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July 1990

Treatment of Tattoos by Q-Switched Ruby Laser: A Dose-Response Study

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston (Drs Taylor, Gange, Flotte, Gonzalez, and Anderson and Mr Michaud); and New England Deaconess Hospital, Boston (Dr Dover).

Arch Dermatol. 1990;126(7):893-899. doi:10.1001/archderm.1990.01670310055007

• Tattoo treatment with Q-switched ruby laser pulses (694 nm, 40 to 80 nanoseconds) was studied by clinical assessment and light and electron microscopy. Fiftyseven blue-black tattoos or portions thereof (35 amateur and 22 professional) were irradiated with 1.5 to 8.0 J/cm2 at a mean interval of 3 weeks. Substantial lightening or total clearing occurred in 18 (78%) of 23 amateur tattoos and 3 (23%) of 13 professional tattoos in which the protocol was completed. Response was related to exposure dose. Scarring occurred in one case, and persistent confettilike hypopigmentation was frequent. Optimal fluence was 4 to 8 J/cm2. Clinicohistologic correlation was poor. Q-switched ruby laser pulses can provide an effective treatment for tattoos.

(Arch Dermatol. 1990;126:893-899)

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