What is a Q-switched laser?
The term Q-SWITCHED, meaning “switch Q”, refers to the type of pulse generated by the laser. Unlike common laser pointers that generate a continuous laser beam, Q-switched lasers generate laser beam pulses that last only a billionth of a second. Because the energy from the laser is emitted in such a short time, the energy is concentrated in very strong pulses.
Powerful, short pulses have two main benefits:
- First, they are powerful enough to crush tiny pieces of melanin or pigment, stimulate collagen production, or even kill fungi. The chromatic particles of melanin, now broken down into tiny pieces, are then eliminated from the body through the lymphatic system.
- Second, because the energy is only on the skin for nanoseconds, the surrounding tissue is not damaged. Only melanin is heated and destroyed, while the surrounding tissue remains unaffected. The shortness of the pulse is what allows these lasers to remove tattoos (or excess melanin, or kill fungus) without any side effects.