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As described in “Tattoo Removal and Safety Considerations” (APJ Winter 2018, v.37, p.30), lasers drive the pigment into the body’s lymphatic system. There is now evidence that they come to rest in the lymph nodes and possibly other parts of the body. The long-term effects are unknown. If the pigment or colorant is iron-based then there is probably no adverse consequence (iron is essential to several bodily processes). If the original pigment contains organic compounds (synthetic carbon-based chemicals) then the effects of laser treatment are probably unknown, as are the consequences of having it released into the body. It is therefore important to know what the pigment you may be about to laser is made of. In addition to health risks, there are aesthetic considerations. For example, titanium dioxide, which is common in paler pigments and almost universal in lip pigments, will probably turn black when subjected to a laser.

solution is typically quite acidic (e.g. pH 3). THink Aesthetics has found Biotouch Colour Lift highly effective (https:// The glycolic dissolves, or mobilises the pigment and pigment is typically removed during the treatment (again using a machine). Post treatment pigment removal will also occur as the foreign substance is rejected through the layers of the epidermis to the surface. Glycolic treatment should only be done a maximum of three times with a full healing period of around six weeks in between treatments. The client will need to understand that any removal procedure is going to be a journey, not a quick fix. Better results often occur with the second and third sessions, but the technician needs to be respectful of the degree of skin integrity.

The techniques for cosmetic tattoo removal then primarily revolve around taking the pigment out of the skin. There are various techniques available, but none as quick as a laser, and all have their pros and cons. In each case it is important to advise the client that a multiple stage process is usually involved to get the best results.

REMOVAL – LIQUID-BASED TECHNIQUES Research continues at THink Aesthetics, and variations on techniques are appearing all the time, but all involve the use of a liquid to unlock the pigment from the skin where it has been encapsulated by macrophages. In each case the liquid is introduced to the skin via needles in the same way the pigment was implanted originally (and preferably to the same depth). The mechanical action of the needles breaks down the encapsulation of the pigment to some extent and expose it to the liquid. The microperforations create pathways for pigment solutions to migrate out of the skin. There are three main techniques. Saline solutions provide a mild and gentle technique that is particularly effective on newer cosmetic tattooing where the pigment hasn’t aged in the skin. Saline solutions work using a process called osmosis. Solutions such as Nouveau Contour Pigment Remover (https://mbccosmetictattoo. contain very high concentrations of sea salts. When needled into skin the process of osmosis commences, which involves the equalisation of salt concentrations between the injected liquid and the pigment in the skin cells. Pigment is forced out of the cells and upward through the epidermal skin layers and gradually expelled to the surface.

4: “Fence Post Brows” needing removal

5: Biotouch Colour Lift Solution in action

6: The Healed Result - Ready for new brows

3: Biotouch Colour Lift (Glycolic) and Nouveau Pigment Remover (Saline) Glycolic-based removal solutions are often well suited to older pigment and very effective if the skin integrity is good and can take the stronger treatment. The glycolic

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Lactic acid-based removal techniques work using similar principles to glycolic techniques. This was described in detail in the “Tattoo Removal and Safety Considerations” article. Lactic acid is quite a strong acid (pH 2.4, noting that hydrochloric acid has a pH of 2.0) and for the extensive amount of pigment required for removal of body art tattoos this may be the best approach. Care needs to be taken that the more delicate areas of facial skin are not traumatised if it is considered for cosmetic tattoo removal. With all liquid-based techniques it is particularly important

Profile for APAN - Aesthetics Practitioners Advisory Network

APJ Vol 38 2018  

Aesthetics Practitioners Journal Volume 38 Spring 2018 - The official publication of the Aesthetics Practitioners Advisory Network (APAN)

APJ Vol 38 2018  

Aesthetics Practitioners Journal Volume 38 Spring 2018 - The official publication of the Aesthetics Practitioners Advisory Network (APAN)