The R20 method is a single pass of the laser every 20 minutes across the tattoo that is to be removed; up to a maximum of four passes during one session. Essentially you can therefore have four tattoo removal treatments within one session. The 20-minute waiting period is required between passes, because each pass of the laser produces very small nitrogen bubbles on top of the tattoo; which is why your tattoo will often look white during a treatment. The laser is unable to penetrate through this ‘white frost’ for approximately 20 minutes after a session, and therefore before a further session can be conducted.
This technique is still a relatively new method of tattoo laser removal; which can, in theory, decrease the amount of sessions and overall time it could take for your tattoo to be removed. However R20 is not available for all skin types; the suitability of your skin type will be assessed during your consultation. Through our research R20 appears to remove more ink during a single sitting so it is faster, but there is no evidence to say if it removes four times as much ink. The cost for R20 is the same as it would be to have four conventional sessions.
Many people find tattoo removal a painful process and will want to know if R20 hurts more than conventional tattoo removal? Reports vary from, which will be due to how each individual deals with discomfort. The R20 technique can carry a slightly increased level of discomfort during the treatment, including swelling, bleeding and or blistering. However in most cases these symptoms are only minor and should ease in 2 to 3 days after treatment and should fully resolve in 2 to 3 weeks as you would expect with conventional tattoo removal methods. To help with the R20 treatment you could consider using a local anaesthetic to reduce the amount of pain felt. Many of which can be purchased over a pharmacy counter; please ensure that your laser operator is aware that you are using an anaesthetic during treatment.
As with conventional tattoo laser removal the treatment carries some risk of scarring. During clinical trials the method resulted initially with an increased level of superficial skin injury, but was found to carry no increased long term risks. There is a period of 12 weeks between treatments with this technique to allow for any healing and to give your immune system enough time to remove the ink particles.