Tattoo inks are made of solid colored particles, which can be targeted and eliminated by dedicated lasers in the similar manner as pigmented lesions.
Different tattoos might require different types of laser in order to remove them, depending on the type of ink, the color, and the depth of the tattoo.
Q-Switch lasers release high-powered pulses of extremely short duration. The intense and rapid heating induced by light absorption leads to a photo-thermal effect. As the chromophore is heated, it undergoes sudden thermal expansion generating shock waves audible as a popping sound with each laser pulse. This photo-acoustic effect generates forces that allow fragmenting tattoo pigment particles. The pigment treated this way gradually becomes shallower over time until it fades away. The peripheral tissues remain unaltered making the treatment selective and safe.