Clearance of yellow tattoo ink with a novel 532-nm picosecond laser

Lasers Surg Med. 2015 Apr;47(4):285-8. doi: 10.1002/lsm.22354.


Background and objectives: Although technology and tattoo removal methods continue to evolve, yellow pigment clearance continues to be challenging and usually unsuccessful. We describe a case series of six tattoos containing yellow ink, successfully treated with a frequency-doubled Nd:YAG 532-nm picosecond laser.

Study design/materials and methods: Case series with six subjects participating for the treatment of multicolored tattoos that contain yellow pigment. Treatments performed with a frequency-doubled Nd:YAG 532-nm picosecond laser at 6-8 week intervals.

Results: One subject achieved complete clearance of the treated site after one session, and five subjects required 2-4 treatments to achieve over 75% clearance. Minimal downtime was experienced, and no scarring or textural skin changes were observed in any of the treated sites.

Conclusions: This is the first case series that demonstrates effective and consistent reduction of yellow tattoo ink using a frequency doubled Nd:YAG 532-nm laser with a picosecond pulse duration. Treatments were well tolerated and subjects had positive outcomes. This is a small observational case series from an ongoing clinical trial, and studies with a larger sample size and comparative group are needed in the future.

Keywords: Nd:YAG; frequency doubled; pigment; skin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Edema / etiology
  • Erythema / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ink*
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Lasers, Solid-State*
  • Male
  • Pain / etiology
  • Tattooing*