Tattoo Removal Creams – Revisted

In a previous blog post I touched on one of the more common tattoo removal creams: Wrecking Balm  People have been asking more about it.  So I decided to do a follow up with a bit more information.

Here are the instructions: (Visit the older blog for a full breakdown of the ingredients)
(I am paraphrasing as to not violate any copyright laws)

  1. The first step involves buffing the skin with Suffusion Gel and a device called the DemoMatic with Erosion Head, 3 times a week. (The device is basically a vibrator with a sandpaper end attachment)
  2. The second step is to spray the area with the Demo-Brasion spray.  After 90 seconds the area is rinsed.
  3. The third step is to apply the HydraVescent Cream.
  4. …and lastly the fourth and final step is to apply the Branding Butter Concealer to hide your tattoo.

Essentially the process involves mechanically buffing off layers of skin and using Salicylic Acid to help further exfoliate the deeper tissue.

From Wikipedia:
Salicylic Acid Also known as 2-hydroxybenzoic acid, one of several beta hydroxy acids (compare to AHA), salicylic acid is a key ingredient in many skin-care products for the treatment of acne, psoriasis, calluses, corns, keratosis pilaris, and warts. It works by causing the cells of the epidermis to shed more readily, preventing pores from clogging up, and allowing room for new cell growth.

The 2 main advantages that laser removal has over these topical products are:

  1. Laser energy can penetrate deeper into the dermis to breakup the ink that dermabrasion/acidic peals my not be able to reach.
  2. The process of laser removal involves fracturing the ink without damaging the surface the skin.

If you have any experience, positive or negative, with this or any of the other tattoo removal creams, I would love to hear the feedback.

Attack of The Enigma

The real story here is that The Enigma and Serana drove up from Austin to have a tattoo removed from her foot. But in true Enigma fashion this story deserves a bit of embellishment. So for reading pleasure I give you, “Attack of The Enigma!”

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It was an average day here at Fade Fast when a strange thing suddenly appeared in our office.

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It seemed friendly and curious so we decided to let this strange blue creature stay and observe.

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Suddenly it became extremely agitated.

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But the gift of protective eyewear seemed to soothe the savage beast.

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The creature became inquisitive. What was about to happen?

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Its native language was strange, but I swear it said, “Why Would She?”

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Questions soon turned to Confusion…Confusion turned to Horror.

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“Why remove tattoo???”

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“OOOOO Evil Green Light!!!”

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It poised to attack.

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I had to think quickly…or I new I was doomed!

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Of course his only weakness.

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Threatened by the awesome power of the laser, the giant blue puzzle stood quietly and watched.

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Would the laser have stopped the Enigma? I guess we’ll never know.

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In all seriousness, I would like thank The Enigma for making the trip to Dallas and trusting us to do a removal and his lovely girlfriend Serana Rose.

And of course thanks to Stacey Potter for coming in and shooting the photos.

Humatrix® Microclysmic Gel for Treatment of Tissue Trauma

Over the last few months Fade Fast has been testing a new product that is specifically designed for healing of tissue that has undergone laser treatments. We have now entered phase two of our trials and are looking for clients that are interested in using free samples of this product. If you would like to participate, you only need to meet two criteria:

  1. You must have undergone at least one laser tattoo removal session prior. This will help establish a baseline to compare the differences in healing while using Humatirx.
  2. You must be willing to answer a short survey. Either in person or by email.

So far, in phase one of the trials, we have received about an 85 percent positive response, 15% neutral and zero negative responses.

General Positive Response – Reduction of post treatment discomfort and shorten healing time.
General Neutral Response – Saw little to no difference between using Humatrix and other healing methods.

