Does the PicoSure Laser Work Quicker on Tattoos than Other Lasers?

Extreme speed is needed for laser light to enter the skin and disrupt tattoo ink particles in the dermis while ensuring that the surrounding skin is protected. Modern tattoo removal devices are available in speeds of nanoseconds (a billionth of a second or 10-9) or picoseconds (a trillionth of a second or 10-12). One day we will possibly have lasers that fire in femtoseconds (10-15).

At first blush you might think that a laser that fires light faster has the ability to remove a tattoo faster or better, but there is no long term, wide spread, peer reviewed clinical evidence of this theory. In fact, as of the time of this blog, no peer reviewed, independent studies have been published that compared tattoo treatment where half the tattoo was treated with a nanosecond device and half was treated with a picosecond device.

Nonetheless, there are individuals who claim that the PicoSure laser (a picosecond laser) removes tattoos in a shorter time than other lasers. Our medical team has researched this and concluded that there is no significant evidence to support that claim.

As we approach 300,000 treatments performed, we are dedicated to making sure our clinics feature the best technology for tattoo removal. There is a reason we have not purchased a PicoSure laser for our practice. It is simply because there are no peer reviewed studies with a significant number of patients looking at a variety of ink colors and skin types that have proven that the PicoSure laser removes tattoos faster than other lasers.

The PicoSure may be a good device to remove green ink pigment, but it is not the only laser that removes green ink tattoos (other Alexandrite lasers are also a good choice for green ink tattoos as well as Ruby lasers, in many cases). Some have even postulated that the PicoSure could be “colorblind” and remove all colored ink. Based on our experience and the mechanism of action of this laser, we believe that this is not true. Furthermore, we believe it works minimally (if at all) on some common tattoo ink colors including red ink.

Laser light enters the skin extremely quickly with the use of both these technologies and regardless of the speed, all tattoos take multiple treatments to be removed. Every year, new lasers enter the market and only occasionally do they make a measurable difference in treatment outcomes. The most important factor to consider when weighing laser tattoo removal options is the quality and experience of the clinical team, the customer service and the medical credentials of the clinicians performing the procedure.

Unfortunately, there are some clinics that state they can remove a tattoo faster or with fewer treatments than national averages or what has been cited in medical research. They may claim it’s because they purchased a particular laser device. It’s important to realize that these claims are unsubstantiated and are more likely a symptom of an inexperienced provider or someone who is just trying to make a sale.

Just like anything in life, experience, specialization and providing realistic expectations are the best predictors of satisfaction when it comes to evaluating your tattoo removal provider options. Rest assured that if and when a material improvement become available in the laser world, MEDermis Laser Clinic – The Tattoo Removal Specialists will be at the forefront of that charge.