Occurring accidentally, traumatic tattoos result from the forceful embedding of foreign bodies, such as graphite, asphalt, petroleum products, sand, metals, glass, gunpowder, or dust, into the skin. Laser therapy is the first-line treatment for the removal of traumatic tattoos. The aim of this case series was to analyze the clinical efficacy and safety of treating traumatic tattoos of various causes with a picosecond-domain, 1,064-nm neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) laser.
Upon treatment with the laser, objective clinical improvement in the appearances of the traumatic tattoos was analyzed in nine Korean patients (five men and four women with a mean age of 28.3 ± 11.1 years). Among the subjects, the causes of the traumatic tattoos included abrasion wounds from falls (
Overall, the mean objective improvement score at one month after the final treatment was 2.4 ± 0.7. Five of the nine (55.6%) patients showed clinical improvement of grade 3. Three (33.3%) patients demonstrated clinical improvement of grade 2. One (11.1%) experienced grade 1 improvement. In addition, traumatic tattoo-associated textural impairments also generally improved after the picosecond-domain, 1,064-nm Nd:YAG laser treatment without the need for additional scar treatments.
The treatment of traumatic tattoos of varying causes in Korean patients with a 1,064-nm, picosecond-domain Nd:YAG laser is effective and safe. Nevertheless, further split-design investigations to compare the therapeutic effects between nanosecond- and picosecond-domain Nd:YAG lasers will be needed to confirm these findings.