal, but it may occur. This depends mostly on the treatment area and usually does not actually affect the muscles, yet it still simulates the feeling. It’s important to refrain from treating it as muscle soreness because applying ice or heat can severely damage the skin. It’s best to apply a bag of frozen vegetable wrapped in a clean cloth or allow the skin to heal on its own.
Medical scientists have been researching ways to turn back the hands of time for decades, and some of the most recent discoveries in the beauty industry have been able to give the skin a more youthful appearance. This research has allowed people to remove imperfections and look younger. The medical discipline focused on finding innovative ways to reverse the aging process is called skin rejuvenation, which is a different field of study than the research on extending human life but is important nonetheless.
Skin rejuvenation can achieve age reversal by researching ways to repair parts of the body that cause aging and imperfections, such as damaged cells, macromolecules, tissue, and the organs. By repairing these elements, it becomes possible to eliminate imperfections like sunspots, wrinkles, fine lines, scars, and acne marks.
Skin Rejuvenation Treatment
One of the most successful procedures used to bring back the youthful glow in the skin is laser skin rejuvenation. A technician uses a laser to create microscopic damage to the skin cells surrounding an imperfection, forcing the skin to heal itself. When the skin begins to heal, it will naturally create new and healthy skin cells that appear flawless, while simultaneously increasing the production of collagen to give the skin back its elasticity.
Age Skin Spots
Caused by overactive melanin and years of exposure to the sun, certain areas of the skin will develop age skin spots when melanin is produced in high amounts. These spots tend to appear as flat, oval areas of discoloration or pigmentation and can range in color from beige to black. As age spots are more common in those who have naturally fair skin, they can be confused for clumps of freckles when they’re acquired at a young age. However, most people don’t start developing these marks until they’re in their forties.
Also known as liver spots, age spots form more often in areas that have been most exposed to the sun over the years, such as the face, shoulders, tops of feet, hands, and the scalp. These imperfections were once thought to be caused by the liver, which is where they got their name. This, of course, turned out to be false, but the name stuck.
Typically harmless, some find that their age spots give their skin character. However, others see them as imperfections that should be removed. Laser skin rejuvenation is the leading treatment for getting rid of discoloration in the skin since it’s able to target the problem at its root within the layers of the skin. By targeting the damaged skin cells that are causing age spots to form, the procedure can help the body naturally heal the area. Unlike any other treatment for skin discoloration, laser skin rejuvenation can eliminate dark marks as well as increase the skin’s elasticity and youthfulness.
Alexandrite 755nm Laser
Each laser used for laser hair removal treatments works by emitting a wavelength of high-energy light that is measured in nanometers (nm). The light targets certain areas of the skin, emitting a specified level of heat, depending on skin type and desired results. An alexandrite laser uses an alexandrite crystal, which is a rare crystal that is one of the hardest found in nature—second only to diamonds and corundum, such as rubies and sapphires.
When used in a medical laser, alexandrite crystals produce a wavelength measured at 755 nm. Considered a red-light laser, alexandrite lasers work through the process of photothermolysis. This is the process in which heat is produced through a source of light. Also available with Q-switch mode, the alexandrite 755 nm lasers are known for their precision and ability to target hair follicles or the ink of a tattoo without damaging the surrounding skin.
An alexandrite laser differs from others because it produces a different wavelength of light, 755 nm, which makes it safe and effective for all skin types and colors. Other lasers emit different wavelengths of light that are only safe for certain skin colors and types, making alexandrite lasers the best choice for laser hair removal. It has been proven to be effective even for those who have extremely light hair and sensitive skin, and it holds a clearance rate of approximately 70 percent after the recommended number of treatments are complete.
There are several kinds of anesthetics that are used to numb, or desensitize, the skin during laser tattoo removal sessions. Generally, anesthetics are applied topically to the skin and wear off in a reasonable amount of time. Laser tattoo removal has the reputation of being extremely painful, but it feels similar to the pain experienced during the tattoo process. Others have compared the pain to a rubber band being snapped against the skin repeatedly.
Some popular anesthetics used during laser tattoo removal include the following.
Before a laser treatment begins, some licensed medical technicians might offer to put ice over the area that will be treated. The ice will dull the nerves. This works particularly well for smaller tattoos.
Cryogen Cooling Devices
Popular at most laser tattoo treatment spas, this device works by spraying the outer layers of the skin with a burst of cryogen, which provides a cooling sensation. A licensed medical technician can apply the cooling device in adjustable durations that hit the skin before and after each laser pulse. Most devices work by cooling the top layer of skin without disturbing the layers beneath. There are many advantages of using a cooling device, such as:
A pain-free and comfortable laser hair removal treatment
Higher levels of energy that provide better and faster results
Less swelling and irritation
TAC Numbing Creams
A triple anesthetic cream or TAC is a topical cream that is used to numb the skin prior to laser tattoo removal treatment. These creams typically contain three ingredients: benzocaine, lidocaine, and teltracaine.
Aging is impossible to stop completely, but researchers are now experimenting with anti-aging drugs. Designed to significantly slow down the aging process, scientists have discovered through animal testing that a calorie-restriction diet can help elongate life. More than a simple diet, caloric restriction reduces a person’s calorie intake drastically, while avoiding malnutrition.
Based on this research, there have been several attempts to develop a drug that produces the same results as a calorie-restriction diet. In addition to new drugs, scientists are also testing some existing drugs to see if they can extend the lives of test animals. These drugs include sirolimus, which is used to treat a rare lung disease as well as to aid in organ transplants, and metformin, which is used to treat those with type 2 diabetes.
Anti-aging drugs may put off the aging process and extend the average human lifespan, but it is a completely separate technology from that used for age reversal. Laser skin rejuvenation is currently the best age-reversing treatment available to get rid of signs of aging without going under the knife. With it, you’ll be able to look years younger.
Anti-aging lasers come in many forms and are used to treat several different skin imperfections. Falling under the studied science of life extension, these are the most common lasers used to treat aging.
Used to treat broken capillaries and excessive redness, the V-beam laser is used to even out skin tone and eliminate imperfections. Each treatment is brief with little or no down time. Only six laser sessions are required to completely eliminate the issue, but those with excessive redness might need more treatments.
Trivantage lasers are used to treat and remove sun spots. This laser typically requires one or two treatments to completely eliminate a spot, and many people who get botox treatments prefer this treatment as the two can be combined.
Considered an invasive procedure, ablative lasers form open wounds to get rid of any damaged cells or tissue. This forces the body to naturally heal the damaged skin and surrounding areas, giving the skin a more youthful appearance. Skin rejuvenation using ablative lasers will often be done in a doctor’s office and can last about an hour depending on the size of the area being treated. Patients typically require several days or weeks to recover, and results can last up to five years.
Using a fractional nonablative laser provides the same results as using an ablative laser, but instead of doing the treatment all at once, it’s done over the course of several noninvasive laser rejuvenation treatments. The benefit of this is that there is no down time, the skin is left fully intact throughout the process, and it’s significantly cheaper. Nonablative lasers cause microscopic damage to the skin that forces it to create new cells. The result is more youthful-looking skin.
Most people do their best to slow down the aging process with an anti-aging skincare routine. There are so many tips and tricks that it’s hard to keep up with what actually works. Most anti-aging skincare routines include numerous eye creams to treat dark eye circles, crow’s feet, and puffiness underneath the eye and around the eyelid since the skin around the eyes tends to be one of the first areas to show signs of aging. Dark spots also tend to be an early sign of aged and damaged skin, often encouraging people to use a serum or skin tone corrector in their anti-aging skincare routine.
Much more effective than waiting for signs of aging before beginning treatment, some people start at an early age with a prevention routine. This usually includes a daily moisturizer, extreme use of sunscreen, and a cream for under the eyes. A generation obsessed with the latest trends, like the anti-aging movement, most younger people are eager to try the latest anti-aging products. Laser skin rejuvenation is currently the leading method used to treat signs of aging since it rids the skin of wrinkles, fine lines, sun spots, acne marks, age spots, and more.
An atypical tattoo is one that is different for a number of reasons, making laser tattoo removal slightly more difficult. Those with an atypical tattoo should mention that information when contacting a licensed medical clinic about laser tattoo removal treatments. An atypical tattoo may include the following attributes.
Certain areas of the body are more sensitive, making removal more difficult. Locations that would be considered atypical tattoos include the following.
The inside of the lip
Palm of hands
Bottom of the feet
This is a rare bacterial infection that occurs after getting a tattoo. These asymptomatic erythematous papules and pustules, crusty formations that delve deep into the layers of the skin, are caused by unsanitary conditions. Often, they will permanently distort the tattoo and leave scars. Even with antibiotics, this kind of bacterial infection is difficult to cure and takes months to improve. Since the bacteria lie deep within the layers of the skin, laser tattoo removal has to wait until the infection clears up.
Typically only used when describing body hair removal, the bikini line refers to a woman’s pubic area within two or three inches from where the hem of a bikini or panty bottom would end. With regard to laser hair removal, the bikini line can also include some covered areas such as the sides of the labia and the top of the pubic region. Many women opt for this choice if they want to feel comfortable in a bathing suit or thong. This is similar to Brazilian hair removal but covers less area.
Many women undergo laser hair removal along their bikini line because it’s an area that requires a lot of upkeep, and laser hair removal is the only permanent solution available. Other hair removal options, such as waxing or shaving, can cause a significant amount of irritation that makes it difficult to simply throw on a bikini and head to the beach. Ingrown hairs, blemishes, razor burn, redness, and minor cuts and burns are not something that women want to be seen.
The benefits of permanent hair removal along the bikini line are endless. No more embarrassing sharp stubble or ingrown hairs that can leave scars. Without having to worry about maintaining their bikini line, women save a ton of time in the shower and are left with soft, smooth skin that will appear no different from the rest of their skin.
A popular style of tattoo, blackwork can be beautiful when done correctly. This heavy black artwork usually depicts nature or geometrical patterns. Often, large sections of these tattoos are solid black, almost tribal looking.
In addition to this being a popular style of tattoo, blackwork is also done to cover up old or unwanted ink because, occasionally, a tattoo can’t be covered up with something new or altered in a way that makes the client happy. Blackwork is the fastest way to not have to look at a tattoo anymore, but then people are left with a giant black square or rectangle instead. This method of covering up a tattoo is done most often when people have ink, such as the name or picture of an ex, on their body that conjures painful memories.
Unfortunately, most people who choose to cover up old ink with blackwork find themselves seeking out laser tattoo removal, which would have been a simpler process if they hadn’t gotten the blackwork cover up. Regular blackwork will respond to medical lasers like other black ink tattoos—i.e., it’s likely to fade quickly because black ink responds best to these treatments.
Note, however, that a cover up is always more challenging to remove because it’s difficult for licensed medical technicians to evaluate the color, quality, and condition of the ink beneath the cover up. When the top black layer begins to fade, the technician will be able to analyze the situation.
Many know bleaching as a process that makes hair lighter—a temporary solution to disguise unwanted body hair. However, there is another form of bleaching. Medical lasers are designed to target the pigment of the hair, but it’s difficult for lighter hairs to absorb the light. Consequently, these hairs are usually left untreated. With the power of Q-switched lasers, technicians can target the melanin of fine hair follicles and bleach them. This not only makes the hairs invisible, they fall out within 10 to 15 days.
While this is not a permanent hair removal solution, it provides an option for women who are trying to get rid of peach fuzz. The hair will typically grow back within four to six weeks, but some patients have noticed a reduction in hair growth after a few treatments. These treatments are safe for all skin types and colors, even tanned skin.
Those who have undergone treatments have noticed smooth and flawless results. They no longer have to deal with side effects, such as redness, irritation, peeling, blemishes, or ingrown hairs. Bleach sessions can be scheduled every four to six weeks, ensuring the hair remains unnoticeable. Conversely, bleach products don’t solve the problem of excess hair, and they can make hair stand out even more if they aren’t used properly. Laser bleaching is the only hair removal method that eliminates hair without creating stubble.
Body art is a broad term that refers to any art that is made on, with, or consisting of the human body. Tattoos are often referred to as body art even though there are kinds of tattoos, such as medical and cosmetic tattoos, that don’t necessarily look like art. Achieved by inserting ink into the dermis layer, tattoos change the pigment of the skin. This is typically done with a machine that punctures the skin with a needle quickly, but it can be done with a sewing needle or safety pin.
Other examples of body art include the following.
Scarification – The intentional, permanent scarring of skin by scratching, etching, or cutting designs or words into it.
Subdermal implants – Implants are placed beneath the skin. This allows the skin to heal over the implant, so the image of the implant appears as a raised design.
Scalpeling – A scalpel is used to create decorative perforations.
Shaping – Tight lacing or corsets are used to shape the body into hourglass-like features.
Full body tattoos
Brazilian Hair Removal
Brazilian hair removal refers to a style of hair removal that gives women a completely bare look. Unlike bikini line hair removal, Brazilian hair removal extends past the hem of a bathing suit, also removing hair from the labia and perianal area. Many women opt for this if they want to feel more comfortable in skimpy bathing suit bottoms or completely nude.
Women often undergo laser hair removal because it’s the only permanent option. It not only gives women complete freedom from hair maintenance, it gives the skin a smoother, more appealing look. Brazilian hair removal gives women the ability to feel comfortable at the beach even when they’re active and their swimsuit shifts. Additionally, women who prefer not to go completely bare can ask for certain areas to be left untouched or thinned out for easier upkeep. This will allow hair to grow but only in specific areas.
Often, other hair removal options cause skin irritation and blemishes that end up being more unsightly and embarrassing than the original stubble. The benefits of opting for Brazilian laser hair removal are endless because it provides a permanent solution to hair maintenance, and it eliminates aesthetic problems. Bumps and razor burn will become a thing of the past, and skin will be left looking smooth and flawless. The time that would have been spent in the shaving in the shower or being waxed at the salon can be spent more productively—or at the beach, soaking in the sun.
Chinese tattoos began in China to distinguish different social classes or tribes. The Chinese use a calligraphy style to spell out words such as courageous or strong. The only problem is that it’s difficult to find a tattoo artist who knows how to write Chinese, and the tiniest mistake can change the meaning of a tattoo. The internet is full of such fails. Simply Googling the translation of a word isn’t going to guarantee the meaning, and often people don’t find out what their tattoo really says until it’s too late.
People who have Chinese tattoos account for one of the highest percentages of cover up and tattoo removal clients. Since these tattoos are usually done in black ink, and black ink responds best to the laser, they will typically fade faster than most others. Also, Chinese tattoos are often small, so each treatment can be performed fairly quickly.
