Research published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (LSM), the official journal of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery Inc (ASLMS) reports that use of a patch in conjunction with a laser could make the process of tattoo removal quicker, safer, and more tolerable.

In the study, authors Brian S. Biesman, MD, FACS, and Cara Costner RN, FNP, report that the use of a special patch in conjunction with laser-assisted tattoo treatment can allow more treatment to be administered at each session. In addition, use of the patch improved tolerability of the treatment and reduced unwanted side effects. This patch could represent a significant breakthrough in the treatment of unwanted tattoos, according to a media release from the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery Inc (ASLMS).

“Laser-assisted treatment of tattoos is well-known to be associated with challenges and limitations. Epidermal whitening typically occurs following treatment of tattoos with Q-switched lasers. Perfluorodecalin (PFD) is an optical clearing agent, which reduces epidermal whitening associated with laser-assisted tattoo treatments,” Biesman says, in the release. “In a previous publication of this Journal, we reported that the majority of tattoos treated with a Q-switched alexandrite laser cleared more rapidly when treated through a PFD infused silicone patch.

“In this publication, we demonstrate that almost 3 times more passes can be made with Q-switched laser during a five-minute window when treating tattoos through a PFD infused silicone patch as compared to treating in the traditional manner through air,” the release continues.

“In addition, use of the PFD patch was associated with improved tolerability compared with conventional treatment, with subjects experiencing fewer and less severe adverse effects related to epidermal injury. Additionally, when surveyed at the 1-month follow-up visit, all subjects (30/30) preferred to continue laser-assisted tattoo removal with the PFD patch.”

[Source: American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery Inc]