The Q-Switched Alexandrite lasers are apt for treating pigmented lesions such as freckles, birthmarks and moles, as well as tattoo removal. The laser produces a short, high power pulsed beam, which allows for the production of light pulses to be much higher than a continuous, constant beam. Q-Switched lasers are the gold standard for most laser tattoo removal procedures because the repetition and high pulsed energies has the ability to more effectively break up the ink into particles small enough for the patient’s own immune system to flush out.

The Alex laser is effective for all colors except for yellow and red, while ND:YAG laser is effective for most colors except for green and yellow. The Q-switched laser uses a high intense pulse beam that is directed deep within the skin to break down the ink. Once the ink is broken down into small enough particles, the body absorbs it, while also stimulating collagen production. The collagen replaces new skin cells so the patient is left with a clean slate. In the study, almost 50 percent of patients that had undergone 10 treatment sessions had a successful tattoo removal. The success rate increased with the number of treatment sessions. Tattoo removal was success for 75 percent of those who had undergone 15 sessions.

Because Q-switched lasers have the capability of selective photothermolysis, a precise targeting of a structure or tissue using a specific wavelength of light that selectively absorbs light into that particular target area alone, they are also effective treatments for laser hair removal, the reduction or removal of hyperpigmentation, broken blood vessels and hemangiomas.

Fractional laser resurfacing and Q-Switched lasers are success when used in combination. The clinical experience of combining fractional resurfacing with Q-Switched laser therapy, such as the Ruby laser, to remove unwanted tattoos has shown significant improvement and potential benefits.