Should I use Picosure or Q-switch for only black ink? (photo)

Hello. Do I need to spend three times more money on procedures with Picosure Laser, if all my tattoes have only black color, or laser with Q-switch will do the same work for less money? My doctor is using MEDHITECH QS3000 SENS D5/D7, will I get better results with removing black ink if I choose Picosure instead or will this laser be OK for me as well? Thank you

Doctor Answers 2

Solid black tattoos

At our practice, we have the latest technology to treat very dark black ink, and tattoos on dark skin.  It's the Picosure 1064 and it's made to address the tattoo that you are showing us.  I suggest you look for a  Practice that can treat you with this type of laser tip, the 1064.

​​Use the Best Technology Available

Thanks for your question.  Tattoo regret is very common.

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 PicoSure, PicoWay & Enlighten) 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 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 and have much lower chance of permanent complications.

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.