Specially designed lasers for the removal of permanent and tattoo pigments have appeared comparatively recent. Before that, options of the permanent make up artist, who was willing to correct imperfections, were quite limited, and those options were not considerate enough. All the methods were based on purely “mechanical” dissection of the epidermal skin layer and the injection of the acidic or alkaline solution, which destroyed the pigment together with the dermal tissues. It led to long and painful healing process that had a high possibility of pitiful consequences, such as the formation of fibrosis (a scar). The so-called “removers” are being used up until now, but their application is possible and appropriate only on small parts of skin, and only in those rare cases when the laser by some reason is unable to cope with the pigment.
Also rather often for correction works masters used nowadays quite disputable approach of camouflaging the unwanted painting with the application of beige and white pigments. You should never hope that by covering the darker pigment with beige or white, you will be able to attain the necessary skin tone. The result will be quite contrary, as the unwanted whitish spot could appear on the camouflaged skin part, which later on would be difficult, or even impossible to remove or correct (PHOTO 1).
White and beige colour tones can be used only in those cases where the “clarification” should be done, and also on very small skin parts, such as the eye area (PHOTO 2), or for “breaking” the painting in the eyebrow zone (PHOTO 3), in order to achieve lively and more natural effect.
That is why the use of the neodymium laser (Nd Yag laser) at this moment is the main and most efficient method of correcting or removing the unwanted pigment.
How does the removal take place?
The laser ray of concentrated light energy passing through the cap lens, obtains a certain wave length that is capable of influencing the pigment colour with the same wave length. The pigment accumulates laser light energy, and from the frequent temperature increase, a micro-explosion occurs; pigment particles are being torn to the multitude of pieces, which later can be led out through lymph vessels.
It is worth mentioning that the laser ray could perceive not all injected pigment as a whole, but rather its separate colour components. That is why, the more shades there are “mixed” within the dye, the more complicated would be the removal procedure. Especially it affects the eyebrow shades, as the manufacturers tend to use yellow, red, black and white pigments all together. The photo below shows that the laser had removed the black component of the pigment first, and the red component is still left in the skin (PHOTO 4).
Organic and non-organic dyes are being removed with the different speed.
Also the removal speed is being affected by the quantity of the pigment in the skin layers. If we are removing the “multi-layer” permanent eyebrows, that have been pigmented repeatedly, the quantity of the removal sessions increases. During one session, the laser is able to process only the upper layer of the pigment.
Possible side effects.
Neodymium laser does not leave any scars, as it influences the pigment only, and the skin gets no damage done. This is the most considerate permanent make-up removal method. Only while working on the skin zone with the high colour tone level, some temporary signs of the external damage of the epidermis may be seen, accompanied by the secretion of blood and lymph. Thus, the healing process of the damaged zone will pass with the formation of the crust. Also in the area of the laser treatment some normal organism reactions, similar to natural reactions on a healing wound, may occur:
- Swelling. In some cases, after the eyebrow laser treatment, swelling may last up to 3 days, and spread to the eye area;
- Redness. This side effect appears due to the micro-haematomas of the internal vessel and capillary damage in the treated area (especially in the eyelid area).
- Depigmentation (“burning out”) of some hairs (especially dark ones) in the eyebrow zone. Later one the hair can be coloured. The natural hair colour recovers after some period of time.
The manifestation of these reactions is normal. The intensity of the reaction depends on the density (multi-layers) of the pigment and individual qualities of the body on traumatizations of this kind.
Alongside with the factors influencing the speed of the pigment removal that are mentioned above, it is worth mentioning some special complicated cases, when the removal of the pigment becomes rather difficult or even impossible.
- Fibrosis tissues in the area of the pigment injection.
If the permanent make-up was made too traumatic (too deep), fibrosis tissues appear during the healing process. Fibrin fibers hold the pigment firmly, and even if it is crumbled with laser, it could not be dispersed. In this case it is recommended to alternate the laser impact with the additional therapy on the fibrosis tissue softening.
- White pigment.
The white pigment is often being used in the permanent make-up dyes, and its chemical background could be different. Also the reactions on the laser treatment of such a pigment could vary. There are three possible reactions:
A. the white pigment is reduced to small pieces and is eliminated
B. the white pigment turns gray/black.
Later on this gray pigment gets the second laser treatment and is being eliminated. This reaction often happens at the treatment of the permanent lip make-up, which turns black after the first session. Dyes for lip make-up usually contain high percentage of the white pigment. (PHOTO 6) Also the graying may occur when covering the pinkish leftover pigment on the eyebrows, due to the presence of the white pigment. The laser treatment is shown for correction of the reddish eyebrows. (PHOTO 7)
C. the white pigment becomes green. The emerald shade of the pigment subsequently reacts very weakly to all the laser treatment procedures. The special laser cap is needed, which is not available for the most lasers models present at the market.
Laser technologies are constantly evolving, and soon enough new devices will be introduced, that will allow removing unwanted paintings of any color both on the face and on the body. Yet, still in the first place, if you have decided to do permanent make-up, we strongly recommend attentively choosing professional make-up artist, to whom you will be able to trust this serious matter, in order to completely eliminate the further need of subsequent removal procedure.