If you would like to participate in our product testing, please drop us a line or ask about it when you come in for a treatment. For more information on Humatrix, please visit Care Tech Labs website: http://www.caretechlabs.com/ctl-products-humatrix.html

Indications

Humatrix® Microclysmic Gel exhibits endothermic and biometric properties which cool traumatized tissue and aid in the homeostasis of healing. Humatrix® Microclysmic Gel provides the ultimate moisturization for burns, autograft procedures, radiation irritation, glycolic acid peel irritation, mechanical injuries, laser treatment, and chronic wound therapy. Advanced biochemical technology provides several unique benefits. First, the time release of water molecules provides the traumatized tissue a consistent level of humectancy to promote tissue regeneration. Secondly, Humatrix® provides a protein template to assist the biological regeneration of fibroblast cells necessary for wound healing. Thirdly, the cooling process of Humatrix® lowers the surface temperature 8 to 12 degrees within three minutes preventing further tissue damage caused by dehydration of cells. Humatrix® Microclysmic Gel is a bacteriostatic, protein enriched formulation designed to maintain a moist, sterile environment which promotes and accelerates cellular regeneration by replicating the natural fibro-connective template and promoting fibroblast activity, the precursor of collagen formulation. The fibron network maintains homeostasis via the product’s bio-chemical process by the addition of an analog of extracellular matrix. Humatrix® assists in the reduction of hyper-granulation, scarring, and hyper-contracture as well as increases both the extensibility and flexibility of human skin with the addition of the glycosaminoglycan matrix. Humatrix® is an excellent adjunct to wound treatment. Humatrix® maintains a sterile, moist environment for the healing of chronic and acute wounds by modulating the osmotic pressure of tissue by the timed release of moisture for cellular regeneration.

Cover-ups

So you’re stuck with a dark tattoo. You want to get it covered but your options are limited. In most cases, your choices are bigger and darker. Well, what about lightening the piece first? Below is a great example. With just 3 laser treatments, Caleb was able to cover his old tattoo with no sign of underlying tattoo. (Click the image for close-up view…you will see NO TRACE of the old kanji!)

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“His neck tattooed normally.
I didn’t notice any adverse effects from the laser treatment at all.
You do good work.”
Artist: Tom YosenickFine Line Tattoos
Client: Caleb Barnard – Hold Fast Tattoos

Results

We have several things going on right now. Testing a new post treatment gel, honing pain reduction techniques and further research into topical tattoo removal products, but today’s blog is all about results.

Of course everyone wants to see a portfolio, and laser removal technicians want to display their best work. We agree, however, there is more to laser tattoo removal than just final results. It would be fantastic if tattoos were removed in just one session, but that’s rarely the case. So, what should you expect after one, two, three treatments? Below is a collection of photos in different stages of removal.

Click Images for Larger Photos
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Tattoo removal is more than just science
At Fade Fast better artwork is our passion

Conventions Conventions Conventions

These last few weeks have been hectic with all our traveling. This past month the crew of Fade Fast attended the Masters of Tattooing, Philadelphia Tattoo Arts and Association of Professional Piercers annual conventions. We were out there speaking to the tattooed community about the science and art of laser removal, pigment reduction and tattoo editing. Until recently tattoo removal was thought to be the last option for poor quality and/or unwanted tattoos. Now, people are starting to accept and embrace the use of lasers to lighten existing artwork. In fact, the technology has improved so much that tattoos can now be easily covered in as few as one to four sessions. It’s truly amazing the options and flexibility laser treatments can give people when they choose to fix, rework or tattoo over an existing piece.

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With over 16 years experience in the body modification industry, Fade Fast is one of the few tattoo removal clinics that has earned the trust and respect of the tattoo community.

Tattoo removal is more than just science. At Fade Fast, better artwork is our passion.

Latest Test – Candela’s Serenity PRO

Some you win and some you lose, and this was definitely true for today. I’m not talking about paying taxes, but I’m sure many of you are thinking that, being that it’s April 15th. No I’m talking about today’s test of a pneumatic skin-flattening (PSF) device, the Candela Serenity PRO.

