Tattoo Removal with Q-Switched ND:YAG Laser

Laser Tatoo Removal

Q-Switched ND: YAG Laser for pigmentation and tattoo removal

You may want to have a tattoo at one point of time in your life, but regret your decision later. In that case, the Q-Switched Nd: Laser YAG can be used for tattoo removal. Read on for more details on tattoo removal and the effectiveness of Q-Switched Nd: Laser YAG.

Why is it difficult to remove a tattoo?

Since the tattoo pigment is injected into the lower layers of the skin, it is sealed by a tough network of collagen fibres. Therefore, it is not easy to remove the tattoo pigmenting without impacting the surrounding tissue.

What kinds of tattoo pigments are difficult to treat?

Tattoo pigments, including yellow, fluorescent inks and green are more difficult to treat when compared to the ones, which are dark blue and black in colour. It is a challenge to treat these pigments, as they have an absorption spectra that falls on the edge of the emission spectras available in the tattoo removal laser.

A women show her tattoo

What pigmentations can Q-Switched ND: Laser YAG help with?

The Q-Switched Nd: YAG Laser is suitable for tattoo removalpigmentations such as birthmark, coffee spots, freckles, senile plaques, pigment caused by injury, eye line and lip line. While YAG laser treats dark colours such as blue, black and green, it has limited effects on brighter colours, including red, orange and yellow.

FAQ

What is Q-Switched ND:YAG Laser?

Q-switching refers to the technique of making the laser produce a high intensity beam in very short pulses. Lasers work by emitting a wavelength of high energy light, which when focused on a certain skin condition will create heat and destroy diseased cells.

Is Q-Switched ND:YAG Laser safe?

SL Aesthetic Clinic’s Q-Switched ND: YAG Laser is FDA approved and safe for the treatment of tattoos and unwanted pigmentation.

What can I expect from Q-Switched ND:YAG Laser?

  • Expect approximately 70% clearance or lightening of certain pigmentations
  • Fairer and brighter skin
  • Marked reduction and improvement of tattoos (depending on ink colour)

How does the Q-Switched ND: Laser YAG work?

Tattoo ink and natural pigmentation, including melanin, absorbs short pulse duration/high peak energy Q-switched pulses, creating a photo-acoustic effect within the pigment clusters. This effect breaks down the ink into smaller particles, which is removed by the body’s natural filtering system. The high energy YAG laser delivers laser energy directly into the pigmentation. The laser reduces the appearances of the tattoo or other pigmentations with minimised damage to surrounding tissue. A patient may require six to eight or more sessions, four to eight weeks apart. This requirement can vary by the individual.

What are the benefits of the Q-Switched ND:YAG Laser treatment?

  • Administered by a trained medical professional
  • Able to treat a range of tattoos and pigmentation conditions
  • Capable of treating dermal pigmented lesions such as nevus of Ota

Are there risks associated with this treatment?

Side effects are minimal and well-tolerated, but as with any procedure and treatment, these can vary by the individual.

How long is one Q-Switched ND:YAG Laser session?

After assessing your needs, the doctor can perform the treatment in approximately 15mins or so, subject to the doctor’s schedule. Numbing is optional, which can take up to half an hour. Otherwise, a later appointment can be made for the procedure itself.

How long do the Q-Switched ND:YAG Laser results last?

Results vary by the individual as well as the indicated concern the Q-Switched ND:YAG Laser is used for. Speak to our doctor to know more.

Is Q-Switched ND:YAG Laser painful?

Q-Switched ND:YAG is well-tolerated for most patients. Some discomfort, though minimal, is normal. Additional numbing cream can be applied prior to treatment for those with a lower pain threshold. Post-procedure, it may feel like a slight sunburn.

Is there any downtime with Q-Switched ND:YAG Laser?

You may experience some redness after the procedure, but this should resolve in a few hours’ time. Apart from keeping sun exposure to a minimum, most patients return to daily activities as per normal. Downtime varies by the individual as well as indicated treatment.

Who's unsuitable for Q-Switched ND:YAG Laser?

The Q-Switched ND:YAG Laser may be unsuitable in the following circumstances:

  • Patients with unrealistic expectations, such as those who seek complete eradication
  • Patients with a tendency to form keloid and hypertrophic scars
  • Prior ionising radiation to the area to be treated
  • Connective tissue diseases
  • Previous deep chemical peel or dermabrasion
  • Dark complexions

What are the pre- & post-care instructions for Q-Switched ND:YAG Laser?

Pre-care: Ensure that you’re in a good state of health and not recovering from a bacterial or viral infection.

Post-care: Avoid prolonged exposure of the treatment area to sunlight.

[09 Nov 2019] Written by Dr. Ashley Yuen

Dr. Ashley Yuen – The Athlete
MBBS, London

Dr Ashley Yuen obtained his medical degree from King’s College, London. He returned to Singapore where he honed his medical and surgical skills across various specialities and disciplines, before focusing on accident & emergency medicine and aesthetic medicine.

Ashley’s passion for aesthetic medicine stems from a desire to enhance one’s physiological wellness and esteem, and boost one’s self-confidence and quality of life. He sees a strong link between good emotional and physical well-being and is committed to helping patients look better and feel better.

With Ashley’s experience in patient care and aesthetics, he has an interest in using traditional aesthetic treatments to solve lifestyle and health ailments such as bruxism, skin tag, lumps and mole removal, skin pigmentation as well as in improving aesthetics using injectables like fillers.

A national rugby player and a model in his youth, Ashley can be found at the gym pumping iron. Happily married, he is a proud fur-father of two schnauzers.


For more information, write to
To contact Dr Ashley Yuen, write to