New laser can remove tattoos cleanly

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Hope for tattoo owners

A new type of laser can remove tattoos almost completely without a trace and without pain. Not even scars appear on the skin. The only thing that is unclear is what risks laser cutting poses to the user.

Sascha Nobody is on the way to the treatment room at Bochum's St. Josef Hospital. The center for laser medicine in North Rhine-Westphalia. There he is one of the first to be treated with the new laser called “PicoSure”. The insurance specialist wants to get rid of his tribal, a curved ornament, on his chest, which he had stabbed over ten years ago. “It was a youth sin - and got more and more misshapen over time. Now it looks more like a Batman symbol. ”

The 300,000-euro device, which has only been on the market since May, can be the hoped-for hope for many people. It was specially designed for tattoo removal. The manufacturer of the laser, Cynosure, promises an almost trace-free removal. Without scars and so-called negative prints. And above all, it is almost painless.

Old laser technology is painful “I watched some videos on the Internet that showed how tattoos were removed with the old laser technology. It looked pretty brutal, ”says nobody. "The pain is said to be worse than tattooing itself."

He is pleasantly surprised when the medical doctor Klaus Hoffmann begins to drive the laser over the tattoos on his upper body. "Feels like little electric shocks," he says. After about 10 minutes the first session is over. Two to four more at intervals of a few weeks will have to follow so that no one gets rid of his tattoo.

The new laser technology has not changed the costs: the treatment costs 1,500 to 2,000 euros. According to the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds, the health insurance companies do not accept this procedure either. The removal of body jewelry is not a task of the solidarity community, explains a GKV spokesman.

Color particles simply splinter Hoffmann is the leading doctor of aesthetic-operative medicine at the University Skin Clinic in Bochum and is very enthusiastic about the device. The color particles are quasi simply broken up by the high-energy laser pulse. The phagocytes of the body take over the complete elimination.

As a positive effect, there is no scarring of the tissue. "Since we started using PicoSure, patient requests have been received every day," says Hoffmann. For the first time, colorful tattoos with green color could also be removed - in the past, however, this was very difficult.

However, the Association of German Organized Tattoo Artists (DOT) is not so euphoric. "We are not happy with the laser," says spokesman Maik Frey. “Under laser bombardment, we don't know what the late effects of tattoo inks can be if they deposit in the body.

Risks of laser have not been clarified In June, researchers, medical professionals and tattoo artists discussed possible connections between allergies, cancer and tattoos at a BfR conference. They came to the conclusion that the treatment is by no means risk-free. Since the colors used are not subject to approval, it is often unclear which substances they contain. This means that the risks of laser cannot be sufficiently clarified. Peter Laux from the BfR department for the safety of consumer products says: "We don't know where the color particles migrate to".

At the moment there is great demand. Hoffmann, on the other hand, considers the concerns about laser technology to be exaggerated. "They are based on hypotheses, there is no known risk." On the other hand, when tattooing itself, 80 percent of the color already migrated into the body - so if there was a risk, it would already be during this process. ”However, the demand for tattoos currently seems to be high. Two other medical locations in Frankfurt and Hamburg now also want to use the device.

He and the team around Prof. Peter Altmeyer will soon test whether the device is suitable for the therapy of collagen damage or pigment disorders. (fr)

Also read:
Tattoo colors harmful to health
Tattoo: Health risks from tattoos
Health risk from tattoo
Toxic substances in tattoo colors

Author and source information

Video: How Tattoos Removal can be Done with Less Pain, and Fewer Treatment Sessions


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