As a natural structural protein, collagen can be found in the extracellular space in various connective tissues of the body. Collagen tissue comes in several forms depending on the degree of mineralization: Hard and rigid, yielding, or a combination of the two. This protein makes up much of the human body and can be found in bones, tendons, cartilage, ligaments, teeth, skin, and more.
When the collagen is damaged, the body automatically sends signals to begin rebuilding and repairing that damage.
Collagen plays a major role in tattooing. When tattoos are done improperly or if an infection occurs during aftercare, collagen will naturally heal the skin, causing an interruption in the tattoo. Depending on the level of damage, the scar left behind can distort the image.
Collagen can also affect tattoos after an injury. For example, if a person has had body art for years, a car accident, or even something as minor as a trip and fall, could scrape the skin enough to cause scarring. Collagen is important to the healing process, but it can leave raised, nasty marks that ruin someone’s ink.
Cosmetic tattooing permanently adds pigment to the skin in a way that resembles makeup. For example, permanent color can be added to the lips to resemble lipstick, to the eyes to resemble eyeliner, and to the cheeks to resemble blush. Cosmetic tattooing is performed for medical reasons as well. For those who’ve lost their eyebrows due to illness or old age, this process provides a permanent solution by drawing them on or filling in what’s there.
While it may sound like a great idea to be able to wake up and look flawless, the results can look cartoonish if the tattoo isn’t done properly. Immediately after the tattoo, the results will be dark and unflattering. Over time, like any tattoo, the ink will begin to fade—especially on the face, where natural oils are produced.
A cover up is a tattoo that is done on top of another tattoo. It can cover the entire tattoo or just a section. Not all tattoos can be covered up because the size, color, and location might affect the desired artwork.
There are many factors, including cost, to consider before deciding between a cover up and laser tattoo removal. Over time, tattoos might require thousands of dollars worth of maintenance, especially for those on an area of the body that is regularly in the sun. On average, tattoos require a touch up every five to eight years, depending on how well the tattoo was done originally and how well it’s protected from the sun. Laser tattoo removal tends to be cheaper because it will eradicate the cost of maintenance.
Cover up tattoos look amazing when they’re done right, but too often they aren’t and people are left with something even worse. It’s usually best to undergo a few laser tattoo removal sessions before getting a cover up. This way, the ink is faded enough that it’s less likely to show through.
A depilatory is a chemical that removes hair. Brands you may be familiar with include Nair or Veet, which also have products designed for facial hair removal. The common active ingredients are calcium thioglycolate or potassium thioglycolate, which weaken the hair, so it will fall off from the point where the hair emerges from the follicle. Typically, the hair needs to be scrubbed off with a towel or a washcloth in order to break the hairs.
While many depilatory products are advertised as easy to use and low maintenance, the following disadvantages tend to outweigh the advantages:
A burning and itching sensation
Skin irritation and redness
Chemical burns that lead to peeling and scarring
A strong, pungent odor
Depilatory products are available in many forms, such as gels, lotions, and even powders, but they have a bad reputation in the hair removal industry. Often, depilatory products leave users with unwanted hair and severe skin damage if used incorrectly.
Dermabrasion is a tattoo removal technique that is performed by scraping skin around the tattoo, providing a deep exfoliation. This is often done with a high-speed brush. Essentially, the skin is sanded down to the layers where the tattoo pigment is held, removing the ink-stained skin. Since tattoo ink is located about a millimeter below the skin, the top layer of skin must be removed along with the dermis layer. Like most tattoo removal methods, this process requires multiple treatments before desired results are achieved.
After a dermabrasion treatment, the skin will look and feel raw. This form of tattoo removal is rough on the skin and entails many side effects, such as:
Infection – Since the skin is opened and a raw wound is created, the body is more susceptible to infection.
Scars – Dermabrasion often scrubs off too much skin, and many people suffer scarring as a result.
Tattoo size – This treatment can only been done on smaller tattoos.
Long healing time – Painful burning and itching often lasts months. The area tends to stay red and irritated, and complete healing takes at least six months.
Skin sensitivity – The new layer of skin that forms will be sensitive and should be kept out of the sun.
Skin discoloration – The new layer of skin will also be a different pigment from the rest of the skin, especially for those who have a tan or a darker skin tone.
Dermis (Laser Hair Removal)
The dermis is the dense layer of skin found below the epidermis layer and above the subcutaneous tissues. It is split into two parts, the papillary dermis and the reticular dermis. The upper half of the dermis, or the papillary dermis, consists of fine and loosely arranged collagen fibers. This layer also includes areolar connective tissue that contains blood capillaries or Meissner’s corpuscles.
Beneath the papillary dermis is the reticular dermis, which is composed of dense irregular connective tissue, tightly packed collagen fibers, as well as dermal elastic fibers. This area is typically much thicker than the papillary dermis, and is responsible for the mechanical tightness of our skin. The reticular dermis is known for its strength and elasticity, which are properties that come from the layer’s protein fibers, which can be found weaved throughout. It is this area where sweat glands, nails, receptors, and the roots of the hair lay.
The dermis is an important aspect of laser hair removal because lasers need to penetrate the reticular dermis without damaging the epidermis. This is done with medical lasers that produce longer wavelengths. These wavelengths are able to bypass the epidermis without affecting the skin’s color or texture, and they target the pigment of the hair follicles in the dermis layer. When the melanin in the hair follicle absorbs the laser, these hairs can be destroyed without damaging the skin. This is why dark, coarse hair is a better candidate for laser hair removal than light peach fuzz. Hair that contains more melanin, or color, attracts the lasers better.
Dermis (Laser Tattoo Removal)
As the thickest layer of the skin, the dermis can be found below the epidermis. It is made up of two parts, the papillary dermis and the reticular dermis. The upper dermis, or the papillary dermis, is where collagen fibers and connective tissue can be found. Below that is the reticular dermis. This is the deepest layer penetrated by needles used in tattooing, making it the deepest layer of the skin where the ink can be found. In order to achieve complete tattoo removal, wavelengths produced by lasers during laser tattoo removal have to penetrate the skin and reach the reticular dermis layer and break up the deepest ink particles.
Older laser technology used shorter wavelengths, which caused damage to the epidermis and often did not reach the reticular dermis. This caused hypopigmentation, or the discoloration of the skin caused by skin damage. In attempting to remove the ink pigment of a tattoo, these older lasers were also removing the pigment of the skin. Additionally, since they couldn’t reach the reticular dermis layer of the skin, tattoos would fade but complete removal wasn’t achieved.
Now, medical lasers create longer wavelengths to avoid damage to the epidermis, and are advanced enough to only target the dermis layer. This newer technology allows those who are more susceptible to hypopigmentation – those with tanned or darker skin – to receive laser tattoo removal treatments without fear of skin damage and discoloration.
The ditch is the area behind bending joints, such as behind the knees or the inner elbow. These areas are extremely painful to tattoo and difficult to heal properly. Due to constant movement, the folds in the skin can distort the tattoo. Additionally, tattoos in the area can leave people in a lot of pain.
After a tattoo in the ditch, you can expect:
Difficulty bending joints without pain
How to prevent permanent scarring:
Don’t pick scabs. Take a cool shower to soften them
Try not to bend the joint often during the healing process
Laser tattoo removal in the ditch often results in the same side effects and will heal slower than other areas.
Durian, more popularly known as Borneo tattooing, is a hand-tapping method of body art that uses two sticks. It was originally developed in Borneo’s ancient tribes and typically depicts things found in nature. Similar to blackwork, designs are thick depictions of leaves, animals, fruits, trees, and branches. Located on the front of the shoulder, Borneo tattooing was seen as a person’s diary and would mark life events such as marriage and having children.
Borneo tattoos on other areas of the body were placed to mean different things. For example, a tattoo around the throat was used as a form of protection, thought to give strength to the skin. It symbolized a warrior or a great Shaman. A crab’s shell depicted on the back was thought to protect a person.
In the 1950s and 1960s, many of Borneo’s people converted to Christianity, and this traditional form of tattooing stopped. It nearly died off until the early 2000s, when journalists and researchers began reporting on Borneo traditions. This caused a new interest in the style of tattooing, and many young people have them today.
Dynamic Cooling Device (DCD)
Commonly used along with an alexandrite laser, a dynamic cooling device, or DCD, is a tool that prevents damage to the epidermis during laser hair removal treatments. It works by spraying the outer layers of the skin with a burst of cryogen, which gives the skin a cooling sensation. A trained technician can apply the DCD so that it hits the skin directly before and after each laser pulse.
The DCD works by cooling the top layer of the skin without disturbing the layers beneath. This allows the targeted hair follicles, veins, and other layers of the skin to remain a normal temperature. Many licensed professionals use a DCD because it allows them to use higher levels of laser energy without putting clients in more pain. The bursts of cryogen numb the outer layer of the skin, or the epidermis, providing a more comfortable, painless experience for clients.
The many advantages of using a DCD including the following:
Reduced risk of over-treatment
A pain-free and comfortable laser hair removal treatment
Better, faster results
Less swelling and irritation afterward
DCDs are recommended for all skin types and colors.
Electrolysis, also known as the practice of electrology, is a hair removal method that uses a device to destroy the growth center of each individual hair by using chemical or heat energy. These medical electrolysis devices insert a fine probe into the hair follicle before the hair is removed with tweezers. If inserted properly, the probes do not actually penetrate the skin. They deliver the chemicals or electricity to the hair follicle, damaging the area so that hair won’t grow back. Electrolysis is considered a permanent hair removal solution, and it can be done via three methods: galvanic, thermolysis, or a combination of the two.
The Galvanic Method
The galvanic method was first introduced in 1875 as a way to remove ingrown eyelashes in patients suffering from trichiasis, a condition in which a person’s eyelashes are positioned abnormally and grow back into the head. Named after Italian physician Luigi Galvani, who was well known for pioneering bioelectricity, this method is performed by using the human body as an electrolytic cell. Essentially, an electric current is sent through the body and directed toward the targeted hairs to kill the hair cells and provide permanent hair removal.
The Thermolysis Method
Thermolysis is a form of hair removal that uses radio frequency to kill hair cells. First developed in 1920, a thermolytic epilator is used to output energy from the probe’s tip after it has been placed in the skin tissue. This causes the hair follicles to heat up and damage the cells to the point that hair growth can no longer occur.
The Combination Method
This is the most commonly used method and the most modern form of electrolysis, since its development in 1948. Both the galvanic method and thermolysis are performed to achieve the best results.
A tattoo enthusiast is someone who has a special interest in tattoos and is devoted to the lifestyle. Typically, the person is knowledgeable on the subject and has dozens of tattoos of his or her own. There are many reasons that people are attracted to this lifestyle, including the following physical and psychological aspects of the process.
When a person gets a tattoo, the body’s nervous system triggers the fight-or-flight response, including the release of adrenaline in response to the pain. Many tattoo enthusiasts crave this feeling. Some even call it an addiction.
Also a response to pain, the brain releases endorphins and floods the body, creating a natural high. This feeling brings tattoo enthusiasts back to their tattoo artist time and time again.
Most tattoos have a special meaning to their owner. Tattoo enthusiasts in particular find that their ink helps express who they are, and they use their artwork to attract attention.
Tattooing can be a replacement for emotional pain. The rhythm and bearable pain of getting a tattoo is sometimes considered therapeutic and used to relieve emotional or mental stress. Those who feel this way are looking for a sense of control.
Tattoo enthusiasts often push boundaries and do their best to stand out rather than blend in.
Epidermis (Laser Hair Removal)
The epidermis is the outer layer of skin that acts as a barrier between harmful pathogens in the environment and the body. Found directly above the dermis layer, the epidermis is most commonly known as the skin. Made up of a layer of flattened cells, it serves many essential functions, including the following:
It regulates the amount of water (or sweat) the body releases.
It protects the body from microbial pathogens.
It blocks UV light and chemical compounds.
Original medical lasers weren’t able to target hair follicles without damaging the melanin, or the skin’s color. People with darker skin in particular were left with poor results because the lasers lifted the color right off of their skin—a condition called vesiculation. This was years ago, however, and technology has evolved.
Now, medical lasers work for all skin types and colors, without the risk of skin damage or discoloration. Instead of targeting all melanin, longer wavelengths allow the laser to only target melanin found in hair follicles.
Though technology has improved, laser hair removal’s reputation with those who have darker skin has been slow to turn around. Not all laser clinics use the latest equipment, so people who have darker skin still suffer adverse side effects. This is why it’s important for people to ask what equipment will be used before they undergo treatments at a laser center.
Epidermis (Laser Tattoo Removal)
The epidermis is also known as the outer layer of the skin, and is a thin layer found directly above the dermis. Acting as a barrier between the environment and the body’s internal makings, the epidermis is made of flat cells that block the sun or any harmful UV rays. The epidermis also controls the amount of sweat produced to regulate the body’s temperature. This is why the skin will change colors when it’s reacting to the sun, certain chemical compounds, burns, scratches, and other skin damage. The epidermis is proactively working to protect the body by producing melanin, which controls the pigment, or color, of the skin.
Older lasers used for laser tattoo removal would harm the epidermis, as they produced shorter wavelengths that, in addition to targeting the pigment found in tattoo ink, would also target and remove the pigment found in skin. This was especially a problem for those with tanned or darker skin tones, making such individuals less likely candidates for laser tattoo removal treatments. If they chose to move forward with treatment, they would be more likely to experience hypopigmentation, or the discoloration of the skin.
Now, medical lasers used by most licensed laser technicians produce longer wavelengths. This allows lasers to penetrate the epidermis without damaging the skin, as longer wavelengths will only target pigment found in the dermis layers of the skin.
Erythema is an irritation and visible redness of the skin caused by increased blood flow in superficial capillaries. It can be caused by anything, from a massage or blushing to something more serious like an allergic reaction or mercury toxicity. Anything that will cause the capillaries to dilate will cause this kind of redness to appear.
There are several hair removal methods that might cause erythema, including tweezing, waxing, and laser hair removal. It is not something that is a concern—it’s a normal reaction to most skin treatments. In addition to redness, there may be swelling of the hair follicle. This is also a sign of erythema and should be considered perfectly normal. These symptoms typically only last a few hours, specifically between 12 and 24 hours after a laser hair removal treatment.
Some common yet temporary side effects of laser hair removal include:
Tingling or numbness
Itching around the treated area
Redness and slight irritation
Swelling around the hair follicle
Other side effects, which are less common may be a sign of misuse of a laser, include:
Bruising of the treated area
Temporary hyperpigmentation, or change in the pigment of the skin
Purpura, or a purple undertone of the skin
Scab formation around the treated area
Knowing which side effects to expect and which should be considered warning sides of unprofessional use is important. Most laser hair removal side effects can be treated with a cool compress and some moisturizer.
