Sometimes people will ask us about the R20 method of tattoo removal. Contrary to popular belief, the R20 method is not a new type of laser. It is a method of tattoo removal, designed by a Greek doctor, Dr. Theodora Kossida. The R20 method involves multiple passes over the tattoo with a laser spaced a minimum of 20 minutes apart.
How does it work?
Typically, tattoo removal sessions require at least 4-6 weeks between treatments. This is to allow the immune system a chance to clear the ink. The R20 method was designed to possibly speed up the process of laser tattoo removal. In an R20 tattoo removal session, the laser technician may go over the tattoo up to four times with the laser. It is theorized that this method will lead to faster fading of the tattoo. The skin whitening (called frosting) needs to clear before the skin can be treated again. Otherwise the laser will not be able to “see” the ink during the next treatment. A chemical called perflurodecaline can be applied to the frosted treatment site, absorbing the released gas that causes the frosting and making the skin clear again to allow for a shorter interval between treatments. Otherwise it may take 3+ hours to get all 4 treatments in during the same day.
What are the risks?
In theory, the R20 method sounds great. After all, who doesn’t want their tattoo to fade faster? As laser tattoo removal specialists, we want your tattoo to fade faster too! In practice, the R20 method carries some very significant potential risks.
Cost is one issue. Since you are doing 4 treatments on the same day, the charge for the treatment session would be 4X what a single session would run. Treatment risks include greater instances of immediate post-treatment trauma to the skin as well as potential for increased scarring, hyper and hypo pigmentation, and permanent changes to the skin texture. The R20 method can be very traumatizing to the skin. Remember – the goal of laser tattoo removal is to make the skin look like a tattoo was never there, not to remove the tattoo in the fastest amount of time no matter what the outcome.
There are some instances where you may want your tattoo gone as quickly as possible and we understand that. It is our experience, however, that laser tattoo removal works best when it is treated as a process and the skin is given adequate time to heal.
During your consultation, you can discuss these concerns with Dr. Brotzman and learn more about what the expected timeline will look like. It may also help to look at pictures of tattoo removal in progress to get a better understanding of the fading that happens. If you have any questions or concerns about laser tattoo removal, please give Remove A Tattoo – laser tattoo removal clinic a call 414-617-2849.