Until recently Q-switched lasers were the only real choice for laser tattoo removal. Then, after nine years of development, Cynosure released the PicoSure laser.
Q-switched lasers use nanosecond technology. A nanosecond is 1 billionth of a second. This may seem like it’s an extremely short time., However, within the small time frame a significant amount of heat can be generated. The heat can subsequently cause a burn or discolour the skin. And this is why a Q-Switch laser can only be used on certain skin types.
Picosure is the latest advancement in laser tattoo removal technology. Essentially, this energy, that is built up within the laser, is released in 1 picosecond . 1 picosecond is equal to 1000 nanoseconds. Therefore, a high amount of energy can be released in an extremely short timeframe. The shorter timeframe prevents the heat being generated and therefore, lesser chance of burning the skin or altering the pigmentation.
The short bursts of energy also shatter the ink in the tattoo into much smaller particles than the Q-Switch laser can achieve. The smaller particles of ink are more easily absorbed by the body, and therefore, the clearance time to remove the tattoo with the PicoSure laser is significantly less than that with the Q-Switch.
The PicoSure Laser is up to 4x more effective at removing tattoos than the Q-switched laser.