A new device promises to remove unwanted tattoos faster than ever before, even the most stubborn works of art.
Stuart Yellin hopes this new kind of laser treatment will be able to do what previous devices have not; completely remove his 11-year old barbed wire tattoo.
"I got it at the spur on the moment with a cousin at the same time, and it started bleeding down my arm in streaks,” says Yellin. “I hated it."
Yellin says typical lasers stopped working on his tattoo. But now, after just three monthly treatments with the PicoSure laser, his tattoo is fading again.
"It's the first new breakthrough for tattoo treatment in about 20 years," says Dr. Gary Lask, director of dermatologic surgery at UCLA.
Lask says a faster pulse rate allows the device to remove tattoos quicker.
"That laser fires at a trillionth of a second,” he says. “By doing that you're getting a more intense reaction and that destroys the tattoo particles."
Fewer treatments are needed, but it still comes at a price.
The treatment costs about $600 a session, that's double the prices of typical lasers.
Yellin says getting his tattoo originally cost him $250. Now, he’s spending almost $10,000.
But after a few more treatments, Yellin hopes his tattoo will finally be a faded memory.
The PicoSure treatments are generally spaced about a month and a half apart to allow the impacts of the laser to continue working on the skin. Possible side effects can include temporary scabbing and blistering.
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