Q-switched Ruby Laser Treatment of Tattoos – a 9 year Experience : published in 1990

My first ever publication! That was a long time ago when I was just a lad…


Me! As a lad…



We published this article in the British Journal of Plastic Surgery (our boss was a plastic surgeon!) to tell the world about our clinical work of 9 years which clearly showed that the ruby laser could be used to successfully remove tattoos, without scarring.

We had been going to medical laser conferences across Europe and America for a number of years, but people were suspicious of our results. We were accused of ‘doctoring’ our clinical photos (this was before PhotoShop had been invented too!!)

Then, in 1990, reports appeared in JAMA Dermatology and the Journal of Dermatologic Surgery and Oncology which appeared to indicate that this technique had been developed in America!!

The temerity!!!


The original ruby laser used in Canniesburn Hospital, 1981 – 1990

So, to redress the balance, we thought we’d publish our ‘nine year history’ of our work. Actually, looking back on it now, we didn’t use very good clinical photos in it. We did have much better ones but we were more concerned about getting the report out, rather than its overall quality. That was a poor decision of our behalf!

Anyway, onwards and upwards…..








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