Throughout your research on laser tattoo removal, you’ve probably come across a few very similar terms: Picoway, Picosure and Picosecond. 

Although they sound similar, there are notable differences that can influence your laser tattoo removal success.

Here’s what you need to know about what they are, what they do, and which is the best choice to suit your unique situation.

What Are Picosecond Lasers?

Picosecond technology is the collective term that PicoWay and PicoSure tattoo removal lasers fall under.

Picosecond lasers produce bursts of energy that last for a picosecond: one trillionth of a second. These lasers are ultra-fast and produce ultra-short pulse duration. 

Lasers use different wavelengths measured in nanometres (one thousand-millionth of a metre.) 

The wavelength of the laser light determines: 

  • how deep into the skin the laser can penetrate,
  • which colour pigments it can treat, and
  • what type of skin types it's safe to use on.

The laser pulses penetrate through the skin to reach the dermal layer where the tattoo ink particles are housed. The laser energy targets and shatters the tattoo particles with minimal collateral damage to the surrounding tissues. 

Once the ink particles have been broken down into small enough fragments throughout your laser tattoo removal treatments, the body’s immune system can collect them for excretion. 

How Do PicoSure Lasers Work?

PicoSure lasers were the first type of Picosecond lasers to be produced for tattoo removal. 

They have a 755-nanometre wavelength called Alexandrite which produces a longer picosecond pulse duration and therefore needs more energy. This wavelength works best on green tattoo removal only.

If this wavelength needs to be converted to different wavelengths to target other colours, laser pump handpieces are required. 

Unfortunately, the conversion lowers the energy, and as a result, the effectiveness of the wavelength is compromised. 

Additionally, darker skin types don’t react as well to PicoSure lasers’ single wavelengths.

How Do PicoWay Lasers Work?

The PicoWay laser contains three wavelengths from the get-go, and each targets different colours:

  • 523nm that targets warm colours like red,
  • 755nm that targets green, and 
  • 1064nm that targets dark colours like black.

All three of these wavelengths are housed in the same laser, and multiple colours can be treated simultaneously. 

As a result, PicoWay lasers remove tattoos with few adverse effects to the surrounding skin thanks to the dual wavelengths allowing maximal absorption into the targeted pigment and minimal absorption into surrounding tissue.

PicoWay vs PicoSure: The Best For Laser Tattoo Removal

At the end of the day, if you want to choose between PicoWay vs PicoSure tattoo removal laser machines, it boils down to which will best meet your personal needs and circumstances.

If you have a dark coloured tattoo and light skin, it’ll be best to opt for a PicoSure laser. 

Multicoloured tattoos will have better results from a PicoWay laser. And, if you have a darker skin tone, PicoWay lasers are less likely to damage your skin.

Have You Considered Q-Switch Tattoo Removal Lasers?

Q-Switch lasers are quite similar to PicoWay in that they also house three different wavelengths within one laser machine. 

They can effectively treat multicoloured tattoos on any skin type.

There are two major differences between how Q-switch lasers deliver laser tattoo removal compared to other lasers:

  • Conventional Q-Switch lasers produce nanosecond laser energy which equals one billionth of a second. Picosecond laser technology produces energy at one trillionth of a second.
  • A Q-Switch laser is much cheaper to buy than a PicoSecond laser, and therefore the treatments can be cheaper for customers.

How To Know Which Tattoo Removal Clinic Is Right for You

Once you know which laser will best suit the skin and tattoo, it’s time to decide where to have the procedure done. 

It’s no use going to an institution that offers the laser therapy you require, but their technicians are underqualified. 

Here are some things you can do to narrow down your choices:

  • Pop into the clinic and see for yourself. Look out for the technicians’ certifications hung on the walls. Also, takeSo before note of how clean and sterile the environment is.
  • Look at online reviews and before and after photos. It’s best to view Google reviews as well, as they are less likely to be biased.
  • Consider their prices compared to other institutions. Drastically low prices can either indicate sub-par technicians or equipment. Your best bet is probably something on the average-to-expensive side to be safe.
  • Look closely at what they offer. Offers like a “money-back guarantee” and “price match” indicate a deep trust in their product and a willingness to assist you. But, over-promising generally leads to under-delivering: unrealistic promises like “complete tattoo removal in two sessions” shouldn’t be trusted.
  • Ask about their aftercare instructions. Aftercare is a crucial part of your tattoo removal aftermath, and neglecting your aftercare can result in infection and scarring. For example, tattoo removal blisters are a very normal part of the healing process. You need to be sure that the clinic discusses all of these elements that influence your recovery time.

Key Takeaways

Between PicoWay, PicoSure and Q-Switch lasers, you can’t say that one is better than the other. Instead, each one is appropriate for different things.

When choosing a tattoo removal clinic, the type of tattoo removal laser you’d prefer isn’t the only factor you should consider. Ensure that the technicians are adequately trained and qualified and that they’re able to offer what they promise.

At the Tattoo Removal Institute, we believe that every client is as unique as their tattoo. Before just quoting a price, we offer a free, no obligations consultation to assess your unwanted tattoo and discuss the results you want to achieve.

Then, we’ll estimate how many sessions you’ll require, whether you just want to fade some overdrawn eyebrows or completely remove a large tattoo. If you aren’t satisfied with the results after undergoing the number of sessions estimated, we’ll give you a year’s worth of treatments for free until you’re completely happy.

Feel free to pop in if you’re in the area or contact us to arrange your first consultation today.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained herein should NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other health care provider. The information provided here is for informational purposes only. Please check with a physician if you have health questions or concerns about interactions or go to the TGA for a comprehensive list of TGA warnings. Although we attempt to provide accurate and up-to-date information, no guarantee is made to that effect.