First let me say, it really is an ingenious device. It’s basically a vacuum system that pulls the skin up into a clear, disposable plastic lens. The idea is that when the skin is compressed, pain signals are blocked. In clinical tests, it appears to work amazingly well. However, these tests have focused mainly on laser hair removal. From my understanding, we were the first studio in the United States to test the unit’s effectiveness on pain reduction in conjunction with laser tattoo removal, at least the first to use the disposable hand piece.

Sadly, the results weren’t anything close to what we hoped. The unit was tested on three people. (Two clients and I also volunteered my arm and hip) Pain reduction seemed to be almost nonexistent when using the device in conjunction with our Palomar QYAG5. In fact, at times the pain seemed more intense. Here are the basic results:

Person 1: (same energy output for each test)

  • Inside of forearm arm treated directly with laser to determine baseline of pain.
  • Area treated with PSF – Similar pain.
  • Hip treated directly with laser to determine baseline of pain.
  • Area treated with PSF – Similar pain.

Person 2: (same energy output for each test)

  • Buttocks treated directly with laser to determine baseline of pain
  • Area treated with PSF – Similar pain, possibly slight reduction
  • Area iced for five minutes and treated – Dramatic reduction of pain
  • Iced area treated with PSF – Increased pain

Person 3: (same energy output for each test)

  • Back treated directly with laser to determine baseline of pain
  • Area treated with PSF – Increase of pain
  • Area iced for five minutes and treated – Medium reduction of pain
  • Iced area treated with PSF – Dramatic increase of pain

So what does all this mean? The device has proven to work with laser hair removal, but it appears to have a different reaction to laser tattoo removal. After some discussion with the representative, we may have come to a fairly reasonable, yet hypothetical conclusion.

As the device sucks the skin into the lens, the epidermis and upper levels of the dermis are compressed making the tattoo ink a much clearer target. Logically, this means the ink might absorb the energy that could be reflected and/or absorbed by the skin during a normal treatment. If this is the case, then testing the area with an identical laser energy output may not have been a true comparison. In fact, the tattoo treated with the PSF may have been absorbing a dramatically larger amount of energy.

In conclusion, although presently the Candela Serenity PRO-PSF might not be a good companion machine for tattoo removal, I am grateful that the company allowed us to be one of the first laser removal studios to test the device. Plus, if the unit becomes available again for different energy comparisons, we might be giving it another try down the line.

New Photos – 3 Treatments

Still waiting to post the Masters of Tattooing convention blog. I just need a few photos to complete the entry. Until then, here are some recent treatment result photos:

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Click for larger image

In other news, Fade Fast may soon be offering laser removal treatments in Austin, Houston and other Texas cities. More info soon to come.

Second Laser Review/Comparison

This week I tested my Palomar QYAG5 against the Hoya Conbio Revlite laser. I planned to demo the Medlite C6, which is almost the same unit, but the Revlite is Conbio’s top of the line machine and of course they want to show the more expensive unit. The touch screen that the Revlite offers over the Medlite C6 is very cool, but when it comes right down to it, the Medlite C6 is really just as good for tattoo removal.

Before I get into the full results, I was honestly shocked how similar the systems really are. I was actually able to produce almost identical results with just one exception that I will address here in a minute.

Here are the results:

    Power – The Revlite is a 220V machine, where mine is a 110V. As with the last laser I demoed this machine produces a lot of heat. Also, the Revlite took a while to warm up, whereas the Palomar starts immediately.

    Energy – The Revlite does seem to be able to produce more energy, although, the Palomar appears to be able to match it within certain parameters. Looking at the display, the Revlite can produce more power in a larger spot size, but it was more energy than needed to treat the two test clients.

    Wavelength – The Revlite has two dye polymer hand pieces that allow the machine to produce 585 and 650 wavelengths that the Palomar cannot. The Palomar has a wave-blending feature that the Revlite does not. Testing light blues the machines have similar results. However, the Revlite does seem to react slightly better to greens.