Surgical excision surgically removes the tattoo. This procedure is typically performed on smaller tattoos and requires a dermatologic surgeon to remove the skin with a scalpel. The surgeon then closes the wound with stitches, making excision the most precise form of tattoo removal. Prepping for this is the same as preparing any surgery. Avoid sun exposure and refrain from taking any blood-thinning medications.
Side effects might include:
Burning and itching
A thick, raised scar that might appear three to six months after the surgery
Advantages of excision:
It’s highly effective if done correctly
It’s the fastest form of complete removal
It can be cheaper than other removal methods, depending on the size of the tattoo
Local anesthesia makes the procedure painless
Disadvantages of excision:
Those who have larger tattoos aren’t candidates
Some tattoo sizes may require skin grafting and more than one surgery
People may have a bad reaction to the anesthesia
The outcome depends on the surgeon’s skill level
Scarring is likely and can range from a small, thin line to a thick, raised scar
Anesthesia is costly and since tattoo removal is considered a cosmetic procedure, it’s unlikely that insurance will cover it
Likely the most extreme method of tattoo removal, excision is often sought out for religious reasons. For example, most Jewish cemeteries don’t allow those with tattoos to be buried. Those who follow the religion strictly must undergo excision because it’s the only acceptable form of tattoo removal, according to tradition.
The process in which a doctor performs a cosmetic treatment or procedure on the face to restore the skin’s youthful appearance is referred to as face rejuvenation. These procedures can be either invasive or noninvasive and fall into this category as long as the goal is age reversal. Some invasive procedures that would be considered facial rejuvenation are facelifts, brow and eye lifts, and neck lifts. Noninvasive procedures considered to be facial rejuvenation include botox, dermal fillers, laser resurfacing, and chemical peels.
While each procedure has its own purpose, all of these types of treatments will tighten the skin and reduce the signs of fine lines and wrinkles. Laser resurfacing is currently the most popular face rejuvenation method as it has not only been proven to be effective, but it requires little or no time off work and everyday activities.
Facial laser skin resurfacing is used to eliminate large pores, fine lines, scars, acne marks, sun spots, age spots, wrinkles, and more. These treatments also increase collagen production by creating microscopic damage to the deeper layers of the skin. When the body begins to heal, it stimulates collagen growth as well, which is what gives the skin its elasticity and smooth texture.
Female Facial Hair
Female facial hair is a common problem that often leads women to seek permanent hair removal. Women who suffer from dark, coarse hair luck out because the laser will have no trouble finding the pigment of each hair follicle. Most commonly found on the chin, neck, upper lip, sideburns, and unibrow area, these hairs seem to have a mind of their own. Some can grow inches long seemingly overnight; others create irritation that leads to ingrown hairs. While many women opt to shave or wax these areas, there are many benefits to choosing laser hair removal, such as:
Flawless, stubble-free skin
A smooth palette for makeup
More time and money, which can be spent on other things
A number of factors, such as the hormone androgen, can cause women to grow facial hair. Other causes of a furry face can be a poor diet, obesity, and even some medications. A woman’s beauty lends to her self-confidence. Nothing affects that faster than unwanted facial hair.
Flash tattoos are decorative temporary tattoos that imitate jewelry and other symbols that are trending in the tattoo industry. They’re typically metallic and come in dozens of styles that can be applied in a matter of seconds. They accentuate different parts of the body and are particularly popular during the summer.
Flash tattoos are used as a replacement for bracelets, necklaces, and most popularly, armbands. Sometimes they depict tribal designs or things found in nature, such as birds, feathers, branches, fruit, butterflies, and flowers. Other flash tattoos are similar to henna designs and placed on the hands and feet. These temporary tattoos are similar to blackwork and tribal styles.
Like the temporary tattoos found in cereal boxes, flash tattoos can be applied to clean skin with just a little water. They last four to six days and offer a higher quality than the ones from our childhood. Flash tattoos are the ideal option for those who love the look of a tattoo but don’t want to commit to a permanent one.
There’s more to floral tattoos than flowers. For example, many flowers symbolize something more meaningful. Even the color of a flower can hold a specific meaning. Yellow roses, for instance, symbolize friendship while red roses symbolize love.
Some meanings attached to popular flowers include the following.
Black-eyed Susans are associated with justice
Daffodils are associated with sincere regard for another
Daisies are associated with innocence and hope
Lilacs are associated with the joys of youth
Morning glories are associated with affection
Violets are associated with loyalty, devotion, and faithfulness
Often, street gangs require members to get a tattoo. This tattoo symbolizes a member’s commitment and allegiance to the crew. Gangs also use tattoos to send a message of intimidation and ownership to other gangs. Each symbol is specific to a certain gang and cannot be replicated by anyone else.
Following are some examples of popular gang tattoos and their meanings.
The number 243 inside of a badge – This symbolizes physical violence against a police officer and is often placed on the hand that was used during the assault.
Barbed wire across the forehead – This, along with most facial tattoos, symbolizes a gang member’s life sentence in prison.
Barbed wire around the forearm or wrist – This symbolizes time spent in prison, often years.
A dagger in the neck – This signifies that the wearer has killed before and is available for hire to kill in prison.
A goat – Often given unwillingly as a form of humiliation, this tattoo is used to mark an informer. Goats represent an animal without honor.
A spider – This often symbolizes racism.
Skulls – Each skull symbolizes a murder that was significant enough to merit with a tattoo.
While these tattoos are intended to permanently mark the wearer as a member of the gang, not all gang members remain loyal. Even though they’re told that death is the only way out, there are other ways. This often brings gang members into laser tattoo removal clinics.
Once rare due to the sensitivity of the area and the fact that the area is typically covered in hair, genital tattoos continue to increase in popularity. Men sometimes tattoo their penis as something humorous like an elephant trunk. Women have tattooed butterflies on their vaginal lips. Nearly the entire genital area can be safely tattooed, including the pubic region, outer labia, the scrotum, and both the shaft and the head of the penis.
Similar to getting the tattoo, laser tattoo removal treatments on or near the genitals can be pretty painful. Additionally, it may take longer for the skin to heal in this region. Sweating and chaffing may irritate the area. Clothes might feel uncomfortable for the first day or two, and sexual contact should be avoided.
GentleMax Pro True Laser Class IV Medical Laser
The GentleMax Pro True Laser Class IV medical laser provides a dual wavelength treatment that combines the 755 nm alexandrite laser with the 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser. The class IV laser is the strongest class the FDA has approved, and it has been proven to provide amazing results for those of all skin types and colors. The GentleMax Pro True Laser can be adjusted based on the type and color of a person’s skin as well as the thickness and location of the hair.
As a single, consolidated medical laser, the GentleMax Pro True Laser offers more power and versatility than any multi-wavelength laser in the industry. Its unique system allows it to deliver a wide range of treatments, enabling licensed medical technicians to customize the settings for each person they treat.
To get quality results, it’s important to find a laser clinic that offers treatments using the most up-to-date technology. Some of the advantages to using the latest laser hair removal technology include:
Less painful treatments
Fewer laser hair removal sessions
Faster treatments and results
Reduced risk of damaging the skin or removing its pigment
The GentleMax Pro True Laser Class IV is the most remarkable laser hair removal medical laser on the market right now, providing laser spas with one of the first customizable pieces of equipment in the industry.
Hair follicles produce hair. They’re found in the dermis layer of the skin. There are several features that make up the hair follicle including the papilla, the matrix, the root sheath, and the bulge.
The papilla is a small, nipple-like protrusion found at the base of a hair follicle. Papilla extend from the dermis into the epidermis and are mostly made up of connective tissue. When the papilla are found on the epidermis, they create ridge-like marks that are called fingerprints. The matrix surrounds the papilla.
The root sheath, which consists of both an external and an internal root sheath that consists of three different layers, protects the hair follicles. The bulge can be found in the outer root sheath, where it holds several kinds of stem cells. These supply the hair follicle with new cells and help heal the skin after it has suffered a wound.
Hair grows in three different stages: the anagen phase, the catagen phase, and the telogen phase. Every hair follicle is at a different stage of the cycle, which is why laser hair removal requires several treatments. During the anagen phase, hair grows approximately one centimeter per day. The amount of time spent in this stage is determined both by the location of the hair on the body and genetics. For example, the scalp typically remains in this stage between two and seven years.
The next phase is the catagen phase, when hair stops growing and becomes a club hair, which is cut off from the blood supply and the cells that produce hair growth. The process only takes a few weeks before the hair enters the telogen phase, or the rest stage, when hair falls out.
Hirsutism is a rare condition that only five percent of women in the United States suffer from. The condition causes facial and body hair to grow in places that they typically don’t on a woman, including the back, chest, stomach, and chin. The hairs aren’t just peach fuzz either: they’re thick, coarse hairs similar to those found on a man’s body.
There are three main causes of Hirsutism: genes, hormones, and medication.
Some women are just unlucky enough to have this gene run in the family. It has been found to be more prevalent in women from the Middle East, South Asia, and the Mediterranean.
Androgen hormones naturally found in men might be found in higher levels in women who suffer from this condition. High levels of this hormone can be a sign of more serious medical problems, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome, or even tumors in the adrenal glands.
Some medications that women take can increase androgen levels. Any medication that contains hormones, such as anabolic steroids, can cause unwanted hair growth on the face or the body. Rogaine may also cause this.
While some of these causes can be prevented, they may not necessarily get rid of the excess hair that has grown. There are many hair removal options available to choose from, but laser hair removal is the only permanent solution for Hirsutism.
Typically a harmless condition, hyperpigmentation is the darkening of the skin or nails. Caused by an increase in melanin, hyperpigmentation usually occurs after skin has suffered some kind of damage, such as sun damage, inflammation, or acne vulgaris. Medical lasers can also cause it.
Melanin, which is responsible for the color of the skin, eyes, hair, and other areas of the body, is produced in the lower level of the epidermis by melanocytes. As the body ages, the distribution of melanocytes is less regulated and easily affected by other factors, such as UV light. When the skin is exposed to ultraviolet light, melanocytes are stimulated. In areas of the skin where concentrations of the cells are more concentrated, hypopigmentation will occur, making the skin look blotchy with dark spots. Another form of hyperpigmentation is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or the annoying dark spots that appear after acne heals.
Bleach is a popular treatment that is used to lighten the skin until it matches the person’s natural skin tone. Prescription bleach works faster than over-the-counter products, but it can cause severe skin irritation and sensitivity.
While hyperpigmentation is a possible side effect of laser tattoo removal, certain medical lasers can treat the condition. When performed by a licensed medical technician, laser treatment can remove the extra pigment without leaving a scar.
A hypertrophic scar is a scar that is raised due to deposits of excessive amounts of collagen. They generally form at the site of cuts, burns, body piercings, and even pimples after an injury that reaches the deep layers of the dermis. Typically thick and red, hypertrophic scars can be painful or itchy. Over the first six months, they might continue to thicken, but the scar will not extend beyond the site of the injury. It can take up to two years for the appearance of hypertrophic scars to improve, forcing people to live with the pain and itching for a long time. People may also suffer restriction of movement if the scar forms near a joint.
Some people are simply prone to this kind of scarring. Approximately 10 to 15 percent of people form hypertrophic scars where they have been tattooed, leaving many to wonder how this would affect their ability to undergo laser tattoo removal. Likely, it will be recommended that laser tattoo removal treatments be put on hold until the scar has healed. Other options are to undergo scar laser treatments or injections that will help speed up the healing process.
Hypertrophic scars can also form after laser tattoo removal sessions if a person is prone to this type of scarring or if the laser technician performs the treatment incorrectly. Someone who’s prone to this type of scarring should always tell his or her licensed medical technician before treatments are performed.
Hypopigmentation is the loss of skin color caused by the depletion of melanocyte cells, or melanin. A decrease in the amino acid tyrosine, which is used by melanocytes to make melanin, can also cause hypopigmentation. Disease, injury, burns, and even small traumas like pimples, blisters, infections, and scrapes can lead to this kind of skin discoloration.
Treatment options are limited. There are creams and topical corticosteroids, but doctors don’t often recommend these. Skin grafting is a common treatment but can be extensive depending on the size of the affected area. Generally, medical lasers are the most popular choice for those looking to get rid of discolored skin.
Ironically, lasers can also cause hypopigmentation. Laser tattoo removal treatments can sometimes damage the skin so that pigment is removed. Older medical lasers weren’t able to target the dermis layer, where the ink lies, without damaging the epidermis. This would often leave those with a tan or naturally dark skin with extreme discoloration. Technology has advanced, so this is no longer the case—as long as clinics use new lasers rather than the antiquated ones.
A skin condition that sometimes occurs in infants and toddlers, impetigo can also be found in those who’ve recently gotten a tattoo. Symptoms include red, easily popped sores that leave behind a yellow crust. It’s highly contagious and is typically found on the face, neck, and hands.
Impetigo from a tattoo is mainly due to unsterile conditions and tools. When unsanitary pigment is implanted into the skin, a slew of infections can occur. Other symptoms include fluid-filled blisters, swollen lymph nodes, an itchy rash, and irritation.
Once a person has impetigo, he or she should be considered highly contagious. Not only can it be spread through skin-to-skin contact, it can also be transferred through items such as towels, bedding, and toys. Insect and animal bites can spread the bacteria to others.
Several things, such as diabetes and a poor immune system, can make people more susceptible to the infection. The cure depends on the type of impetigo that was contracted, but a doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics. Bathing and gently soaking the infected area daily is important because it’s easy to spread the infection to other areas of the body. Refraining from picking at scabs and wrapping the area with a nonstick medical dressing are the only ways to reduce the risk of spreading the infection.
Tattoo inks are made of pigments and carriers. Carriers act as a solvent that carries the pigment from the point of the needle trauma to the dermis layer of the skin. Some carriers used include ethyl alcohol, water, methanol, and rubbing alcohol and are used to keep the ink evenly mixed. Inks are generally available in a range of colors and can be mixed or thinned to customize them.
Although tattoo inks are subject to regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the regulation is not generally followed. It’s common for tattoo ink pigments to be the same as industrial-strength colors made for computer printers and automobile paint.
Professional inks are usually made from iron oxides, plastics, and metal salts. Some heavy metals used to create certain pigments are lead, mercury, iron, zinc, copper, and carbon. Specialty inks can create glow-in-the-dark and blacklight-sensitive tattoos as well. These high-quality inks make laser tattoo removal more difficult because they’re made to withstand certain elements and last a lifetime.
Amateur or homemade inks are typically very low quality or made from ingredients that are found around the house, including pen ink, dirt, soot, or even blood. Fortunately, these amateur tattoos and low-quality inks make laser tattoo removal easier to achieve.
