Acoustic Shock Wave Therapy Enhances Laser Tattoo Removal Outcomes

Better Tattoo Clearance with Picosecond laser, PFD and Zwave

A split-tattoo study of a 28‐year‐old female with Fitzpatrick Skin Type V and a six‐year‐old professional black tattoo on the left ventral wrist revealed that acoustic shock wave therapy is an effective adjunct to picosecond lasers and a perfluorodecalin (PFD) patch.

The subject underwent three treatment sessions at six to eight week intervals with a 1,064nm picosecond Nd:YAG laser (PicoWay, Candela) and a PFD patch (Describe Patch, Merz). At each treatment session, she received two passes with the laser (4mm spot size, 2.8 to 3.2 J/cm2 and laser repetition rate of 2 Hz). Between laser passes and following the final laser pass, the medial portion of the tattoo was treated with acoustic shock wave therapy (ASWT) using the Zwave device (Zimmer Medizin Systems) with settings of 90 mJ, 22 Hz, and 1,200 pulses.

After three treatment sessions, there was 80 percent clearance of the medial portion of the tattoo that received the ASWT compared with 60 percent clearance of the lateral portion treated with picosecond laser and PFD patch alone. In addition, the area treated with ASWT had less edema, erythema and epidermal crusting in the days following treatment.

The study, co-authored by Ramya Vangipuram, MD, Selina S. Hamill, MD and Paul M. Friedman, MD, was published online in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (June 25, 2018).

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