Is PicoSure Really The Way To Erase Tattoo Regret For Good?
- Last updated: 4 years ago
It’s a familiar cautionary tale: Guy meets girl; guy gets her portrait inked along the length of his (entire) leg; guy and girl breakup soon after ink is immortalized; guy is left with an indelible face staring at him with shame for decades. Whether your story is similar or you simply have a serious case of tattoo regret, you’re not alone. There’s an entire community on RealSelf swapping stories about painful inked pasts.
A new treatment called the PicoSure laser, made by Cynosure, is an FDA-approved tattoo removal treatment that delivers energy to the skin in shorter, faster and more powerful rates—one hundred times more powerful to be exact.
“It’s like taking a sledgehammer to a rock,” says Jeffrey Dover, M.D., director of SkinCare Physicians in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, who was also part of the PicoSure clinical trials. “The laser breaks down tattoo ink into tiny particles on contact, almost pulverizing them, and then they are absorbed by the body.” Since tattoo pigment particles themselves are incredibly tiny, the Pico’s short energy pulses are more effective for breaking them up, he says.
A stronger laser means a fewer number of treatments to get rid of the tattoo — three to five, the manufacturer claims, as compared to 12 to 25 with the Q-Switched laser. Another big difference: the Pico laser is more efficient on difficult-to-remove colors like yellows, blues and greens, says Cynosure. Additionally, healing is faster and there’s virtually no scarring, says Dr. Dover.
Treatments are quick but can be painful, so a local anesthetic or numbing cream is recommended. Depending on the size of the tattoo, each treatment can take about five to fifteen minutes and prices range from about $400 to $800 per treatment (variables like tattoo size, location on the body and area of the country play into cost). The average price for tattoo removal generally, as reported by RealSelf community members, is $725.
If you’re itching to remove your ink, the PicoSure laser will likely be in every major city by the end of the year, says Dr. Dover. RealSelf also just launched a new page about it to help share reviews and experiences as well.
Will YOU try Picosure? Or have you already? Share your story in the comments section below!