Intense Pulse Light (IPL) machines
Intense Pulse Light, or IPL, machines are used to perform both cosmetic and therapeutic treatments. IPLs are high-powered, hand-held devices that deliver intense pulses of light to the targeted area. With a full spectrum of color, filters are used to alter the light pulse, depending on what is being performed. IPL machines are used to treat skin pigmentation, sun damage, veins, acne, and hair removal.
Similar to medical lasers that are used for laser hair removal, IPL machines target the melanin in hair follicles. However, the major difference between the two hair removal methods is that while laser hair removal is done with lasers, IPL machines simply give off a ray of light. The heat from this light is what singes the hairs, severely damaging and destroying hair follicles at the root.
People have been comparing medical lasers to IPL machines for years, and even though IPL machines came about first, laser hair removal has been the more popular choice. Studies have shown that while both can be effective if performed properly, IPL is significantly more painful. Additionally, those who underwent IPL treatments complained of the smell of burnt skin and feeling sunburned for days after their session.
Many women still undergo IPL treatments to improve their complexion and rid their face of any sunspots or damage. It was after the IPL machine first became popular in the cosmetic industry that users realized it helped remove hair and began using it as a hair removal method.
Japanese-style tattoos originated from the development of woodblock printing, which became popular after the release of the widely read Chinese novel, “Suikoden.” The book was a story of courage and illustrated through woodblock prints that depicted men in heroic scenes with tattoos of dragons, flowers, tigers, and other mythical beasts.
Around this time, woodblock artists began tattooing, using many of the same tools on the skin as those that were used to make the prints. These tools included chisels, gouges, and ink known as Nara ink or Nara black, which turned a bluish-green when it was tattooed into the skin.
Traditional Japanese tattoo artists train for years under a master, sometimes even living with them. They spend their time cleaning the shop, making the tools, mixing inks, and copying designs from their master’s work.
It’s difficult to find a tattoo artist with such traditional training because they don’t advertise their skills and often only take on clients through word of mouth. When an artist is eventually found, there must be an initial consultation between the artist and client regarding the details of the desired tattoo. An outline is created by hand. From that point forward, shading and coloring is completed during weekly visits.
Since tattoos are still seen as a sign of criminality in Japan, people often keep theirs hidden from the public.
A keloid is a type of scar that is composed of collagen, resulting in the overgrowth of skin and excess collagen. Keloids vary in color from pink to dark brown, and they tend to appear shiny and feel rubbery.
Keloids are typically harmless but can cause mild discomfort, such as pain and itchiness. If located near a joint, a keloid might affect movement.
A keloid can be caused by any form of skin damage or trauma, even minor skin traumas, such as the following:
Keloids can also form after laser tattoo removal due to improper use of medical lasers or the skin’s natural reaction to trauma, but it’s an unlikely side effect. Most people know if they’re susceptible to this kind of scarring and understand the risk. Researching a proper licensed medical technician will reduce the risk of developing keloids.
The lasers used in tattoo removal emit wavelengths that are absorbed by the pigment in the ink. These wavelengths break down the pigment into smaller pieces, making it easier for the body’s immune system to rid the body of these impurities. This is what causes the tattoo to fade. The body’s immune system will naturally break down the tattoo over time, but the laser helps speed up the process.
Each pigment, or ink color, requires a specific light absorption spectra to break it up. Licensed medical laser technicians know which spectrum color should be used for each color of ink being removed. Darker colors such as black, dark blues, or greens are easier to eliminate because these pigments better attract the wavelengths. Lighter colors such as yellow, white, and red are more difficult to eliminate and may require more treatments.
Newer laser technology has the ability to remove tattoo ink without damaging the epidermis. Q-switched lasers are now the most effective in the industry. Referring to a laser that produces a pulsed output beam, this technique allows the use of high power, speeding up the tattoo removal process. These lasers have also been proven to provide better results with less scarring. Depending on the size and quality of the tattoo, complete clearance can take anywhere from five to 10 treatments.
Laser Acne Scar Removal
The only thing worse than dealing with acne is having to deal with the marks and scars pimples often leave behind. For every home remedy that can be found online to get rid of acne scars, there are a hundred creams promising to do the same. Acne scars form after an inflammation, or pimple, in the dermis layer doesn’t heal properly. In most cases, the reason acne doesn’t heal properly is due to popping or picking at the affected area.
When an acne scar begins to form on the skin, one of two things will occur. Collagen will either leave the area or form in excess in the area. When an acne scar loses collagen during the healing process, the marks left behind are called atrophic acne scars. While these are the most common types of scars left behind by acne, they’re also the hardest to cover up or hide. Split into four different crater-like markings, these acne scars complete change the texture of a person’s skin and are commonly found on the face. When collagen increases during the healing process, a hypertrophic scar will form where the area will be slightly raised.
Laser acne scar removal has been proven to completely eliminate both types of acne scars. While many people seek out laser skin rejuvenation to get rid of signs of aging, doctors can eliminate scars—acne scars in particular—with these treatments as well.
Laser Cosmetic Enhancement
Medical lasers can do more than just remove a tattoo or eliminate unwanted body hair. Extensive, ongoing research and clinical testing have found that medical lasers can be used to manipulate various tissues within the skin and body. They offer the precision that surgery or topical chemicals cannot, making it one of the leading choices for cosmetic enhancement.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Lasers can be used to soften the face and give it a more youthful appearance by reducing wrinkles and fine lines around the lips and eyes. Laser skin resurfacing also provides the option to remove scars left behind by blemishes or hyperpigmentation. This was discovered by accident. While using medical lasers to treat acne, many surgeons noticed the impact it had on nearby wrinkles. Lines were greatly diminished, so skin resurfacing became popular.
Removal of Birthmarks and Skin Lesions
Lasers can be the ideal solution for ridding the skin of spider veins, warts, and even abnormal skin growths. Additionally, lightly colored and abnormal birthmarks that are typically caused by abnormal blood vessels respond very well to this kind of procedure. While several treatments may be necessary for complete removal, patients almost always see results after their first laser session.
Laser Facial Rejuvenation
Laser facial rejuvenation is the act of using a laser to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging from the skin’s surface. While there are several different lasers that doctors can use for these types of treatments, the techniques are all very similar. By sending short, concentrated beams of light at damaged or irregular skin, the laser removes layers of unhealthy skin cells. The body then begins to form healthy skin cells, which leads to undamaged tissue growth. This process also encourages collagen production, something that stops being produced when people are in their 30s. The result is smoother, younger-looking skin.
The most common forms of facial laser resurfacing are carbon dioxide laser resurfacing and ebrium laser resurfacing.
Carbon Dioxide Resurfacing
With quite a long history, this procedure was originally used to remove warts, scars, wrinkles, and other imperfections. The newest CO2 laser resurfacing, fractionated CO2, uses shorter pulses of light to remove damaged skin cells, allowing healthier, younger-looking skin cells to grow in their place.
Erbium Laser Resurfacing
While the technology behind ebrium laser resurfacing is quite different from that of carbon dioxide resurfacing, the two have similar results. Doctors use erbium laser resurfacing to treat fine lines, wrinkles, scars, and skin pigmentation. It’s known in the industry that fractional CO2 resurfacing does a better job removing wrinkles; however, erbium laser resurfacing is better for those with darker skin tones.
Laser Facial Treatments
Different from the facials you’re used to, laser facial treatments use laser technology to reduce the signs of aging. Rather than the typical facial that cleans out the pores to give the skin a youthful glow, laser facials use beams of light to penetrate the deep layers of the skin and eliminate any imperfections. Also known as laser facial rejuvenation, the laser sends short concentrated pulses of light into the layers of irregular skin, getting rid of any damaged skin cells that cause skin faults.
Often, doctors use laser facial treatments to get rid of existing skin conditions, such as acne marks, scars, freckles, sun spots, age spots, wrinkles and fine lines. However, these facial treatments can also be used to keep the skin looking healthy and to prevent acne, wrinkles, and signs of aging. People looking to simply prevent skin conditions that naturally form with age are able to get a laser treatment every few weeks.
Lasers use either a 532nm wavelength or a 1072nm wavelength, depending on what area of the body is being treated as well as what kind of imperfection needs to be eliminated. To treat imperfections that sit on the skin’s surface, doctors use a laser emitting wavelengths set at 532nm. This includes wrinkles, fine lines, acne marks, scars, and large pores. For issues that rest deeper in the layers of the skin, such as sun spots, freckles, and age spots, doctors use a laser emitting 1072nm wavelengths.
Laser Skin Rejuvenation
Skin rejuvenation is the process by which any signs of aging or imperfection are removed from the skin. While this can be done using several different methods, the most successful technique is by laser skin rejuvenation. This noninvasive procedure can be used to eliminate signs of aging and most other imperfections on the face, hands, neck, shoulders, knees, back, legs, or any other part of the body.
These lasers are able to penetrate the layers of the skin surrounding the irregular area and destroy any damaged cells. The body then naturally discards these cells and works to build new ones that give the skin a healthy, youthful appearance. This process also encourages the skin to produce more collagen, which is what gives the skin its natural tightness and elasticity. Since collagen production slows down when people hit their 30s, eventually stopping altogether, loose skin tends to be the initial sign of aging that people wish to remove.
Also known as photorejuvenation, laser skin rejuvenation can be used to get rid of fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, acne marks, freckles, scars, large pores, and other skin imperfections. Since the lasers target the pigment located in skin cells, the result is skin that looks more evenly toned.
Laser Skin Resurfacing Definition
The process of resurfacing uses specific techniques for age reversal. Laser skin resurfacing is one of these techniques, a process during which a laser is used to get rid of age spots, acne marks, scars, wrinkles, fine lines, freckles, sun spots, and other imperfections. The best laser for this noninvasive procedure is the PicoWay Resolve laser. As a fractional laser, the PicoWay Resolve can target imperfections and damaged areas of the skin without hurting the surrounding area.
Because there is healthy skin surrounding a scar, wrinkle, or imperfection, after the laser removes any damaged skin cells, these healthy cells will promote healing and new growth. After the healing process is complete, the area is clear of sun spots, scars, wrinkles, or any imperfection.
Laser skin resurfacing can also be used to reduce the size of the pores as well as to increase skin elasticity and tightness. When the healthy skin cells promote healing and new skin cell growth, they also encourage the production of collagen, which is something that stops being produced in a person’s 30s. This treatment, also known as photorejuvenation, is one of the few ways to successfully bring back the skin’s elasticity.
Laser Skin Tightening
As a unique alternative to laser skin rejuvenation, laser skin tightening offers more dramatic results in terms of reducing wrinkles and fine lines over time. Using a laser, this treatment works by heating the collagen underneath the skin’s surface, causing the skin to tighten. It also encourages the skin to produce more collagen, which gives the skin a smoother, softer appearance, especially on the face and neck. As a noninvasive procedure, treatments take an average of twenty minutes, and there’s little or no down time. You’ll notice results immediately after the treatment, and the skin’s elasticity and tight appearance increases for several weeks after.
Laser skin tightening usually requires two or three treatments one month apart, depending on a person’s desired results. This procedure does not get rid of the signs of aging as much as a face lift would, but it’s less expensive and the results will appear more natural than they would with plastic surgery.
Falling under the photorejuvenation category, skin tightening does not address other signs of aging, such as sun spots, freckles, and age spots. For these imperfections, it’s best to go for laser skin rejuvenation treatments, which use lasers to target damaged skin cells deep in the layers of the skin. By using a fractional laser, this can be done without damaging surrounding healthy areas.
Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation
After giving birth, many women find that sex isn’t as pleasurable for them as it was before. Often, this is due to the fact that most women tear a significant amount of tissue in the area during childbirth, and healing takes a long time. Once healing is complete, women might find that their vagina isn’t as tight as it used to be or that creating lubrication is more difficult. This is where laser vaginal rejuvenation comes in.
The FDA-approved procedure is done by inserting a fractional CO2 laser approximately four to six centimeters into the vagina. Similar to other rejuvenation procedures, the laser is able to penetrate the layers of the vaginal wall and stimulate collagen production. While collagen is responsible for having smooth, youthful looking skin, it’s also responsible for creating elasticity. It’s for this reason that increasing collagen production in the vaginal wall tightens things up, restores tissue to its original health, and increases blood flow, all of which helps to increase sexual pleasure.
Another reason some women look into vaginal tightening is to increase the muscle tone around the vaginal wall and reduce pressure on the bladder. Childbirth not only decreases a woman’s sex drive, but it can also change how often a woman feels the urge to use the bathroom. Doctors can use laser vaginal rejuvenation to reduce the feeling of having to go so often as well as tighten the muscles so that laughter or sneezing won’t cause an accident.
Unlimited styles of lettering and fonts are available for tattoos. Some services provide customized fonts. There are a few major style categories that all fonts fall under.
This font was made popular by Sailor Jerry, a legendary tattoo artist who developed a style of tattoos that had clean, sharp lines and bold coloring. Used in traditional style tattoos, it involves thick, blocky letters that contain thin lines or serifs. Traditional font is often two-toned, and some of the shading uses the flesh to contribute to the design.
Also known as blackletter, this style of writing originated in the 12th century. It’s similar to calligraphy and a popular font for tattoo lettering.
The ideal font for quotes, typewriter face depicts the smudgy, bold text of old-school typewriters. It’s actually difficult to produce, and it can be hard to find a tattoo artist who’s capable of capturing the crisp lines that are required.
While some handwriting fonts depict the playfulness of a word or phrase, others can be personal. For example, people use the handwriting of a loved one, such as a child or a deceased relative, or the autograph of a celebrity.
West Coast Script
A modern take on Old English, this font is heavily stylized with drop shadows and outlining. Often used in Mexican-American street culture tattoos, this style varies from artist to artist.
Cursive or Script
This is a broad category—there are unlimited variations of cursive lettering. All of them tend to have rounded edges and elaborate capital lettering.
LifeCell Anti-Aging Treatment
Part of the anti-aging movement is the development of creams which contain new ingredients to improve the skin’s appearance. The active ingredient in the LifeCell anti-aging treatment was developed by three Nobel Prize winning scientists, Robert Furchgott, Louis Ignarro, and Ferid Murad. In 1998, the three men discovered a compound called nitric oxide, which dilates the capillaries in order to increase blood circulation. This increase in blood circulation in the skin results in a rush of nutrients, giving it a more youthful appearance.
As a gas, nitric oxide is produced through dithiolane-3-pentanoic acid, a naturally forming compound in our bodies. As we get older, however, the body produces less dithiolane-3-pentanoic acid, which is the active ingredient in LifeCell anti-aging treatment products. By using these creams on a regular basis, the body will naturally begin to produce more dithiolane-3-pentanoic acid, giving the skin a healthier glow.
