Using a perfluorodecalin (PDF) patch during tattoo removal treatment may make the process quicker, safer and more tolerable, finds a new study in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (LSM).

The study was selected as Editor’s Choice in the April 2017 issue of LSM.

Researchers report that use of the PDF patch in conjunction with laser-assisted tattoo treatment can allow more treatment to be administered at each session. In addition, use of the patch improved tolerability of treatment and reduced unwanted side effects.

“Epidermal whitening typically occurs following treatment of tattoos with Q-switched lasers,” says study author Brian S. Biesman, MD, FACS, an oculoplastic surgeon in Nashville, Tenn., in a news release.

PFD is an optical clearing agent, which reduces epidermal whitening associated with laser-assisted tattoo treatments.

In a previous publication of this Journal, the researchers reported that the majority of tattoos treated with a Q-switched alexandrite laser cleared more rapidly when treated through a PFD infused silicone patch.

“In this publication, we demonstrate that almost 3 times more passes can be made with Q-switched laser during a five-minute window when treating tattoos through a PFD infused silicone patch as compared to treating in the traditional manner through air,” Dr. Biesman says. “In addition, use of the PFD patch was associated with improved tolerability compared with conventional treatment, with subjects experiencing fewer and less severe adverse effects related to epidermal injury. Additionally, when surveyed at the 1-month follow-up visit, all subjects (30/30) preferred to continue laser-assisted tattoo removal with the PFD patch.”