(HealthDay News) — Picosecond-domain Nd:YAG laser incorporating a potassium-titanyl-phosphate (KTP) frequency-doubling crystal is safe and effective for removing decorative tattoos, according to a study published online July 14 in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

Eric F. Bernstein, M.D., from the Main Line Center for Laser Surgery in Ardmore, Pa., and colleagues used a picosecond-domain Nd:YAG laser with a KTP frequency-doubling crystal to treat 31 decorative tattoos in 21 subjects. The authors examined the safety and effectiveness by blinded evaluation of digital images.

The researchers found that after an average of 6.5 treatments, the average clearance overall was 79 ± 0.9 percent (mean ± standard error of the mean). Evaluation of photographs showed evidence of mild hyper- or hypo-pigmentation in six of the 31 tattoos completing treatment.

“The results of this study demonstrate that this picosecond-domain, Nd:YAG laser is safe and effective for removing decorative tattoos,” the authors write. “With more picosecond-domain devices entering the market, future applications of this technology should expand our already wide-array of treatment options for a myriad of conditions.”

Two authors are employed by Syneron-Candela Corporation, which funded the study.

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