    Spot Size – In 1064 and 532 modes the Revlite does have a 8mm spot size, where the Palomar only has 6mm. When it comes to doing very big black or red pieces, the Revlite can do them a bit faster. However, in 585 and 650 mode the Revlite spot size drops down to 2mm to 3mm making progress super slow going.

    Speed – First, as mentioned above, the Revlite needs to warm up, where the Palomar is ready to operate when it’s turned on. Simple, but clients don’t like to wait. As for the operation, in 1064 and 532 modes, both machines operate at the same speed, 10HZ, they fire 10 shots a second. When the Revlite is in 585 and 650 mode it drops down to 1 or 2 HZ making treatment of large blue/green tattoos incredibly time consuming.

    Ergonomic – The Revlite articulated arm is slightly more comfortable to use than the larger Palomar lasing unit. The Revlite might be easier to use for some people, but the Palomar also comes with an arm to hold the large hand piece. My thoughts are that the Revlite is more ergonomic, but only slightly.

    Function – Side by side these machines are so similar. The only complaints I got from the clients were that the Revlite is just too slow in blue and green modes. When the Palomar operates in the wave blending mode to treat these colors it is so much faster.

    Results – I worked on two clients and the results are yet to be seen, give me a week or two. I can tell you from first glance, the results seem almost identical.

    Pain – Because the machines operate in the same way, pain seems similar as well. Both clients gave almost identical reviews about the sensation.

    Hair Removal – Another reason I wanted to review this machine is its hair removal feature. Not that I plan to delve into this business, but if the machine has the option I might offer it as well. As it turns out, this laser really isn’t designed to do hair removal. During the machine’s initial testing, they found less hair growth in areas that were treated for tattoo removal. So, does the machine do hair removal? Well a bit, but then again, the Palomar does the exact same thing.

In final review, the machines look and operate very differently, but the core physics are extremely similar. Prior to testing the machine I was convinced the Hoya Conbio Revlite and Medlite C6 would have so much more to offer than the Palomar QYAG5. The final test will be in the results, but for now, I see such little difference that I doubt I will be in any hurry to change lasers.

Coming soon, a review of a new pain reduction device.

Wrecking Balm

People constantly ask about dermabrasion and topical tattoo removal/fading products. Being that tattoo removal is our business, I decided to look into these products and try to give people a bit more info. After doing some Google searching on the product Wrecking Balm, I found little info, mostly reviews and general comments. So, I obtained a sample of the product and have begun doing some research. First, here is the list of ingredients for each of the items:

Suffusion Gel
Ingredients:

  • Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil
  • Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil
  • Eugenica Caryophyllus (Clove) Flower Oil
  • Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil
  • Silica
  • Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Juglans Regia (Walnut) Shell Powder

Demo-Brasion Spray
Ingredients:

  • Propylene Glycol
  • SD Alcohol 40-B
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil
  • Rosemarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil
  • Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil

HydraVescent Cream
Ingredients:

  • Water (Aqua)
  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice
  • Mineral Oil
  • Cetearyl Alcohol
  • Glyceryl Stearate SE
  • Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter
  • Isopropyl Myristate
  • Ceteareth-20
  • Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)
  • Dimethicone
  • Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil
  • Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract
  • Polysorbate 20
  • Epilobium Angustifolium Extract
  • Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract
  • Propylene Glycol
  • DMDM Hydantoin
  • Methylparaben
  • Propylparaben

Branding Butter Concealer
Ingredients:

  • Water (Aqua)
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Iron Oxides
  • Talc
  • Dihydroxyacetone
  • Petrolatum
  • Isopropyl Myristate
  • Glycerin
  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice
  • Cetearyl Alcohol
  • Glyceryl Stearate SE
  • Ceteareth-20
  • Dimethicone
  • Mineral Oil
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Tocopheryl Acetate
  • DMDM Hydantoin
  • Methylparaben
  • Propylparaben