Utilizing its novel StarWalker™ MaQX Q-switched laser system to address tattoo removal, Fotona (Dallas, Texas) has released the new FracTAT™ procedure. This novel treatment resolves common indications like skin damage and scarring, while improving speed and efficiency of ink clearance and implementing skin resurfacing features for a more effective method of safely removing a wide-range of tattoos.
Tattoo removal can be tough on the skin, with the ink elimination process leaving behind a degree of permanent skin damage. “FracTAT prevents this skin damage,” said Mark B. Taylor, M.D., a dermatologist and cosmetic laser surgeon in Salt Lake City, Utah. “It is a really nice innovation.”
The FracTAT procedure with StarWalker MaQX may be the least damaging fractional laser procedure, consisting of extremely short Nd:YAG pulses that minimize heat damage to the skin, and also offering the benefits of fractional pretreatment for tattoo removal.
FracTAT relieves the “frosting effect”, that is so common with many tattoo removal procedures. When performing high-energy disruption of pigment particles inside the dermis, certain gases are formed and the pressure pushes the epidermis upwards, resulting in the appearance of a white residue that creates a barrier for subsequent pulses and introduces additional mechanical damage to the skin.
“With the StarWalker system and FracTAT, you can make microscopic holes into the tattoo prior to treating the skin with the full beam,” Dr. Taylor advised. “This creates little exit ports that allow the ink to be expelled during treatment. These fractional ‘chimneys,’ produced within the skin, actually exhaust that air rather than have it bubble into the skin to create frosting.”
Treatment results in less risk of scarring and blistering, Dr. Taylor added. “It also works well on tattoos that are very stubborn, due to the color, or in cases where the tattoo artist put the ink in a little bit too deep,” he said. “Typically, those types of tattoos take a long time to get rid of, but using FracTAT you can remove them in fewer applications. In addition, the system’s skin resurfacing feature improves skin texture and tone. The ablation delivers more ink clearance with each treatment, as well as faster overall clearance in fewer sessions.” All-in-all, FracTAT increases the patient safety margin both with the fluence parameters and the reduced number of passes.
“Anything that is more effective and efficient and decreases the patient’s cost is helpful,” Dr. Taylor expressed. “Patients are always a lot happier when you can remove their tattoos a little faster with fewer complications and better results.”
This fractional technology can also be applied to other indications, such as skin rejuvenation, skin texture and scars, Dr. Taylor pointed out. “In addition to making little holes in tattoos, it can make fractionated, ablative holes in the skin for rejuvenation because it is a low heat fractional treatment,” he explained.