Picosure or Q switched Ruby for small black tattoo removal on back and ribs? I.e: arrow, 2.5cm×3.5cm bird. (photo)

Is there any difference also in price, nr or sessions, or end result? I am scared after removal will be left with that "ghost" tattoo, scarring or depigmentation.

Doctor Answers 2

Pico Lasers

Pico lasers are the most advanced technology. I utilize the PiQo4 laser which has 4 Pico wavelengths including the 1064 wavelength for black pigment making it possible to remove 96% of ink in as little as 4-6 treatments on average. I also utilize the Picosure for a total of 5 Pico wavelengths. Tattoos are removed faster and safer with Pico lasers and there is less risk of scarring. I think it is important not only to seek the best technology but an experienced laser tattoo removal provider. I have been practicing laser tattoo removal for almost 20 years. 

Chicago Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Use the Best Technology Available

Q-Switch or nanosecond lasers came out about 20 years ago.  Picosecond laser came out about 3 years ago.  The majority of former Q-Switch patients we see have significant hypopigmentation (ghosting) around and under their tattoo.  The Q-Switch lasers have trouble differentiating between the melanin in your skin and ink.  The technology uses heat to burn the pigment out of your skin.  In addition, we have seen patients with raised scars as if they have been branded.  Both of these condition are irreversible. 

Picosecond lasers (like the PicoWay & PicoSure) fire 1000 times faster, using a pressure wave rather than heat to shear the ink molecules apart.  After using the PicoSure for almost 2 years, we have only seen pinpoint hypopigmentation in a very small number of patients usually of darker skin tones.  We cannot say it is impossible to get burned with a Picosecond laser, but it is highly unlikely.  We tell every PicoSure tattoo patient to expect at least 6 treatments, but don’t be surprised if it takes 10 to 12.  Patience is the key for our patients.  We typically see our tattoo removal patients every 6 to 8 weeks initially.  If they have more time than money, we encourage them to come every 6 months as the tattoos seem to continue to fade while they wait.

We recommend waiting 6 weeks until your tattoo is healed and then finding an experienced physician in your area.  Treatment prices vary by market.  The cost for picosecond treatments will be higher, but you should need less than half the treatments compared to a nanosecond laser.

Laura Riehm, MD
Fort Worth Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.