Tattoo removal rarely results in the tattoo site returning to the exact state it was in before there was a tattoo. Small traces of ink, bits of scar tissue and other anomalies are almost always there to some degree. To make matters even more complicated, it takes the body time to absorb whatever ink is broken up with each treatment session, so a faint image of the tattoo will usually be present after the final treatment session and can take many months for it to completely fade away.
Patients are often confronted with vague claims about tattoo removal times and sometimes outright misleading before and after photos of complete removals. It is not unusual to encounter websites that show what appears to be a complete tattoo removal that, upon closer inspection, is just an outright PhotoShop fake. With all of this in mind, we believe it is critical to be as clear as we can about our use of statistics and to help clinicians and patients build appropriate expectations.
While there is no unified standard for defining a successful tattoo removal, many tattoo removal device approvals by the FDA reference clinical trials that defined successful removal as greater than 75% fading. That typically means that a reviewer compared a picture of the final result to a picture of the untreated tattoo and concluded that the tattoo was more than 75% gone.
In our most recent clinical trial, all, – and I mean 100% – of the tattoos treated with Soliton RAP achieved 75% fading in just 3 office visits or less. In comparison, only 16.7% of tattoos treated with laser-only achieved that level of fading.
To be clear, this does not mean that every tattoo treated with Solion RAP will be completely gone after 3 office visits. Tattoos and patients vary and so will these results. What is clear from our clinical data is that using Soliton RAP is 3 or more times faster than the laser-only method.