As an alternative to a face lift, LifeCell products claim to tighten the skin, improve elasticity, reduce the signs of fine lines and wrinkles, and decrease bags and dark circles under the eyes. Aside from anti-aging products, LifeCell also sells lip plumper for those looking to give their pout a boost as well as a BB cream for everyday hydration and protection from the sun.
A liner is a type of tattoo gun that should be used for the process of lining or applying the outline of ink to the skin. There are three types of tattoo machines: one that can provide both lining and shading and two that function separately. While the tattoo gun that can both shade and line may sound easier, it’s actually more difficult for beginners to use.
The liner will generally have fewer needles than a shading machine. This is so it can be used to work on finer details. Holding up to seven needles, the liner’s needles are arranged in a circle. Shading machines typically have needles that are arranged in a line, similar to a comb, and are heavier than liner machines.
The purpose of the liner machine is to create a dominant outline to set the tone for the rest of the tattoo. Typically, the liner is done by tracing a hand-drawn stencil that was transferred to the skin.
Melanin pigment is a term that is used to describe the color found in most parts of the human body, including the skin and hair. Produced by oxidation of the amino acid tyrosine, followed by polymerization, melanin pigment is created in three types: eumelanin, pheomelanin, and neuromelanin.
There are two kinds of eumalenin: brown and black. Both are responsible for the hair color that people have. When black eumelanin is present where other pigments are not, grey hair forms. Likewise, when brown eumelanin is present where other pigments are not, blonde hair forms. As the body ages, it continues to produce black eumelanin while the production of brown eumelanin gradually slows down. This is why people go gray.
A pink or reddish hue, pheomelanin is often found in the lips, nipples, and genital areas. The color depends on the concentration of the pheomelanin in each area. When brown eumelanin combines with pheomelanin, the result is red hair. Since redheads carry pheomelanin, their skin tends to be pinkish as well.
Although neuromelanin’s function is still unknown, it is a darker pigment that is found in specific areas of the brain. Humans have the largest concentration of neuromelanin; other species have less or even none. It’s thought that this may be the cause of or linked to some brain disorders.
Melanin pigment is essential for humans because it protects the skin from UV rays and UVB radiation. This function becomes obvious when skin or hair pigment changes colors after being in the sun for a while.
Melanocytes, cells found in the bottom layer of the epidermis, produce melanin, which is responsible for skin and hair color. The deciding factor that determines these colors is not how many melanocytes a person has but how active they are. For example, people who are albino have melanocytes, but since their activity is so low, no pigment is produced, giving them seemingly colorless features. In most people, there are around 2,000 melanocytes per square millimeter of skin, which surprisingly only covers roughly five percent of the cells in the epidermis layer.
These cells produce melanin after being triggered by environmental factors, such as spending time in the sun or around certain chemicals. However, if nothing triggers them, they will still replace melanin after a certain period of time. This process is called melanogenesis. When pigment is removed from the skin through improper use of a medical laser, melanogenesis ensures that the results are likely impermanent. As long as the melanocytes weren’t damaged during the laser removal treatment, they should be able to produce more melanin and return pigment to the skin.
In addition to being found in the lower layer of the epidermis, melanocytes can be found in the inner ear, the bones, the heart, the brain, and the spinal cord. It’s when these cells go dormant that people begin to experience graying of the hair and discolored skin.
Nanometers are a form of measurement used to measure wavelengths. Essential to the technology used during laser tattoo removal, differing wavelengths are used to target various pigment colors. Each color along the visible light spectrum is associated with a different amount of emitted wavelengths. Light energy is visible with a wavelength between 390 nanometers and 700 nanometers. Knowing which measured wavelength is needed to remove each color of ink is essential for laser tattoo removal.
The most common wavelengths used in laser tattoo removal are 1064 nm, 532 nm, 694 nm, and 755 nm.
1064 nm Wavelength
Ideal for removing black and dark tattoos
Can treat a wide range of ink colors
532 nm Wavelength
Most effective for removing red, violet, orange, yellow, and brown inks
Can treat a wide range of ink colors
694 nm Wavelengths
Ideal for removing blue and green ink colors, such as lime green, teal, and turquoise
Can remove black ink that was resistant to 1064 nm wavelengths
755 nm Wavelengths
Ideal for treating colors in the green and blue family
Can treat black inks as well
Cannot remove red ink because it is a red laser
Wavelengths 585 nm and 650 nm are created through dyed filters and do not create a wavelength that has enough energy to compare to the earlier mentioned wavelengths.
In search of the cure for aging, many people have gone the natural route. Stemming from the anti-aging movement, natural anti-aging uses ingredients found in nature to reduce the signs of aging. It was developed after dermatologists discovered that women in other countries were using things they found in the areas they lived to give their skin a more youthful appearance.
For example, in China, different kinds of teas are used for all kinds of beauty remedies, and many of their teas are high in anti-aging antioxidants. These teas are specifically rich in an antioxidant called EGCG, which helps to prevent wrinkles and increase healthy skin cell production. Additionally, tea can be used to create face masks that have a more direct effect on the skin.
In Mexico, women mix together lemon juice and sugar to create a scrub for their hands. The sugar crystals exfoliate and get rid of dead skin cells while the lemon juice is full of alpha hydroxy acid, which is an ingredient often found in anti-aging products. Since many women say that their hands give away their age, this scrub is used in Mexico to prevent that. These are just some of the natural anti-aging ingredients people have been using in other countries that are now trickling into the United States.
Loose skin around the neck is part of the natural aging process, but it can also be caused by a drastic fluctuation in weight, excessive sun exposure, and genetics. There are many options to treat the sagging skin around the neck, including plastic surgery, chemical peels, and creams. While they all claim to provide results, the best nonsurgical tightening procedure is laser skin rejuvenation.
As a noninvasive photorejuvenation procedure, laser rejuvenation around the neck can be done in an average of twenty minutes. With these kinds of treatments, there is often little or no down time required. Depending of the severity of the skin around the neck, several treatments might be needed. Laser sessions are typically scheduled one month apart, as results will continue to occur for several weeks after each treatment.
Neck tightening by laser rejuvenation is best done with a fractional laser, meaning the laser penetrates the deep layers of the skin without affecting its outer layer. The laser tightens the skin around the neck by targeting dead or damaged skin cells, which allows the body to naturally dispose of them. Nearby healthy skin cells will then help the healing process as the body produces new skin cells, eliminating any wrinkles.
Laser rejuvenation also helps to stimulate collagen production, something that usually stops in a person’s 30s. This increase in collagen will tighten the skin of the neck and bring back its elasticity.
New School Tattoos
New school refers to a popular style of tattooing that began in the 1970s. It’s characterized by vivid colors, thick outlines, and exaggerated depictions. New technology allows ink to pop from the skin, and livelier colors have been developed. This style takes elements from traditional tattooing styles, including old school, folk art, and Irezumi, or traditional Japanese tattooing. New-school tattoos are often thought of as cartoons or graffiti art due to their jagged edges and bubble letters.
Unlike traditional tattoos, which often depict hearts, crosses, and eagles, new-school tattoos allow people more creative freedom. Images are typically more abstract, so they’re easier to customize. Often, this style is used for horror movie-, aquatic-, and hip-hop-themed tattoos.
The style originated in California when artists began experimenting with designs that depicted famous actors, Disney movies, and “Star Trek” characters. Some say the style was encouraged and requested rather than created. Whether it was the artists or public demand that led to the new trend, it has taken over the industry.
Nonsurgical Face Lift
There are several procedures that provide similar results as a face lift without having to go under the knife. To be considered a nonsurgical face lift, a procedure must eliminate wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging. It must also increase elasticity and give the skin a tighter appearance. Some of the most popular nonsurgical options that give the same or similar results to a face lift are botox, dermal fillers, fat injections, and laser facial rejuvenation.
While all of these options work to different degrees to reduce the signs of aging, cost and downtime afterwards are significantly different.
Botox is a popular solution to aging. In the procedure, a solution is injected into the muscle so that it’s forced to relax. Results are temporary, so botox injections will be needed every few months to maintain results. There’s usually no downtime required after botox injections, and results will be seen after a few days.
Dermal fillers are when a synthetic material is injected into the skin. They’re temporary, so multiple injections are required. However, there’s no downtime needed.
Fat injections, on the other hand, provide more natural results and will last forever if done properly. Most people opt for synthetic injections, as the fat can take a long time to extract and prepare before the injection.
Laser Facial Rejuvenation
Laser skin rejuvenation is the use of lasers to remove damaged skin cells, promoting healing and the formation of new skin cells. These new skin cells will completely eliminate wrinkles and fine lines as well as increase the production of collagen. Laser skin rejuvenation can also be used to eliminate age spots, scars, acne marks, large pores, freckles, and other imperfections. There’s no downtime, and results can be permanent if you take care of your skin.
Number of Treatment Sessions – Laser Tattoo Removal
The number of laser tattoo removal sessions required to achieve full results depends on several factors, including the size, location, color, and quality of the tattoo. It’s often recommended to undergo between five and 10 sessions, but there is no guarantee that complete removal can be achieved with any specific number of treatments.
Small tattoos tend to fade faster because the laser has less ink to target. Additionally, the body has less ink particles to break down.
Dark colors such as black, green, and blue tend to be easier to remove because wavelengths can target them more easily. Light colors, like yellow and white, tend to require more treatments.
The quality of the ink that was used can greatly impact the number of treatments required to achieve complete tattoo removal. High-quality ink is made to last, making it much harder to break up the pigment. The quality of the tattoo may also lead to more sessions. Amateur tattoo artists tend to form uneven marks that make removal more difficult.
Age of the Tattoo
Time will naturally fade a tattoo because environmental factors and the body’s natural immune system chip away at the pigment. Because of this, older tattoos are easier to remove and necessitate fewer treatments.
The location of a tattoo on the body impacts the removal process because blood flow contributes to carrying away pieces of broken pigment. A tattoo that is close to the heart will fade faster than one that is on the ankle.
Number of Treatment Sessions (Laser Hair Removal)
The number of treatment sessions that a person must undergo for complete laser hair removal depends on several factors, but most importantly, it depends on the hair growth cycle. Body hair grows in three stages: the anagen phase, the catagen phase, and the telogen phase, and since each hair follicle is at a different stage of the cycle at any given time, those seeking complete hair removal need to undergo multiple treatments.
During the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle, hair is actively growing.
The next phase is the catagen phase, when hair stops growing and becomes a club hair. A club hair is cut off from the blood supply and the cells that produce hair growth. The entire process takes a few weeks before the hair enters the telogen, or rest, phase, when the hair falls out and the cycle begins all over again. The complete cycle takes roughly eight to 10 weeks, which is why experienced laser clinics recommend that treatments be scheduled at least eight weeks apart.
Additionally, the area of the body being treated may have a longer or shorter growth cycle. For example, facial hair tends to have a shorter growth cycle whereas the legs and back have longer growth cycles. Treatments for the face would be scheduled around eight weeks apart; treatments for the legs and back would be scheduled 10 or 12 weeks apart. It has been estimated that most people require between five and 10 laser hair removal treatments before complete hair removal is achieved, but since everyone’s growth cycle differs, it’s difficult to tell how many sessions a person will require until a licensed medical technician reviews the initial results.
Most nonsurgical procedures use numbing creams because they quickly alleviate pain or discomfort. Generally applied to the area of the skin being treated, these fast-acting creams are most popularly used during laser procedures. While most people find little discomfort associated with laser treatments and compare the feeling to the snap of a rubber band, a numbing cream ensures that those who are sensitive to pain feel nothing at all.
Most numbing creams contain at least one of the following three active ingredients: benzocaine, lidocaine, or tetracaine. Alone or combined, these components absorb into the skin quickly to numb it. The most commonly used numbing cream is a TAC, or triple anesthetic cream, which consists of 20 percent benzocaine and eight percent each of lidocaine and tetracaine.
Ice and cryogenic devices are also used to reduce pain during laser treatments. Both provide a cooling sensation to the outer layers of the skin, dulling the senses. Ice is typically applied before laser treatments for minor relief, and cryogenic devices keep the skin cool throughout the entire process so that clients will have a more comfortable experience.
Any numbing method offers advantages, but numbing creams allow technicians to use higher settings on the laser, resulting in faster, more effective results.
Old School Tattoos
Old-school tattoos, also known as traditional tattoos, were developed when society frowned upon them. Marines and bikers were the first to get them. This style features bold black outlines and a limited color pallet. Now considered vintage, it has become popular again among young tattoo enthusiasts. This style generally depicts the following images:
Boats and Anchors
Swallows, Sparrows, and Eagles – The swallow represents a sailor and was often used in old-school tattoos. Eagles are an American symbol, popular among military members.
Pin-up Girls – These models appeared in posters and photos that were popular when old-school tattoos originated.
Gypsies – The image of a gypsy often meant good luck or a constant search for happiness.
Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins started old-school tattoos in the early 1900s. As a man in the Navy, he traveled the world and was heavily exposed to the tattoo art and culture of Southeast Asia. He opened his first shop in Honolulu, creating an environment for other sailors to drink and get tattooed.
Laser hair removal causes perifollicular edema, an irritation that looks like tiny bumps around the treated area. There may even appear to be a collection of fluid. This is a mild side effect that is not only common, it’s an expected reaction. On average, bumps last several hours but can take up to a few days to heal. Rubbing the area with an ice cube or patting it with a cold washcloth will help soothe any irritation.
Knowing what side effects to expect and which ones you should find alarming is important. Some common yet temporary side effects of laser hair removal include:
Tingling or numbness
Redness and slight irritation
Swelling around the hair follicle
Most side effects can be treated with a cool compress and some moisturizer, but if you suffer any of the following, consider finding a new location to undergo laser hair removal treatments.
Bruising of the treated area
Temporary hyperpigmentation, or a change in the pigment color of the skin
Purpura, or a purple undertone of the skin
Scabs around the treated area
Permanent removal is not something that all hair removal methods can claim. In fact, laser hair removal is the only permanent solution to unwanted hair. Other methods, such as waxing and shaving, hardly last a few hours before sharp stubble begins to grow back. These hair removal methods create a high-maintenance routine, wasting both time and money on products that will have to be replaced in a few short weeks. Laser hair removal eliminates the hassle of upkeep and will pay for itself in just a few years.
On average, permanent hair removal through use of a medical laser takes between five and 10 treatments to achieve, but there are many factors that can affect this number. For one thing, every person has a different hair color and skin type—both determine the treatments necessary to achieve desired results. There’s no guarantee that permanent hair removal will be successful after five treatments or 10.
This is why Body Details offers a lifetime guarantee to all of our laser hair removal clients. By purchasing an all-inclusive package rather than individual treatments, clients are privileged to unlimited appointments with our licensed medical technicians. Other laser clinics claim to offer permanent hair removal, but they hit their clients with hidden fees. With Body Details’ lifetime guarantee, we won’t surprise you with hidden fees and we’ll strive to get you the results you want.
