What are Picosecond Lasers?

Picosecond lasers are the most commonly used lasers in tattoo removal and are considered the next generation of cutting-edge laser tattoo removal systems. The laser gets its name from the speed at which it emits light – one trillionth of a second, and if you can’t picture how fast that is, it’s because it’s extremely fast.

The development of the new laser technology promises to bring tattoo removal seekers a more intelligent, faster system with less pain during treatments.

The first Picosecond laser system released was the PicoSure™, with the PicoWay™ laser following two years after its release. The emergence of the two different Picosend lasers begs the question of, “Is the PicoSure™ or PicoWay™ laser tattoo better than the other?”

PicoSure™ or PicoWay™ Laser — Which Way to Go?

Many clients who come through our doors have heard of both the PicoSure™ and PicoWay™ laser. We often get asked which one is better for tattoo removal. However, the answer is not a simple matter of one laser being ultimately better than the other. The PicoSure™ treats some tattoos better and the PicoWay™  is more effective in other cases.

Let’s dive deeper into the PicoWay™ and PicoSure™ lasers and how to evaluate the differences in these options when considering your next tattoo removal treatment. We’ll navigate through the major factors to consider when evaluating the two laser equipment options including pain levels, the removal process, removal effectiveness, and tattoo ink colour.

The PicoSure™ Laser 

The Cynosure PicoSure™ laser has been considered the gold standard in tattoo removal. This cutting-edge laser creates an intense photothermal impact that not only spares the skin from high photothermal damage. PicoSure™ tattoo removal also provides better colour removal with fewer treatments.

How Does the PicoSure™ Laser Work?

With the PicoSure™ laser, we can tailor our treatment to specific areas of the skin. The customised 755 nm true Alexandrite wavelength breaks down the ink pigments into crystallised particles that are 100 times smaller than most other tattoo removal lasers, making it easier for them to pass through the lymphatic system and disappear from the skin.

However, when compared to the ability of the PicoWay™ laser, the PicoSure™ has a longer picosecond pulse duration and requires more energy to produce a reaction. This along with wavelength can reduce its ability in successfully treating black or red ink. The PicoSure™ also operates at a standard 750ps, which is only 25% faster than 1 nanosecond. This means PicoSure™ tattoo removal is not as efficient to remove certain tattoos.

The PicoWay™ Laser 

The Candela PicoWay™ is the newer of the two Picosecond lasers and features three wavelengths: 1064 nm, 785 nm, and 532 nm. This laser effectively breaks up ink into tiny particles that are easily passed out of the body through the lymphatic system with minimal damage to surrounding tissues.

How Does the PicoWay™ Laser Work?

While they both use picosecond technology, one of the major differences between the two lasers is that they operate at different wavelengths, which means they target certain colours differently. With the PicoSure™ laser, three different wavelengths are readily available, while the PicoSure ™ requires laser pump handpieces in order to convert its natural 755 nm wavelength into 532 nm and 1064 nm. The PicoWay™ laser, on the other hand, doesn’t fall victim to this requirement, which compromises the effectiveness of the wavelength.

What Colours Can the PicoSure™ Remove?

Resistant ink colours tend to fall into the blue, green, and purple categories. At Removery, our experts have found that the PicoSure™ completely removes these colours in fewer sessions than any other wavelength of the laser in the picosecond market. With this technology, we’ve found that colours that were previously thought of as resistant to laser removal are now often easier to remove than black ink.

What Colours Can the PicoWay™ Remove?

While we have found that PicoSure™ can remove black ink quite effectively, dense black ink sometimes responds better to the 1064nm wavelength used in the Picoway™ laser in the beginning stages of removal. The PicoWay™ laser is much more precise and powerful, which means that its power is better at blasting stubborn ink pigments into fragments that the body can dispose of.

In addition to its ability to break down black ink pigment, the PicoWay™ is also especially effective at treating tattoos with black, red, or certain shades of green ink, and can also remove these colours in far fewer treatment sessions than other lasers on the market.

How Many PicoSure™ Treatments Does it Take to Remove a Tattoo?

Traditionally, Q-switched nanosecond lasers have been used to treat recalcitrant tattoos with little to no visible results.

With the PicoSure™., our technicians are able to completely remove stubborn tattoos in as few as 10-12 treatments, 6-8 weeks apart. The laser is also much less damaging to the skin than other lasers. Even recalcitrant tattoos (those that have been treated more than ten times with no visible result to the naked eye) can be addressed with the Picosure™.

How Many PicoWay™ Treatments Does it Take to Remove a Tattoo?

The number of sessions to remove a tattoo depends on the size, location, and colour of your tattoo. However, we usually find that 8-10 treatment sessions with the PicoWay™ are sufficient to completely remove most tattoos.

Effective Tattoo Removal Takes Time

At Removery, our primary focus is providing the most effective tattoo removal possible. That means, when you purchase a full tattoo removal package, we will continue to remove your tattoo until all removable ink is gone regardless of the number of sessions or time it takes to complete.

With over 250,000 successful tattoo removal treatments performed, our clinical team knows that each removal is as unique as the last. We use our advanced knowledge of tattoo removal technology and processes to provide guaranteed tattoo removal packages to our clients. Integrity is at the core of our business – if we cannot guarantee tattoo removal we will let you know.

How Long Does it Take to See Results from PicoSure™ Laser?

Healing from a PicoSure™ tattoo removal treatment typically takes around fourteen days. During this time, you will probably notice minor swelling and redness in the treated area as well as some bruising between the first and third days following treatment. You may develop itching, burning, blistering, or mild skin discolouration during the healing process, all of which is normal.

Keep in mind that PicoSure™ tattoo removal treatment causes less damage to the skin than other non-picosecond lasers. Also, the healing process should be shorter and less uncomfortable than it would be if you had undergone a removal with a different type of laser.

How Long Does it Take to See Results from PicoWay™ Laser?

Depending on the desired tattoo removal results, you may be able to see initial improvement as early as after the very first laser treatment! Multiple treatment sessions are required to sufficiently remove the tattoo, but the recovery time and speed of treatment is faster than that of the PicoSure™ laser, and especially compared to other laser equipment.

How Painful is PicoSure™ Tattoo Removal Compared to PicoWay™?

With its ultra-fast pico pulses, the PicoWay™ works at a much more rapid pace than the PicoSure™ and uses far less heat than other tattoo removal lasers, making for a more comfortable removal experience. Though you will likely feel some discomfort during your tattoo removal, it will be minimised by using the PicoWay™.

Is PicoSure™ Tattoo Removal the Best, or is PicoWay™ Better?

Based on what we’ve detailed above, undergoing PicoSure™ tattoo removal can be the better tattoo removal laser if you are getting resistant ink colours that fall into the blue, green, and purple ink categories. However, PicoWay™ is the most effective on red and black ink and provides a quicker treatment process. It can also be safer for those with dark or ethnic skin and are wary of hyperpigmentation after laser tattoo removal.

Expert Laser Tattoo Removal at Removery

No matter what laser or equipment is used, PicoWay™ or PicoSure™, you want to make sure the removal is performed by the best in the business. When it comes to tattoo removal, there are three aspects that need to be addressed, and all need to be present for a successful removal process. The first is the technician’s expertise. The second is the equipment quality. The third is having trust in your technician.

Many who have undergone tattoo removal treatment find all of the above when choosing the laser removal professionals at Removery for tattoo removal services, and we are positive that you will, too. Book a free virtual or in-person consultation with Removery today to learn more about your tattoo removal options.