The Kirby-Desai Scale: A Proposed Scale to Assess Tattoo-removal Treatments.

ABSTRACT Background: As tattoos have become increasingly popular in the Western world, tattoo-removal requests have also increased, as patients' personal identities advance. Laser tattoo removal is the current treatment of choice given its safety and efficacy. However, due to varying types of tattoos, it has been difficult to quantify the number of laser treatments required with certainty when discussing laser tattoo removal with our patients. Objective: To propose a practical numerical scale to assess the number of laser tattoo-removal treatments necessary to achieve satisfactory results. Methods and materials: A retrospective chart review was performed on 100 clinic patients who presented for laser tattoo removal. An algorithm was proposed to assign a numerical score to each tattoo across six different categories (skin type, location, color, amount of ink, scarring, and layering). The cumulative score (Kirby-Desai score) is proposed to correlate with the number of treatment sessions required for satisfactory tattoo removal. Results: A correlation coefficient of 0.757 was achieved, with satisfactory tattoo removal in all subjects (N=100, p<0.001). Conclusion: We propose the Kirby-Desai scale as a practical tool to assess the number of laser tattoo-removal sessions required, which will translate into a more certain cost calculation for the patient.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: While placement of ink into the skin is a long-standing tradition, patients are now seeking tattoo removal on a more frequent basis. Once considered acceptable removal options, tattoo ink removal via physical destruction included dermabrasion, chemical destruction, salabrasion, thermal destruction, and cryotherapy. Now these options are used extremely infrequently. These modalities provided unpredictable results and often required prolonged healing times and left patients with skin discoloration, pain, scarring, and ink retention. Even the widely adopted use of lasers, now considered the gold standard method, offers some level of unpredictability surrounding the natural progression of ink resolution. Multiple factors need to be taken into consideration when successfully removing tattoo pigment including the modalities used, number and frequency of treatments, proper device technique, and physiological barriers to tattoo removal. This paper serves to elucidate the common causes of ink retention following tattoo removal treatment with recommendations on how best to address this relatively common occurrence.
    Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology 07/2013; 6(7):27-31.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Quality-switched (Q-switched) laser is the most effective method to remove tattoos with minimal adverse outcomes. This article reviews the types of tattoos commonly treated with Q-switched lasers, mechanisms behind the procedure, technologies used, patient considerations and contraindications, addressing patient expectations, treatment procedures, possible adverse reactions, and future techniques and technology.
    JAAPA: official journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants 06/2014; 27(6):53-6. DOI:10.1097/01.JAA.0000447001.04339.b0
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Q-switched (QS) lasers are widely considered the gold standard for tattoo removal, with excellent clinical results, impressive predictability, and a good safety profile. The generation of giant pulses by the method of Q-switching is responsible for the unique laser-tissue interaction that is seen in tattoo removal by QS lasers. The QS lasers work by impaction and dissolution of the tattoo pigments. Mechanical fragmentation of the tattoo pigments encased in intracellular lamellated organelles followed by their phagocytosis by macrophages is thought to be the major event in the clearance of pigments by QS lasers. A few novel techniques have been tried in recent times to hasten the clearance of tattoo pigments.
    Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery 01/2015; 8(1):5-8. DOI:10.4103/0974-2077.155063
Show more


1 Download
Available from