The only published clinical study on the R20 method used a Q-switched Alexandrite laser, which is an uncommon type of tattoo removal laser. Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers, such as the Astanza Duality and Astanza Revolution, are much more popular amongst tattoo removal practitioners for their versatility, yet have not been scientifically studied with the R20 method.
The 755 nm wavelength of Alexandrite lasers has higher absorption rates by hemoglobin than the 1064 nm wavelength of Nd:YAG lasers, so the 1064 nm wavelength is safe to use with the R20 protocols. However, the 532 nm wavelength from Nd:YAG lasers has higher higher absorption rates by hemoglobin than the 755 nm wavelength, so there is a strong possibility of over-treatment if the 532 nm wavelength is used for the R20 method.
Also, one often-undiscussed element of laser tattoo removal is the optimal time period between patient visits. Most practices wait somewhere between 4 weeks and 8 weeks between treatments. The primary goal of waiting has traditionally been skin healing between sessions. The secondary goal has been to allow the body time to “flush away” the ink that has been shattered by the laser.
The R20 method described in the study showed 3 months of waiting between treatments. Typically, when any additional waiting time between treatments is implemented – regardless of treatment protocols – patients see improved results. Two patients with the exact same tattoo and the same immune system and same treatment would most likely see different responses if one looked at the tattoo after 8 weeks and if another looked after 12 months. The patient that waited a full year would almost certainly have more clearance.
More About the R20 Method
Astanza’s official perspective is that the R20 tattoo removal treatment method should be further explored and only used by cautious and well-trained laser practitioners. Astanza provides in-depth tattoo removal training for all laser customers and offers an open-to-the-public course, New Look Laser College, for those interested in entering the field of laser tattoo removal. Contact Astanza for more information.