Tattoo removal can be a daunting and arduous process, especially when you want the tattoo in question to be removed ASAP. Is your blue tattoo ink giving you the blues? Humans are very fickle by nature, so take heart in knowing that you are not the first person to suffer buyer’s remorse when it comes to tattoos. At Schweiger Dermatology in Midtown Manhattan, we specialize in laser tattoo removal and use the most effective and cutting edge equipment and techniques to ensure the best results.
Blue is a very common color found in tattoo ink and as such has become a main color to focus on in tattoo removal. From cobalt and navy to sky blue and baby blue, there are many different shades of blue used in modern day body art designs. Tattoo removal for blue tattoos has traditionally been one of the most challenging tattoo removal tasks. Typically, black tattoo ink proves the easiest color to remove during tattoo removal. Not all tattoo removal lasers can target and remove the blue tattoo ink; it is important that the treatment be performed with a laser that specifically targets blue tattoo ink. Thankfully, there is technology to remove blue tattoos. The 694 nm ruby Q-switched (or Quality-switched) laser is the most effective method of removing blue tattoos. It is also the best tattoo removal laser for removing green tattoos.
It’s easy to get caught up in the newness of laser technologies and emerging wavelengths, but when it comes to blue tattoo removal, the older 694 nm ruby Q-Switched laser is actually the tried and true method. “Even with the introduction of newer wavelength lasers, the gold standard for blue and green tattoo ink removal is the 694nm ruby Q-switched laser,” says New York City dermatologist Dr. Eric Schweiger. Q-Switched lasers work by finding a contrast between skin tone and tattoo ink. When they do find that difference, it emits a beam of light down into the skin, breaking up the tattoo ink particles. The body then naturally absorbs those particles, leaving you with clear-tattoo free skin.
It’s hard to know exactly what kind of material is in your blue tattoo ink. The tattoo industry is not required to share or list the ingredients in their ink, as they are thought of as trade secrets. Some of the most common pigments used in blue tattoo ink are carbonate, sodium aluminum silicate, calcium copper silicate and other cobalt aluminum oxides and chromium oxides. In terms of safety profiles, the copper-based pigments are thought to be safer than the cobalt or ultramarine pigments.
It’s hard to predict how many laser tattoo removal treatments you will require. Much of the success of your treatments will depend on the size of the tattoo and how old it is. Older and smaller tattoos are easier to remove than newer and larger tattoos. Typically, it will take about six to ten office visits to completely remove a tattoo. If you need your blue-based tattoo to be removed quicker than that, we are proud to offer the new R20 method of tattoo removal, which allows us to perform up to four laser tattoo treatments in just one office visit.