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Are tattoo inks safe?

The skin’s absorption of tattoo ink, which technically is a pigment, can vary considerably depending on the ingredients involved. Surprisingly, the FDA doesn’t regulate tattoo ink specifically but views the ink as falling under the category of cosmetics. For that reason, many artists and tattoo lovers don’t know what is in the ink used.

Throughout history, many different types of materials have been used as tattoo pigment. The oldest pigments were derived from ground-up minerals and carbon black, while today’s pigments are primarily metal salts and others comprise the original mineral pigments, modern industrial organic pigments, some vegetable-based pigments, as well as some plastic-based pigments.

All pigments respond better to different colors of light.

Black ink absorbs all wavelengths of light.

Green and blue ink absorb red light best.

Red, orange, and purple ink absorb green light best.

Yellow tends to reflect light and is difficult to treat.

The Quanta Q Plus C offers three different wavelengths and is able to treat specific colors.

Q-Switched Nd:YAG-Invisible (infrared @ 1064nm): usually effective for removing most black and dark blue pigments.

Q-Switched Ruby Laser (red light @ 694nm): usually effective for removing most blue, purple and green pigments.

Q-Switched Frequency-Doubled Nd:YAG “KTP” (Green light @ 532nm): usually effective for removing red, orange, and yellow pigments.