A photofacial is the use of light-based technology to reduce wrinkles, fine lines, broken capillaries, and age spots. Some photofacials use intense-pulsed light (IPL) technology, which is a handheld device that delivers high levels of light into the layers of the skin. Others use a light-emitting diode (LED) device, which is quite different from IPL devices.
LED devices typically use 590nm wavelengths to gently reduce redness and acne marks. Some experts even say that LEDs are effective in reducing fine lines and wrinkles. These devices, however, tend to be far less effective than IPL devices and require more treatments for any results to be seen. IPL devices that are typically used for photofacials or laser skin rejuvenation and use stronger wavelengths to penetrate the layers of the skin so issues that reside deep within can be targeted.
By creating microscopic damage to the areas of the skin where imperfections are, these lasers help the body naturally create new skin cells to heal itself. These new cells are without the wrinkles, scars, age spots, or acne marks that were targeted by the laser. Other conditions that can be treated using IPL photofacials are rosacea, large pores, loose skin, and reduced skin elasticity.
Photorejuvenation is a specific form of skin rejuvenation that involves skin treatment using lasers, intense pulsed light (IPL), or photodynamic therapy to reduce the signs of wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, freckles, scars, acne marks, and many other imperfections. Each of these methods of photorejuvenation create microscopic wounds in the skin in order to encourage the growth of new skin cells. These new skin cells then give the skin a more youthful appearance and eliminate the targeted imperfection.
Laser resurfacing is a form of photorejuvenation that uses a laser device to create small wounds in the skin to ensure results. There are two different kinds of lasers, ablative and nonablative.
Ablative laser resurfacing is considered an invasive procedure that likely has to be done by a surgeon under anesthesia. The concept is the same as using nonablative lasers since they both create wounds on the skin in order to promote healing and the growth of new skin cells. Ablative lasers, however, create a significant number of wounds that will require several days or weeks of downtime. It is a single treatment, unlike nonablative laser resurfacing, which can require several treatments depending on the desired results. Many prefer nonablative lasers though, as they provide great results and require little or no downtime after each treatment.
Physician’s Assistants (PAs)
Physician’s assistants, or PAs, are healthcare professionals who collaborate with physicians to prevent and treat illnesses and injuries. Their training allows them to work for a broad range of healthcare facilities, and they can often perform the tasks of most doctors. A physician assistant can prescribe medication, perform procedures, order and interpret tests, diagnose a patient, and assist in surgeries.
To become a PA, one must earn a master’s degree in the field or a bachelor’s degree in the sciences and have a passing GRE or MCAT score. PAs tend to practice primary care or medical specialties, including surgery, cardiology, and emergency medicine. Their problem-solving skills and broad medical knowledge can be useful nearly anywhere.
Most laser technicians are only required to take a brief training course of approximately 30 hours to learn how to use medical lasers. They have no medical training or advanced degrees to ensure a safe experience for their clients. Since standards do not yet exist for laser technicians in the hair removal industry, Body Details decided to raise the bar. We only staff our treatment centers with the best of the best. A certified PA or an advanced registered nurse practitioner performs every laser hair removal treatment. Additionally, we make sure our laser technicians are certified by our established team of medical directors and medical laser manufacturers.
Pigment is any colored tissue found in the human body. The body contains pigment in the eyes, hair, and skin. During the tattoo process, pigment is injected into the dermis layer of the skin, giving it a different color. Altering the skin’s pigment is what allows the tattoo ink to show through and depict an image.
It’s this pigment that is targeted during laser tattoo removal. Lasers are able to target pigment in the dermis layer without damaging the epidermis, or skin. New laser technology allows lasers to do this because they provide longer wavelengths that bypass the epidermis altogether. In the past, lasers would injure the skin during removal of the pigment.
The body considers the tattoo pigment a foreign object, so it works to remove it. By targeting the pigment with a medical laser, the pigment is broken up into tinier pieces, making it easier for the immune system to eliminate and drastically increasing the rate of fading. Pigment eventually returns to its natural color when complete tattoo removal is achieved.
Pigment is a substance that can be found in the tissue or cells of any living organism and provides color. It’s what makes up human skin tones and is typically the result of genetics. Melanin determines what color that skin will be; for example, those with darker skin produce more melanin. Those with less melanin will have lighter skin since the bluish-white connective tissue underneath the skin is more visible.
How Pigment Changes Over Time
Unfortunately, the human skin doesn’t always cooperate, and as we age, the pigment of our skin can become damaged. Skin pigment will darken after too much time in the sun, causing sun and age spots. As time passes, the skin is also more prone to scarring as lack of collagen makes it more difficult to heal. Whether scars develop from skin trauma or acne marks, it will change the amount of melanin in that area of the skin, causing the pigment to be different from the natural skin tone.
Fortunately, none of this has to be permanent. Laser skin rejuvenation is currently the best method to correct skin tone and alter skin pigment color. Doctors use lasers to target these imperfections and the damaged skin cells that cause them to appear on the skin’s surface. The body then forms new, healthy skin cells that eliminate the appearance of these acne marks, scars, sun spots, and more.
Pigment dispersion is a rare syndrome that affects the pigment of the eye and often leads to pigmentary glaucoma. It’s caused by the pigment cells detaching from the iris, causing them to float around the area. These floating pigment cells can occasionally clump together, creating temporary pressure behind the eye. When the pressure becomes too much, it will not only cause pain, but can also damage the optic nerve. At that point, pigmentary glaucoma occurs, which leads to permanent blindness.
Typically a condition most common in white males between their 20s and 40s, pigmentary glaucoma currently has no cure. There are, however, several ways to keep it under control to prevent permanent damage. One of these ways is with eye drops, while another is eye surgery.
One of the surgeries in development is YAG laser surgery, in which a laser is used to break up the clumps of cells. If the procedure is done in the early stages of the condition, the laser can successfully reduce the pressure behind the eye, preventing damage to the optic nerve. Ultimately, it is thought that this kind of surgery could prevent pigmentary glaucoma; however, scientists are still researching its effectiveness.
Typically brown, black, or blue in color, pigmented lesions are melanin-based and can be found on the surface of the skin. These lesions are caused by exposure to the sun or by age. They range in shade from nearly matching the natural skin tone to extremely contrasting it. Most people will develop a pigmented lesion in their lifetime, often appearing as flat or slightly raised from the skin's surface. They can look like anything from a clump of freckles or a birthmark to a mole or scar.
When you discover a pigmented lesion, the first thing you should do is see a doctor to ensure the area isn’t cancerous. The second concern for most people is how they’re able to get rid of the mark, especially if it’s on or near the face. Laser skin rejuvenation is the leading solution to evening out skin tone. Aside from pigmented lesions, these procedures can also get rid of unwanted scars, freckles, sun spots, acne marks, age spots, wrinkles, and other imperfections.
Laser rejuvenation works by targeting the damaged skin cells that cause these imperfections, causing microscopic damage to the area. This small amount of damage encourages the skin to naturally heal the wounds by forming new skin cells. The pigmentation of these skin cells won’t be damaged, and after several laser treatments, a pigmented lesion can be eliminated.
Plucking refers to removing hairs being pulled from the root with a set of tweezers. Plucking is most commonly done to the eyebrows, chin, upper lip, and neck. It provides the accuracy that waxing or shaving cannot, which is important when maintaining the eyebrows, but there are many disadvantages that may make you think twice before pulling out those tweezers again.
Creating the perfect arch is a work of art, so plucking usually leads to over-plucking, especially when the person is using his or her dominant hand. This leads to asymmetrical brows.
There’s nothing more time consuming than staring into a magnifying mirror with a pair of tweezers in hand, attempting to catch those tiny chin hairs. Just when there seems to be no more hairs left to pluck, a dozen more find their way into the light. Many people combine plucking with waxing to save time, but the time spent driving to and from the salon likely evens out in the end.
Many people assume that tweezers rip every hair out from its root, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes the hair will be torn, leaving a small hair beneath the skin. Damaged from almost being plucked, these hairs are likely to grow back improperly, causing blemishes and ingrown hairs.
Pseudo Folliculitis Barbae
Also known as barber’s itch, pseudo folliculitis barbae is a medical term that is used to describe a constant irritation caused by shaving. Most commonly, this irritation happens to men with extremely thick, curly facial hair, but this condition is not limited to the face.
Pseudo folliculitis barbae generally occurs after the skin has been shaved and the hair that begins to grow back doesn’t grow properly. Instead of exiting the epidermis and continuing to grow outward, hairs curl back into the skin as a form of ingrown hair called extrafollicular hair. Pseudo folliculitis barbae also causes ingrown hairs where the hair never leaves the skin, called transfollicular hair. Usually, this occurs when the hair is damaged during the attempted removal, but those with this condition have hair that is curled so tight, it grows beneath the skin in several directions.
With pseudo folliculitis barbae, the skin often appears red and irritated, and the effects of the hair curling back into the skin cause bumps that many confuse with acne. These small bumps—inflamed pustules—are likely to form if pseudo folliculitis barbae occurs, and can lead to an infection.
Tight, curly hair
Coarse, thick hair
Electric razors have been proven to slow down the effect
Laser hair removal can permanently remove hair in the area
Medical lasers can thin the hair so that the area won’t be as irritated
Q-switch lasers are known to be the most effective at complete tattoo removal. These lasers use a pulsed output beam rather than a straight beam. This technique allows high laser power, speeding up the tattoo removal process. Q-switch lasers have also been proven to provide better clearance results with less scarring.
Original Q-switch lasers were only available in one wavelength. Today’s Q-switch lasers provide specific wavelengths for various color ranges. For example:
Nd:YAG laser: 1064 nm Wavelength
Ideal for removing black and dark tattoos
Can treat a wide range of ink colors
Nd:YAG laser: 532 nm Wavelength
Most effective for removing red, violet, orange, yellow, and brown inks
Can treat a wide range of ink colors
Ruby laser: 694 nm Wavelengths
Ideal for removing blue and green ink colors, including lime green, teal, and turquoise
Can remove black ink that was resistant to 1064 nm wavelengths
Alexandrite laser: 755 nm Wavelengths
Ideal for treating colors in the green and blue family
Can treat black inks
Cannot remove red ink because it is a red laser
Recent technology has introduced the picosecond Q-switched lasers, which have shorter pulse durations. With pulse widths in the picosecond range, these lasers have been known to achieve complete removal with fewer treatments than regular Q-switched lasers.
Q-Switch Laser – Alexandrite
Releases 755 nm wavelengths
Targets green, blue, and violet ink
Also targets and fades black ink
Should not be used on tanned or darker skin tones
Only new lasers with the 532 nm hand piece can target red ink
When advanced lasers were first introduced as tools that could be used for laser tattoo removal, the original Q-switch lasers were only available in one wavelength: 1064 nm. There are now multiple Q-switch lasers, and each one provides a different wavelength for targeting specific colors.
The Q-switch alexandrite laser releases wavelengths of 755 nm, ideal for targeting green, blue, violet, and black inks. Though it isn’t typically the best wavelength for those with dark skin, the picosecond Q-switched alexandrite laser is one of the best on the market right now. Alterations were made after studies showed that little or no fading was occurring for those with red ink. Now, the laser comes with a 532 nm Nd:YAG laser hand piece. However, with just a 2mm treatment spot size, using this laser for predominantly red tattoos can be time consuming. Additionally, this small treatment size causes shallower penetration, which slows down the fading process. Overall, the Q-switch alexandrite laser works best for those who have light skin and tattoos that contain the target colors and minimal red ink.
Q-Switch Laser – Nd: YAG
Four different Nd:YAG lasers: 1064 nm, 532 nm, 650 nm, and 585 nm
1064 nm lasers are best when used to target black, dark blue, and green inks
532 nm lasers are used to treat red, orange, brown, yellow, and some green inks
650 nm and 585 nm lasers are both achieved through filters and are not ideal for laser tattoo removal
When advanced lasers were first introduced as tools that could be used for laser tattoo removal, the original Q-switch lasers were only available in one wavelength: 1064 nm. There are now multiple kinds of Q-switch lasers, and each one provides a different wavelength that targets certain colors.
Q-switch Nd:YAG lasers are available in several wavelengths. Most popular is the 1064 nm, which is best used to treat black ink, dark blues, and greens. The 532 nm is most appropriate for inks in the warm family, such as red, orange, brown, yellow and some greens. Notably, both of these wavelengths can be used to treat a wide range of ink colors aside from what they work best on.
The 532 nm Nd:YAG laser is often included as a hand piece with alexandrite lasers because alexandrite lasers cannot target colors in the red family. The additional piece allows the alexandrite laser to treat a wider range of colors.
There are two other Nd:YAG lasers that come as hand-held additions. These provide wavelengths of either 585 nm or 650 nm. The 585 nm Nd:YAG laser is used to target blues and the 650 nm Nd:YAG laser is ideal for targeting greens.
Q-Switch Laser – Ruby
Works best at targeting bright blues and greens
Emits a wavelength of 694 nm
Works best on light skin because it can cause hypopigmentation on tanned or dark skin tones
Light source is achieved through a synthetic ruby crystal
When advanced lasers were first introduced as tools that could be used for laser tattoo removal, the original Q-switch lasers were only available in one wavelength: 1064 nm. There are now multiple kinds of Q-switch lasers, and each one provides a different wavelength that targets certain colors.
The Q-switch ruby laser can treat a wide range of ink colors, including green, blue, violet, and black. It emits wavelengths at 694 nm, creating a visible red light. One of the biggest tattoo trends that affected laser tattoo removal was the use of bright inks. Many of the medical lasers on the market had a difficult time targeting bright blues and greens until the ruby laser was developed.
The Q-switch ruby laser uses a synthetic ruby crystal as its laser source, giving the laser its red appearance. Those with tanned or dark skin often show slower results with this laser because the pigment in their skin absorbs most of the laser’s energy. This has caused hypopigmentation in some cases.
Radio Frequency Skin Tightening
Falling under the category of photorejuvenation, radio frequency (RF) skin tightening is a facial rejuvenation technique. Using RF energy, this treatment works by heating the skin tissue and encouraging collagen production. This results in a more youthful appearance, tighter skin, and an increase in elasticity. People seek out these kinds of treatments in their 30s, as collagen production decreases around this time.
RF skin tightening treatments typically take 30-45 minutes, and most people require anywhere between eight and 12 to achieve the results they’re looking for. These devices are able to effectively reach deep layers of the skin by using a different number of electrodes for each person.
Most people prefer different methods to achieve the same results as the radiation of high-energy RF can cause a significant amount of pain. There is also a high risk of side effects if the technique isn’t mastered, including scarring, dents, and an uneven skin surface.
