Now that the pages of the calendar have flipped into 2023, you might be thinking it’s time to get rid of the tattoo that has been a source of regret for several years. Perhaps your tattoo no longer fits your current lifestyle, or it is a constant reminder of something – or someone – you’d rather forget. Either way, technology exists to successfully remove the ink that you might have previously though was unremovable.
The PicoSure Laser
For years, Q-switched nano-lasers were considered the gold standard for removing tattoos. However, these slower lasers relied on thermal energy to heat up and break down tattoo ink into smaller particles, which was not entirely effective and also contributed to scars and de-pigmentation. For most people, the results were far less than ideal.
Then along came the PicoSure laser, which is the world’s most sophisticated laser platform for tattoo removal. In fact, PicoSure is the first of a new generation of aesthetic lasers that do not rely on heat to burn or melt away unwanted tattoo ink or melanin (pigment that causes dark spots in your skin). Instead, this laser creates extremely rapid pulses (one trillionth of a second) of 755 nm laser energy to shatter the ink particles with PressureWave technology. These smaller particles of ink are more efficiently eliminated from the body by our immune-lymphatic system. Less heat means less tissue damage and discomfort.
Here are five reasons why the PicoSure laser is superior to the previously used Q-switched nano-lasers:
- It creates shockwaves to shatter the pigment, instead of creating heat to break down the particles of tattoo pigment.
- It causes less damage to the skin than any other laser tattoo removal system.
- It reduces the pain associated with tattoo removal.
- It can be used to remove most tattoo ink colors AND in almost all Fitzpatrick skin types.
- It can safely be used for patients of all races and ethnicities.
How is PressureWave Technology Different – and Better?
Think about tattoo ink particles being rocks. While the Q-switched nano-second lasers break the tattoo ink into pebbles, the PicoSure laser blasts them into sand. Another way to think about this is that Q-switched nano-second lasers act like blowtorches while the PicoSure laser acts like a jackhammer.
Another unique feature of the PicoSure laser is the patented Focus Lens Array, which uses a diffractive lens to precisely redistribute and deliver 755 nm energy to the skin. Both the high- and low-intensity energy helps to shatter stubborn pigments under the skin, while the high energy creates Laser-Induced Optical Breakdown (LIOB) in the epidermis without damaging the skin surface.
LIOBs are a form of cavitation, expanding so quickly that they create pressure waves, which transmit into the dermis. This pressure squeezes the surrounding cells and simulates a pressure injury, activating cell signaling and inducing an enhanced inflammatory healing response. This process leads to increased collagen and elastin production in the dermis without the damage caused by energy passing through the dermal-epidermal junction.
Does It Hurt?
Without some form of anesthesia, laser tattoo removal could hurt worse than when you got the tattoo. Fortunately, there are methods to make the removal process painless.
Topical anesthetic creams are the most common methods used to reduce pain. Although the numbing cream we use is a combination of three powerful numbing compounds and works very well for hair removal and facial rejuvenation, feedback from patients consistently indicates that it does not completely eliminate the pain of laser tattoo removal.
Injection of the local anesthesia drug 1% lidocaine offers the absolute best method of pain reduction. Fifteen minutes before treatment, a small amount of Lidocaine is injected into the soft tissue containing the tattoo, allowing most patients to enjoy a painless tattoo removal session. Patients who have experienced tattoo removal with topical numbing cream and then try the injection of local anesthesia ALWAYS insist on receiving the local anesthetic for the rest of their treatments.
Are You Ready?
If removing a tattoo is on your list of 2023 resolutions, then we can help you check this box immediately. Just call us at 706.235.5203 to get started.