If you are considering laser tattoo removal, and have freckles, you may be concerned about the impact it may have on your skin. Read on to find out more about tattoo removal on freckled skin.
If you are an avid reader of our blogs, you will know that laser tattoo removal works by breaking pigment from the ink. You should also know that we tell individuals looking to remove unwanted tattoos to refrain from tanning as it best to remove a tattoo when your skin is in its most natural state. Also, for some people, exposure to sunlight can cause freckles, which the laser may pick up as ink pigment instead of freckles.
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About The PicoWay Laser Tattoo Removal
Before we jump into what can happen with laser tattoo removal and freckled skin, it is important that we explain how the PicoWay laser works. With Picoway, the laser is able to determine dark pigmentation (or ink) on the skin. After it has been targeted, the device then sends an ultra-fast laser into the dermis of the skin, which ends up shattering the particles into very small fragments. Over time, these fragments are carried out of your body by your white blood cells and through the lymphatic system.
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The FitzPatrick Scale
It is important that we take a look at the Fitzpatrick Skin Scale before asking the question of whether or not PicoWay will remove freckles along with tattoos. The Fitzpatrick scale is a classification for different skin tones, and how it reacts to sunlight and UV rays. There are six different classifications on the Fitzpatrick Scale:
Type 1: scores 0–6, always burns, never tans, pale, freckles
Type 2: scores 7–13, usually burns, minimal tanning
Type 3: scores 14–20, sometimes mild burn, usually tans
Type 4: scores 21–27, doesn’t usually burn, always tans well, moderate brown skin tone
Type 5: scores 28–34, burns rarely, tans very easily, dark brown skin tone
Type 6: scores 35–36, never burns, deeply pigmented dark brown to darkest brown skin tone
Will The PicoWay Laser Remove My Freckles Too?
Lighter skin types on the Fitzpatrick Skin Scale, types 1 and 2, are more prone to ephelides or freckles. Although this is not exclusive to fair complexions, freckles are actually helpful to protect your skin from intense UV energy. That’s why freckles are darker in the sunny months and lighter in the winter.
When you use the PicoWay laser to remove your tattoo, the freckle factory cells called melanocytes are uninterrupted. Only a very narrow treatment range for the very specific colors even comes close to the wavelength and fluence that impact your freckles. Since we are using more advanced technology, PicoWay can only lighten freckles temporarily. Freckles will then turn into their natural state after using the PicoWay laser.
There are two types of freckles. One is ephelides that are light brown, speckled flat marks on the face, neck, shoulders, and arms. The other type is called lentigines. These are usually classified as age spots, senile lentigines, sun spots, and solar lentigines. Older lasers that use heat as the main mechanism of action to pulverize the selected colored cells would most likely impact any sort of ephelides or lentigines (freckles or dark spots on the skin), and will actually make them appear darker in colour.
Due to the fact that PicoWay uses the photoacoustic effect, this will not happen with ephelides, though, the laser can erase unwanted age spots and sun spots as they contain different cells. Choosing the PicoWay laser to remove your tattoo will safely allow you to keep your underlying freckles and will easily correct your skin and remove the unsightly larger age spots and sun spots you may not want.
For more information on laser tattoo removal, and or to book your free consultation, feel free to contact us directly.