A popular alternative to this procedure is laser facial rejuvenation. Using fractional lasers, damaged skin cells are targeted, and tiny wounds invisible to the eye are created without damaging the skin’s surface. These wounds encourage the surrounding skin cells to heal, increasing collagen production. This is what refreshes the skin’s elasticity and youthful appearance. Treatments are far faster than RF skin tightening treatments, taking just 20 minutes on average, and only a few treatments are required, depending on the degree of loose skin.
Razor bumps are small bumps on the skin that appear after shaving. These bumps are often red and irritated. Also known as ingrown hairs, they grow straight through the epidermis and curl back into the skin as they grow. This condition will only occur after using a razor to remove the hair. Razor bumps are most commonly found on sensitive areas of the skin, such as the genitals, underarms, and face. Often, these skin irritations can lead to acne and scarring.
The only way to prevent razor bumps is to stop shaving. To reduce irritation and redness, a person could use a higher quality razor, better shaving cream, or exfoliate the area with a washcloth or scrub after shaving to encourage the hairs to reach the surface of the skin. This will only prevent bumps from occurring if the hair is exposed, however. Taking a pair of tweezers to the razor bump might seem like a good idea, especially if hairs can be seen beneath the skin, but this method often leads to further irritation, scabbing, and scarring.
Creams and powders can be used to soothe irritated skin, but the only way to prevent razor bumps from forming is to find an alternative hair removal method. Laser hair removal is the only method that has been proven to prevent ingrown hairs and razor burn and make skin look smooth and flawless.
A resurfacing laser is one used for laser skin resurfacing treatments. They come in several options. One of the biggest differences in resurfacing lasers is whether they are ablative or nonablative.
Types of Resurfacing Lasers
Ablative lasers are an invasive surgery that requires a surgeon and anesthesia. These lasers create visible wounds to the layers of the skin in order to encourage healing and collagen growth. This results in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles as well as an increase in elasticity. While only one treatment is required, you’ll be stuck with a significant amount of downtime ranging anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
Nonablative resurfacing lasers tend to appeal more to people seeking to get rid of their skin’s imperfections because there’s little to no down time, and specific imperfections can be targeted. These lasers work by targeting a person’s blemishes and creating microscopic wounds in the area. This destroys damaged skin cells so the body is forced to produce new skin cells as it heals, eliminating fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, acne marks, freckles, large pores, sun spots, or scars. Like ablative lasers, these lasers encourage collagen production, which brings back the skin’s elasticity and youthful appearance.
For both men and women, roses are one of the most popular images depicted in tattoos. They make a beautiful tattoo alone and are a common addition to bigger, more complex designs. Roses often appeared in traditional or old-school tattoos alongside a ship or an anchor. Now, roses are done in realistic and new-school styles as well, making them one of the most common tattoo images.
Aside from their beauty, roses offer symbolism. They often illustrate love or desire, but the color of the rose can change its meaning. Yellow roses generally mean friendship, and white represents death or purity, depending on the culture. Red usually means love, and it’s the most popular color for rose tattoos.
When it comes to laser tattoo removal, red is one of the most difficult ink colors to remove. There isn’t a laser that specifically targets the color aside from the Q-switch Nd:YAG 532 nm laser. The treatment spot size is only 2 mm in diameter, making removal extremely time consuming for large tattoos—especially rose tattoos that tend to contain a lot of red ink.
A scar is a permanent mark that is left behind when a wound doesn’t heal properly. There are several types of scars that can occur after a tattoo and after laser tattoo removal treatments. Since both affect the same layer of the dermis, the scars they leave behind are similar in appearance.
A keloid occurs when an excess amount of collagen is produced after an injury. These scars vary in color from pink to dark brown, and keloids tend to appear shiny and feel rubbery. Though harmless, they can continue to grow beyond the boundaries of the injury and cause mild discomfort, such as pain and itchiness. On rare occasions, keloids can inhibit body movement, especially if they form around joints.
Keloids can form from even minor injuries, including scratches, pimples, body piercings, and bug bites.
Similar to a keloid, a hypertrophic scar appears at the site of skin damage. It is caused by an excess amount of collagen, but unlike keloids, hypertrophic scars stay within the boundaries of the injury. These marks are raised scars but not to the degree that keloids are raised.
Hypertrophic scars tend to form after a thermal or traumatic injury that affects the deep levels of the dermis, but they can also develop after a minor injury, such as pimples, cuts, burns, and body piercings.
Hypopigmentation, the loss of skin color or melanin, is a common reaction for those who have tan or dark skin. This can be triggered by illness, a burn, or an injury. For those who have dark skin, hypopigmentation is a common side effect of laser tattoo removal.
Scars develop after trauma to the skin, and the body’s natural reaction is to replace the damaged skin with fibrous tissue. It’s for this reason that scars are noticeable and that their pigmentation contrasts with the natural skin tone. There are many options that claim to successfully remove a scar, including lasers, chemical peels, dermabrasions or microdermabrasions, punch excisions, and skin grafting.
Nonsurgical options tend to work best on scars that are less severe, and they usually work by removing layers of the skin so that the scar will become less noticeable. Most of these options severely irritate the skin, leaving it raw and sensitive.
Nonablative lasers, however, work to target the damaged skin cells that make up the scar. They create microscopic wounds to destroy the damaged cells, allowing the body to reproduce new and healthy skin cells. Fractional lasers are able to do this without damaging the outer layer of the skin and with little or no down time after each treatment. Several treatments might be required depending on the severity of the scar.
The most popular surgical options are punch excisions and skin grafting. Punch excisions are when a scar is surgically cut from the skin and stitched properly so that a less noticeable scar takes its place. This is best for scars left behind by old piercings or puncture wounds. Meanwhile, skin grafting is a procedure where a piece of skin is taken from a part of the body not seen very often, such as the leg or the rear end, then used to cover up the scar.
A shader is a type of tattoo gun that is used for shading, or applying the artistic touch of a tattoo to the skin. There are three types of tattoo machines: one that creates both lining and shading, and two that perform those actions separately. While the tattoo gun that can complete shade and line may sound easier, it’s actually more difficult for beginners to use.
Shaders generally have more needles than a liner, so the needles can create better three-dimensional and blending effects. Shaders typically have needles that are arranged in a line, similar to a comb, and they’re heavier than liners, which have between one and seven needles that are arranged in a circle.
The purpose of the shader is to fill in the outline that the liner created. Shaders penetrate the skin deeper, ensuring lasting, vibrant color.
There are many causes of skin discoloration, and while most are temporary, there are still a few causes for permanent skin discoloration. While some causes can be avoided, such as not picking at pimples to prevent acne marks or wearing sunscreen to prevent sun spots, there are still many conditions that leave the skin discolored and irregular. Pregnancy, for example, will often cause brown spots and hyperpigmentation on the face, while burns or skin trauma will also leave scars behind.
Skin discoloration happens after damage to the skin cells where melanin is held. A person’s natural skin color is determined by the amount of melanin found in their skin cells, and when trauma occurs, the damaged skin cells will either increase or decrease the amount of melanin that shows through the skin’s surface. Fortunately, even permanent skin discoloration can be treated.
Laser skin rejuvenation is one of the leading treatments to get rid of discolorations caused by the sun, aging, scars, freckles, and more. It works by getting rid of damaged cells through the process of creating microscopic wounds within the layers of the skin. The surrounding healthy skin cells will then begin healing these wounds by producing healthy skin cells—ones that don’t have discolored melanin. The results are the elimination of the targeted skin imperfections.
Skin Laser Treatments
Skin laser treatments, or photorejuvenation, work to eliminate the signs of aging and any other skin imperfections. Lasers target damaged skin cells on the face, neck, or any other part of the body, and create small wounds to get rid of them. Each type of laser creates a different kind of wound. Ablative lasers will create visible wounds that require several days or weeks of downtime to heal, while nonablative lasers create microscopic wounds and require no downtime. This difference means that those who seek ablative laser treatments will only have to get one treatment, while those who seek nonablative laser treatments need several treatments to achieve the best results.
These wounds then encourage the body to heal by creating new skin cells and tissue that doesn’t contain any damage. An increase in collagen production is also a result of the healing process, ensuring tighter skin with an increase in elasticity. People often use skin laser treatments to reduce wrinkles, fine lines, loose skin, age spots, acne marks, freckles, large pores, and sun spots. While doctors can perform treatments on any area of the body, they are most commonly used to treat the face, hands, neck, and chest.
Skin lesions can appear on the skin in the form of flat or raised blemishes. Additionally, skin lesions can come in practically any size, and they range in shade from identical to the natural skin tone to the exact opposite. Since there is such a large variety of skin lesions, the causes are also largely varied. Some lesions are temporary as they’re caused by a rash, infection, or environmental irritant; however, there are many that end up being permanent.
Some of the most common permanent skin lesions are caused by aging overexposure to the sun, while other less common lesions are caused by health conditions like tumors or pregnancy. Since there are so many variations to lesions that appear on the skin, it’s important to have them looked at by a doctor to ensure they weren’t caused by anything serious. The next step tends to be looking for removal options.
Laser skin rejuvenation is currently the best method in the industry for getting rid of skin lesions and other pigmentation issues. Doctors can use fractional lasers to target the damaged skin cells that make up any skin lesion, creating tiny wounds invisible to the naked eye. By using a fractional laser, these wounds won’t damage the skin’s surface. As these wounds heal, they produce new skin cells that aren’t damaged by whatever caused the skin lesion. The result is complete removal of the lesion or discoloration.
Skin Tag Removal
Skin tags are small, soft, and benign growths on the skin that form on the eyelids, armpits, under the breasts, and on the shoulders. Nearly everyone will develop a skin tag at some point in their life; however, they’re most commonly found on the skin of middle-age obese adults. Chubby babies and young kids who rub their eyes are also at risk for growing skin tags. While the cause for these growths is unknown, they tend to develop in areas where the skin often rubs against itself or clothes.
Also called acrochordon, skin tags are harmless. Regardless, many people look for ways to remove them. There are many at-home remedies that are successful, such as tying dental floss or a thin string around the base of the growth until it falls off. Another option is to freeze it off with liquid nitrogen, similar to how warts are removed. Others choose to simply cut off the skin tag as long as the growth is small enough to do so. The only downfall to removing skin tags is the discoloration that’s left behind. This mark can be temporary, but every now and then, a permanent scar develops instead.
The best way to get rid of a scar like this is through laser skin rejuvenation treatments. Lasers are able to target and destroy the damaged skin cells, allowing healthy skin cells to grow in their place. The result is the complete elimination of any scar or discoloration.
TAC (Triple Anesthetic Cream)
A triple anesthetic cream, or TAC, is a topical cream that is used to numb the skin during many procedures, including laser hair removal. These creams typically contain three ingredients: benzocaine, lidocaine, and teltracaine, so it’s sometimes referred to as BLT Gel. This cream is just one of several options that licensed medical laser technicians offer to numb the area being treated.
TAC is safe to be applied to most areas of the skin. Traditionally, the chemical compounds contain 20 percent benzocaine, eight percent lidocaine, and eight percent tetracaine. A pharmacist can customize this to fit individual patients’ needs.
Benzocaine is found in many over-the-counter anesthetic or topical pain relievers, including cough drops, numbing creams, and ointments used to treat oral irritations. It can also be found in products to relieve ear pain and drops to remove earwax.
Alone, lidocaine is often used to numb the tissue of a specific area. It works by blocking sodium channels, decreasing the rate of contractions to the heart.
Tetracaine is another numbing compound and is considered a local anesthetic. It is used when the numbness is required rapidly.
Tattoo artists earn their title through an apprenticeship, when they’re professionally trained to safely and sanitarily tattoo skin. To become an apprentice, one must have natural artistic ability, especially since customers request customization. The apprenticeship lasts for two years, and for the first six months, the apprentice is not allowed to tattoo. It’s during this time that he or she is trained on sanitation and proper safety techniques.
After the apprenticeship, a person can call him- or herself a tattoo artist and work in a tattoo parlor. Those who do not complete the apprenticeship and practice the art of tattooing are called scratchers. They often operate out of their home and do not have the proper licensing, so they could put people’s health in jeopardy.
Training differs in other parts of the world. In Japan, for example, the apprenticeship lasts many years. An apprentice often lives with her or his instructor and spends several years cleaning the shop and building the necessary tools before they begin tattooing. During their training, apprentices must copy their master’s designs over and over again until they’re perfect.
There are three types of tattoo guns: one that lines and shades, and two that perform those actions separately. It may seem like a tattoo gun that completes both would be easier to use, but it’s actually more difficult—especially for beginners. These guns tend to be heavy, making it difficult to hold for long periods of time. Additionally, many new tattoo artists find it hard to tell the difference between the needles.
The first tattoo guns were developed in 1876 and were intended to act as an electric pen for duplicating documents. In 1891, a man named Samuel O’Reilly discovered that this pen could be used to transfer ink into the skin. He patented a system for doing so. The first single coil machine was simply a modified doorbell in a brass box.
Today, tattoo guns can control the needle’s depth, speed, and force of application. This has allowed tattooing to become a precise form of art and enabled the technology to be introduced into the cosmetic and beauty fields. Now, tattooing is used to apply permanent makeup, to disguise beauty marks and freckles, and to hide scars.
Two tattoo guns are necessary for all tattoo artists: a shader and a liner. The liner holds one to seven needles, offering artists the precision necessary to draw an outline for their work. A shader holds many needles and is used to add color, depth, and shade to the design.
A temporary tattoo places a non-permanent image on the skin in one of the following ways.
Decal or Press-on
These are the tattoos that came in cereal boxes and were handed out on Halloween when we were kids. They typically last a day or two and can easily be applied with a little water. These days, temporary tattoos can be customized for practically any event, including bachelorette parties, birthday celebrations, and weddings.
These range from cheap looking to the best way to achieve the look of a real tattoo without the permanency. The more realistic the desired outcome is, the pricier it will be. On a less expensive scale, these tattoos are done with stencils, cosmetic inks, and an airbrush.
Popular in many cultures, henna tattoos are another great alternative to permanent ink. Henna is a plant-derived substance that is used to paint the skin, staining it a reddish brown. Done free hand, henna tattoos are known for their long-lasting effects and are most commonly done on women’s hands.
Similar to press-on temporary tattoos, flash tattoos are metallic tattoos that have been trending for the last few years. They’re sometimes used as a replacement for bracelets, necklaces, and armbands. They can be tribal-looking or depict things found in nature, such as birds, feathers, branches, fruit, butterflies, and flowers. Other flash tattoos are designed to be placed on the hands and feet, like henna tattoos.
