Back in 2012 I carried out a wee experiment to try to speed up the tattoo removal process. I figured that if I compressed the skin, using a glass slide, then everything in the dermis would be a bit closer to the skin surface. Hence, perhaps the whole process might be accelerated a wee bit!
However, I very quickly discovered a completely different effect. Virtually every patient reported a significant reduction in their pain sensation! So I changed my experiment and carried out a survey of 133 patients.
In addition to the pain reduction I also observed a reduction in the erythema (reddening) and oedema (swelling). I also noticed a significant reduction in the amount of ‘punctate’ bleeding (small spots of blood which appear on the skin surface).
I published this data, with some statistical analysis, in the journal ‘Lasers in Medical Science’ (see link above).
Nowadays, I train all my trainees the ‘glass slide’ technique as part of my Laser Tattoo Removal course.
It is a very simple and cheap way to reduce pain felt by patients, which can be significant in some cases. Up to one third of laser patients say that it is more painful than getting a tattoo in the first place!
If you would like a copy of this report please email me at the address below.
Some time later I discovered that fragments of ink were flying out of the skin during laser treatments and being embedded in the glass slide. I am now investigating whether those embedded fragments contain any viable particles of bacteria or viruses!!