Many clients are surprised when they see and hear the immediate results from laser tattoo removal. They are amazed by the frosting effect and sometimes startled by the loud, “snap!” that emits when the laser strikes heavy ink. I wanted to discuss today the science behind laser tattoo removal, specifically the photoacoustic effect that creates the snapping sound that we hear.

A quick trip to Wikipedia tells us that the photoacoustic effect is most often produced by the photothermal mechanism. From this, we understand that the snapping noise we hear is most likely caused by the heating, expansion, and eventual breaking of the ink molecules within the skin. These processes create acoustic shockwaves within the skin, and those shockwaves are perceived as acoustic noises on the outside of the skin.

Because we now understand that the photoacoustic effect is highly likely to be directly tied to the break-up of ink molecules within the skin, it makes sense that one of the main indicators of effective removal is the loud snap that we hear during treatment. Your laser technician is trained to listen for and see the signals that you are receiving the right amount of light energy for an effective treatment.

We hope that this information has helped you understand the treatment process, and given you the urge to learn more! If you are in Seminole, Clearwater, St. Petersburg or the greater Tampa Bay area and would like to learn more about the process, please give us a call or book your free consultation online!