Terminal hairs are thick, dark hairs that typically develop during puberty. Everyone is born with vellus hair, which is the light peach fuzz that most people are familiar with. During puberty, an increase in androgenic hormone levels causes these vellus hairs to be replaced with terminal hair, growing in only certain areas of the body. These areas include the pubic area and underarms, which are particularly sensitive to these hormones. Considered to be secondary sex characteristics, males develop terminal hair in more areas of the body than women because their androgenic hormone levels are much higher. Men will also develop terminal hair on their face, stomach, legs, arms, feet, chest, and back during puberty, while women will retain most of their vellus hair.
It is these terminal hairs that are most easily targeted by medical lasers during laser hair removal treatments. Lasers are designed to target the melanin in the hair follicle, which is much easier to detect on darker hairs. Vellus hairs are more difficult for the laser to detect because they contain less melanin, but most areas of a man’s or woman’s body can be treated with laser hair removal, including:
The upper lip
The pubic area
The eyebrows or a unibrow
Each person’s vellus hairs and terminal hairs appear differently, and there are many factors that contribute to the success of laser hair removal treatments.
The Aging Process
The aging process involves the physical, psychological, and social changes a person goes through over time. This process begins younger than most think, as one of the first signs of aging is the loss of hearing high frequency noise above 20 kHz, which occurs when a person is in their teens. Physical signs of the aging process are more obvious, and while the cause of aging is still unknown, researchers and scientists are looking for ways to pause and even to reverse the aging process.
One of the latest developments in age reversal is rejuvenation. Separate from the study of life extension, rejuvenation has a history that dates back to the sixteenth century. Today’s technology is now able to eliminate the physical effects of aging, including damage done to tissue, organs, and cells. Rejuvenation focuses on repairing skin tissue and skin cells through the use of different tools and techniques. One of the best techniques in the industry is the use of lasers.
Laser skin rejuvenation significantly reduces the signs of aging by targeting damaged skin cells that cause wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, sun spots, acne marks, loose skin, scars, and other imperfections. By destroying the damaged skin cells, these lasers encourage the skin to grow new skin cells, ultimately eliminating any targeted issue.
A topical cream or medication is one that is applied to a certain area of the skin for a particular purpose. Typically, topical creams and medications act fast because the skin absorbs them quickly. There are many classes of topical medications, including lotions, gels, powders, foams, and patches.
In laser tattoo removal, the only topical cream used is something that numbs the skin. Often a triple anesthetic cream, or TAC, is used because it’s safe for many procedures. This cream typically contains three ingredients: Benzocaine, lidocaine, and teltracaine, so it’s called BLT gel. This is one of the few non-invasive numbing options that significantly reduces any sensation felt during laser treatments.
Sometimes, topical creams are recommended as an aftercare treatment. For example, Neosporin assists in the healing process and prevents the skin from drying and peeling.
Beauty brand TRIA offers products that provide laser treatments from home. It has a series of FDA-approved tools that can be used to eliminate wrinkles, clear acne, and permanently remove unwanted body hair. Its hair removal products use a precise laser that delivers energy to each follicle. The melanin in the targeted hair follicles absorbs the energy, ultimately destroying the hair.
Although it seems to use the same technology that medical laser hair removal uses, the energy used during each treatment is significantly less. Still, TRIA products have garnered mostly positive customer reviews.
Benefits of At-Home Laser Hair Removal Treatments
Cost – Assuming the at-home laser treatment actually works, the cost of these products is typically cheaper than what it would cost for enough treatments for complete hair removal at laser clinics.
Comfort – People are able to use these laser devices in the comfort of their own homes.
Convenience – Most laser clinics offer night and weekend hours, but an at-home laser can be used any time, day or night.
Disadvantages of At-Home Laser Hair Removal Treatments
Risk – There’s always a risk of ineffectiveness with at-home laser treatments because they don’t guarantee results.
Low Energy – In order for the FDA to approve these lasers, they could only provide a small amount of energy to be safe for use at home. This means more treatments are required to achieve results.
Time – Small areas may not be too difficult, but using one of these hand-held devices to remove leg hair will occupy a chunk of the day every time it’s needed.
True Laser® – Laser Hair Removal
True Laser® is a term exclusively used at Body Details. It describes our method of combining the four major factors that contribute to obtaining complete tattoo removal. Not all laser hair removal is the same, and we stand by our method as the only way to receive permanent results.
Type of Device
The FDA has approved many light-based devices, but only the True Laser® is a class IV, the most powerful approved laser available in the industry. Our lasers deliver up to 1,500 times more energy than class III lasers, significantly reducing the time that it takes to achieve permanent results.
Each medical laser uses a different wavelength to achieve results. Body Details uses the ideal wavelength required to achieve permanent hair removal results for each skin color and hair type.
Treatment protocol refers to how laser hair removal is performed, specifically laser settings that refer to the size of the area being treated and pulse duration. Body Details has thoroughly researched and developed the best way to administer laser hair removal treatments.
Skill of Treatment Provider
Most laser technicians are only required to take a brief training course and have no medical training or advanced degrees. Body Details only staffs its treatment centers with certified physician assistants or advanced registered nurse practitioners. In addition to their advanced degrees, our established team of medical directors and medical laser manufacturers also certify our laser technicians.
True Laser™ – Laser Tattoo Removal
A term exclusively used at Body Details, True Laser™ describes the four major factors that we have found to produce the best and most effective laser tattoo removal results. Through extensive research and years of experience, we believe we’ve created the only formula that will give you complete tattoo removal permanently.
Type of Device
Not all tattoo removal methods are equal, and even different lasers will produce unique results. While other methods claim to result in complete tattoo removal, laser tattoo removal is the only nonsurgical method that has been proven to be effective. At Body Details, we use the True Laser®, the most powerful laser approved for laser tattoo removal treatments in the industry. These lasers provide up to 1,500 times more than any other laser, ensuring our clients get results fast and that complete tattoo removal is achieved.
Older lasers used short wavelengths to target the pigment of ink found in a tattoo, often causing skin damage and permanent scarring. Newer lasers emit longer wavelengths that penetrate the epidermis without damaging the skin or removing the skin’s pigment. Additionally, different lasers emit differently measured wavelengths, all ideal for various ink colors. At Body Details, our licensed medical technicians are educated on which wavelengths are most effective in targeting and eliminating each individual color of a tattoo.
Skill of Treatment Provider
At Body Details, our staff stays up to date on the latest technology and the most effective techniques surrounding laser tattoo removal. All of our treatment centers are staffed with certified physician assistants and advanced registered nurses, who, aside from their advanced degrees, are also certified by our team of medical directors and the medical laser manufacturers.
Vaginal Tightening Laser
A vaginal tightening laser is used to tighten the pelvic muscles which are used in urination, releasing bowels, sexual intercourse, childbirth, and bladder control. Most women will experience loss of elasticity in these muscles along with a major shift in hormones during menopause or after giving birth. When this happens, women unfortunately suffer from frequent urination, hesitancy during urination, pain during urination, and pain after intercourse.
Several options to treat these symptoms are kegel exercises, yoga, change in diet, and of course, vaginoplasty, which is the complete surgical reconstruction of the vagina. While many women have found vaginoplasty to be successful, going under the knife for that kind of work, especially if one is older, isn’t always appealing. An alternative to surgery is undergoing a vaginal tightening laser procedure.
Also known as vaginal rejuvenation, this method to tighten pelvic muscles requires no surgery and absolutely no downtime. These treatments are done by inserting a laser several centimeters into the vagina. The laser is then used to target and destroy dead skin cells or tissue. This allows new skin cells to grow and stimulates collagen production, allowing the muscles to regain their tightness after just a few sessions.
In 2000, Vaniqa™ became the first FDA-approved prescription cream to eliminate facial hair for women. It works by interfering with a chemical in the hair follicles, slowing hair growth. It helps women keep excess facial hair under control, but it is not a cure for this condition.
The cream is applied twice a day and hair removal occurs over the course of four to six weeks. Similar to other creams that promote hair loss, Vaniqa™ can lead to redness and irritation that might cause the skin to burn or tingle. Other side effects of using this cream include small hair bumps on the skin called folliculitis.
Although using Vaniqa™ may solve the issue of excess facial hair for some women, it lacks the permanence that most women desire. Laser hair removal is the only permanent hair removal solution that can rid the face of unwanted dark, thick hairs. Commonly performed on the chin, neck, and upper lip, laser hair removal targets the melanin in each hair follicle, destroying the hair. Since each hair on the body goes through a different growth cycle, several treatments are required before permanent hair removal is achieved. On average, each person undergoes five to 10 laser hair removal treatments to achieve desired results.
Vellus hairs are light peach fuzz. Everyone is born with vellus hair, and during puberty, an increase in androgenic hormone levels causes them to be replaced with dark, thick terminal hair. Terminal hairs only grow in areas of a woman’s body that are sensitive to these hormones, such as the pubic area and underarms. Males lose their vellus hair and develop terminal hair in more areas of the body than women because their androgenic hormone levels are much higher. At puberty, men develop terminal hair on their face, stomach, legs, arms, feet, chest, and back, while women will retain most of their vellus hair.
It is these vellus hairs that are the most difficult to get rid of during laser hair removal procedures. Since they contain less melanin, they are harder for the laser to detect. Still, most areas of a man’s or woman’s body can be treated with a medical laser for permanent hair removal.
Every person is different and there are several factors that contribute to the way vellus hairs and terminal hairs grow. Since there are so many factors that contribute to the success of laser hair removal treatments, it’s impossible to say whether lasers will eliminate all vellus hair.
A popular hair removal method is waxing, a procedure that requires hot wax to be placed over the desired treatment area and ripped off with a strip. Though waxing often provides better and longer-lasting results than shaving, it’s far from ideal and entails the following disadvantages.
Pain and Irritation
Similar to ripping off a Band-Aid, waxing can either be quick and painless or slow and extremely painful. A common side effect is severe redness and a burning sensation that can last hours or days. A professional should know how hot the wax should be to reduce the risk of burning the client’s skin, but it isn’t always something he or she can control. Other factors, such as acne medication, antibiotics, and skin products that contain retinoids, make skin more sensitive and more susceptible to burning and peeling.
Waxing is designed to remove hairs from the root, but it’s common for hairs to break before the root can be extracted. These hairs are more likely to grow sideways or downward, causing infection and ingrown hairs.
Waxing may last slightly longer than shaving, but it isn’t permanent. Upkeep is required every week or so to maintain hairlessness. Additionally, using wax doesn’t allow for much accuracy, which is important around the eyebrows. It’s easy to accidentally rip off more than was intended, creating embarrassing asymmetry.
Wrecking cream was developed as a cheap alternative to tattoo removal methods, such as laser tattoo removal and dermabrasion. Often, these products are marketed as a quick and easy tattoo removal method, claiming to achieve total removal in just a few months, but the chemicals in wrecking creams bleach the skin and often do more harm than good. Moreover, users have discovered that these creams only fade the ink and do not completely remove it. Because wrecking creams can severely damage skin, users may be forced to wait a long time for their skin to heal before they can get a cover-up tattoo or have laser tattoo removal performed.
Wrecking creams come in several forms, including gels and lotions, and typically need to be applied several times per day. Expensive brands come with a buffering tool that sands off layers of skin, but with no training or experience using such products, many users have suffered unsightly, permanent skin damage.
Wrecking creams do not offer the precision that other tattoo removal methods offer – they affect areas that users may not have intended. Results are often uneven and distorted. In addition to eliminating tattoo pigment, the bleach in wrecking creams also eliminates pigment in the skin. Fortunately, the skin pigment can often be restored.
Wrinkles are the creases or folds that develop in the skin over time as part of the aging process. The cause of wrinkles is usually years of sun exposure and the natural loss of collagen in the skin. However, they can also be caused by smoking, poor hydration, and habitual facial expressions. Many people find that their wrinkles have aged them prematurely, or have had a significant impact on their confidence. While there are hundreds of products on the market claiming to get rid of fine lines and wrinkles, there are few that actually work. Some creams and serums are great to use for preventative measures, but after wrinkles begin to develop, there are fewer treatment options from which to choose.
Laser skin rejuvenation is currently the leading wrinkle treatment in the industry. Using nonablative lasers, licensed medical laser technicians can target the damaged or dead skin cells that are causing each wrinkle. By creating microscopic wounds around the wrinkles, the skin begins to heal the wounds by creating new skin cells. These new skin cells take the place of the damaged ones, ultimately eliminating wrinkles from the targeted area.
Laser rejuvenation also increases collagen production, which tends to stop being produced in the body when people reach their 30s. Collagen is what is responsible for the skin’s tight, youthful appearance as well as its elasticity—all of which will be returned to the skin after just a few laser treatments. Laser rejuvenation can also be used to eliminate age spots, acne marks, scars, freckles, sun spots, and more.
YAG 1064nm Laser
The YAG 1064nm laser is a long-pulse laser that can safely be used on all skin types. It is particularly known for its ability to be used on those who have skin type IV on the Fitzpatrick scale—i.e., those who tan well without burning. This laser has quick repetition rates and a large coverage area, resulting in faster treatments. Patients have noticed that there is slightly more discomfort with this laser opposed to others, but its longer wavelength allows the laser to penetrate deeper layers of the skin, making it more effective than other medical lasers used for laser hair removal that's permanent.
Advantages of the YAG 1064nm Laser
It works on every skin type – Most medical lasers are ineffective on tanned or naturally dark skin because the lack of contrast makes it difficult for the lasers to target the melanin. The YAG 1064nm Laser is the only laser that has been proven to be effective on all skin tones.
Hair grows back slower – Studies have shown that those who were treated with a YAG 1064nm Laser had a significant delay in hair growth between sessions. Patients underwent treatments less frequently and weren’t forced to use other hair removal methods before their next laser session.
Larger coverage – Since the YAG 1064nm laser covers a larger area with each pulse, treatments are much shorter than those with other lasers. This gives patients more time to enjoy their hair-free results.
Zimmer Cryogenic Device
A common device used during laser tattoo removal treatments, the Zimmer cryogenic device is used to prevent damage to the epidermis and to lessen the pain felt by clients. Via bursts of cryogen, the outer skin experiences an immediate cooling sensation. A trained technician can use the dynamic cooling device in adjustable durations before and after each laser pulse.
Use of the Zimmer cryogenic device has been proven to help increase the speed in which tattoos will fade. The numbing factor allows licensed medical technicians to use higher levels of energy while performing laser tattoo removal treatments. These higher wavelengths penetrate the skin deeper than usual, breaking up more ink pigment, resulting in faster fading. This process allows for painless tattoo removal.
The Zimmer cryogenic device offers many advantages, including:
An alternative to topical numbing creams
A pain-free and comfortable tattoo removal treatment