Tattooing of the inner lip or buccal mucosa has been practiced for generations in many cultures. Even in this area, there can be tattoo regret. There are only a handful of cases of successful laser removal for oral mucosal tattoos.

In this report two cases are presented that demonstrate the safe and effective removal of decorative tattoos of the mouth using both picosecond and q-switched lasers.

The case report of this study, published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (LSM), the official journal of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery Inc (ASLMS), was selected as the January 2020 Editor’s Choice, a media release from ASLMS notes.

The study, led by Roy Geronemus, MD and co-authored by Hao Feng MD, MHS, is titled “Successful Treatment of Cosmetic Oral Mucosal Tattoos Using QS 694‐nm Ruby Laser and 755‐nm Alexandrite Picosecond Laser.”  

“Decorative tattoos are becoming more and more popular worldwide. Tattoo application appears to have unlimited boundaries with novel and unique sites for placement expanding rapidly,” Geronemus says in the release.

“Tattooing of mucosal surfaces including the mouth is one of those areas that have become a canvas for tattooing and consequently there is an increased demand for removal in this area,” he adds.

One month after treatment, both patients demonstrated marked improvement to the treatment area without scarring or dyspigmentation. Given the excellent results seen in the patients presented in the study, the authors recommend that lasers should be the first-line treatment for the removal of unwanted cosmetic mucosal tattoos, the release suggests.

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