The Kirby-Desai Scale

Victor BeyerUncategorized

Although tattoos are still popular in the Western world, many individuals are seeking help from professionals to remove their now unwanted ink. Laser tattoo removal is the best way to do so given its safety and efficacy.  However, depending on the type of ink used for the tattoo, the number of laser treatments required to remove it has been difficult to quantify.  Clinicians had no way to measure scientifically how many laser treatments needed to remove a tattoo until 2009.

Since cost is a factor for most of us when considering any cosmetic procedure, dermatologists with specialization in tattoo removal techniques, Dr. Alpesh Desai and Dr. Will Kirby, developed the “Kirby-Desai Scale.”  This scale not only allows medical practitioners to determine the number of treatments necessary for laser tattoo removal, but it also enables them to evaluate the overall potential success of the procedure.

The Kirby-Desai Scale appoints numerical values to six criterions: color, skin type, the amount of ink, scarring or tissue change, layering, and location. The combined scores will show the estimated number of treatments required for successful tattoo removal.  The scale can only be used if the clinician is using a Q-switched Nd: YAG laser with six weeks between treatments. Particular colors are more challenging to remove than others.  Specifically, if treated with the wrong wavelength of laser light.  For example, green ink has smaller molecular particles than other colors and may require treatment with multiple wavelengths of light to remove it.  This is true for most colored tattoos.

Many components contribute to the success of laser tattoo removal, including your immune system.  By choosing a clinic that uses The Kirby-Desai scale, you will be presented with a thorough laser-removal assessment and your practitioner can customize a treatment plan.  The use of this tool is standard practice in today’s laser tattoo removal, why risk being disappointed?

Kirby, William; Desai, Alpesh; Desai, Tjas; Kartona, Francisa; Patel, Getta. The Kirby-Desai Scale: A Proposed Scale to Assess Tattoo-removal Treatments, Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, March 2009, Volume 2, No. 3