Millions of people sport tattoos that they regret, but many would rather cover them up with clothing or makeup than undergo numerous, painful laser treatments that require extensive healing time between sessions. If you are one of those people, there is a newer option on the market that may change your opinion about laser tattoo removal. Called PicoSure, this treatment can be performed by a qualified Houston cosmetic surgeon, and it can give you similar or even better results than traditional laser treatment in about half the time.
How Does Traditional Laser Tattoo Removal Work?
Traditional lasers, also called Q-switched lasers, are programmed to deliver short bursts of light, measured in nanoseconds, to the skin. When used for tattoo removal, specific wavelengths of light are aimed at certain ink pigments, breaking them down with thermal energy so that they can be absorbed and eliminated by the body. The challenge with Q-switched lasers is that there is no one-size-fits-all laser for every ink pigment. Certain colors, such as yellows and greens, are more difficult to remove than blacks, blues and other darker colors and require switching among multiple lasers set at different wavelengths. Moreover, traditional lasers are more likely to cause scarring of healthy surrounding tissue, especially in the hands of an inexperienced practitioner.
How Is PicoSure Different?
PicoSure uses pressure rather than heat to break up ink particles. Delivering ultrashort pulses to the treatment area, the PicoSure laser shatters the ink into dust-like particles, which are eliminated by the body faster and more efficiently when compared to traditional laser treatment. The short pulses, measured in picoseconds, also have more impact on a wide range of ink pigments as opposed to Q-switched lasers, so your Houston cosmetic surgery specialist need not use several lasers with different wavelengths to treat multicolored tattoos. PicoSure additionally causes less scarring and is less likely to damage the tissues surrounding the tattoo. This means that you will experience a treatment process that cuts everything in half: overall treatment time, the number of doctor visits, healing time between sessions and the amount of discomfort endured. Of course, the best part is the end result of a good cosmetic appearance where there was once the reminder of a regrettable choice.
What Is the PicoSure Tattoo Removal Process?
PicoSure requires a series of treatment sessions, and the number is impossible to predict without knowing the size and pigment colors of your tattoo. For most tattoos, six or fewer treatments usually do the trick, but some patients may need up to 10 sessions. Each session should take no more than 15 minutes. After the laser is applied, some of the shattered ink particles will flake off, while others remain deeper in the skin and will be absorbed by the body over the next few weeks. You will return to your Houston cosmetic surgeon’s office in about six weeks for your next treatment. Unfortunately, PicoSure does cause discomfort, but most patients report that it is only slightly more painful than getting a tattoo. Add to that the fact that you only need to undergo about half the amount of sessions than with Q-switched lasers, and you are facing a reasonable process with an aesthetically pleasing reward at the end.
Can Anyone Undergo PicoSure Laser Tattoo Removal?
PicoSure can treat almost all tattoos, but not every person is a good candidate. Generally speaking, PicoSure offers the best results for individuals with light to medium skin tones. People with darker pigmentation may be more vulnerable to scarring or lightening of the skin. Additionally, those with certain chronic illnesses, including diabetes, lupus and scleroderma, may not tolerate laser tattoo removal well. Ultimately, the best way to find out if PicoSure is right for you is to see a Houston face lift and cosmetic surgeon for a consultation.