PicoSure Laser: Insight on Tattoo Removal From Dr. Jeffrey Hall
Posted 02 Aug 2013
New technology in the laser tattoo removal industry promises to remove your unwanted tattoos in half the time as existing treatments.
Getting a tattoo is a life long commitment, and sometimes it turns out that the tattoo you thought you’d love forever isn’t one you want to grow old and gray with. Whether it’s because you chose a design that you outgrew with age, inked the name of a lover who is no longer in the picture, or had an artist who didn’t quite get your vision -- there may come a time when you find yourself considering tattoo removal.
Unfortunately, erasing a tattoo isn’t as easy as getting one. Laser tattoo removal with traditional Q-Switched lasers can be a long, expensive, and painful process -- that leaves many people frustrated. Luckily for those suffering from tattoo regret, recent advancements in laser technology have revolutionized the way tattoos are removed.
The PicoSure laser is a new tattoo removal device that uses PicoSecond technology to get rid of unwanted tattoos in half the number of treatments as Q-Switched lasers. Austin-based plastic surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Hall, says the PicoSure laser has made removing tattoos easier, faster, and more efficient.
“The most simplistic way to describe it, is that with previous lasers, to get rid of a house you would light the house on fire and it would just burn and go away, just slowly fall apart. Whereas with this laser, we’re putting the house on fire and we’re also taking a wrecking ball and knocking it down at the same time, so it’s going to come down a lot faster,” said Dr. Hall.
Patients wait on average about four weeks in between treatments, and in clinical trials, some tattoos were completely removed in as few as four treatments. The PicoSure laser may take down tattoos like a wrecking ball, but despite its stronger energy, it’s actually gentler on the surrounding skin than other lasers.
“What makes this laser revolutionary, is that we can now treat the tattoo with more energy and more resolution of the pigment, without causing damage to the surrounding tissue. That’s always been the main issue with tattoo removal with lasers -- is that to deliver the amount of energy to break up the pigments of tattoo, you would get injury to the tissue in between the surface of the skin and the pigment,” said Dr. Hall.
In addition to fewer treatments and less risk to the skin, another benefit of the PicoSure laser is its success with removing colored inks. Green ink, which used to be one of the hardest colors to remove with Q-Switched lasers, is one of the easiest pigments to erase with the PicoSure laser.
“Comparing it to the Q-Switched in terms of treating color, it’s like night and day, “ said Dr. Hall. “You can treat a [wider] range of colors with it and instead of having to use one laser for one color and another laser for another color, the PicoSure takes care of majority of the colors.”
However, the PicoSure laser is not the right procedure to remove all unwanted tattoos. Dr. Hall says the PicoSure laser cannot be used to remove permanent makeup, like tattooed eyebrows or eyeliner, or tattoos with white ink.