The PicoSure™ laser tattoo removal system is a major breakthrough in laser tattoo removal technology. The industry hasn’t seen anything like it in the last 20 years. BC Laser and Skincare Clinic in Surrey is the first clinic in the Lower Mainland to bring this revolutionary technology to tattoo removal clients. Picosecond laser technology provides for finer light, less skin damage and more even, comprehensive results.
We are currently the only clinic in Canada carrying two picosecond lasers, the other one being the enlighten® laser for tattoo removal. Having two of these types of lasers means that we can treat more colours in a variety of tattoos, making our treatment process much faster, and more complete, than if we only had one type of laser.
Tattoo removal in Vancouver has been our specialty since 2003, and we’ve treated thousands of patients with this service, using a variety of the latest technologies as they are released in the industry. In fact, we were the first in B.C. to carry a tattoo removal machine at our laser clinic in Surrey.
What is there to love about the PicoSure™ laser for tattoo removal?
Our clients love the PicoSure™ laser for their tattoo removal needs because:
- It provides for much faster tattoo removal than ever before – even up to half the number of treatments than with traditional Q Switched lasers.
- It creates less heat damage in the cells, resulting in virtually painless tattoo removal with no downtime and no scarring or visible after-effects.
- It does a better job at destroying ink particles in skin cells.
- It can target and remove blue and green tattoo colours, which have traditionally been hard to treat.
- It can clear up areas previously faded with tattoo removal using older lasers, so that the skin becomes even more like the tattoo was never there to begin with.
- It can be used on all skin types.
The added PicoSure™ Focus lens is loved for wrinkle reduction, scarring and pigment removal because:
- It uses pressure, not heat, to treat affected areas, resulting in less pain, and no downtime (only a few hours of redness may occur after treatment).
- It works faster than other lasers treating these same conditions – some see significant results in as little as 2 treatments!
What can the PicoSure™ laser be used for?
The PicoSure™ laser is our primary laser for tattoo removal in Vancouver. Since the machine is so new, and so advanced, clients come to our Surrey clinic from all over the Lower Mainland for this special treatment.
However, the technology itself, along with the Focus lens attachment, can also be used for:
- Discoloured skin
- Sun spots
- Acne scars
How does the PicoSure™ laser work to remove tattoos or skin imperfections?
Laser tattoo removal works by causing the ink that has been embedded into the skin to break apart. After coming apart, these smaller ink particles are then removed by the body’s immune system.
Tattoos can then fade gradually with each treatment. It is not currently possible to remove all the ink in the skin with one treatment. But PicoSure™ works faster than traditional tattoo removal processes.
The PicoSure™ laser does a much more thorough job at breaking apart the ink particles, because of the way the laser light is delivered into the skin, using very, very short pulses (these last for just trillionths of a second). The pulses create pressure from energy, making the ink break into smaller particles than with traditional lasers. That then makes it easier for your body to remove those particles through absorption by the lymphatic system. The result is permanent tattoo removal, almost as if the skin never had it to begin with.
In the past, the ‘breaking apart’ of ink in the skin had to be done in increments, and by using heat. You can visualize this by imagining the ink of a tattoo as a giant rock boulder. The first treatment was like creating one ‘blast’ to break apart the so-called ‘boulder.’ Then each smaller piece from the initial ‘blast’ had to be broken down in subsequent treatments. This process would repeat until the ‘boulder’ would become very small ‘rocks’ – like ‘sand’ even. The skin could then absorb the ink in that state. But we couldn’t do too many ‘blasts’ at once, nor create very high-heat ‘blasts,’ because that would damage skin, which you want to preserve.
With picosecond technology for laser tattoo removal, it is like the ‘blasts’ to break apart these imaginary ‘boulders’ go much, much faster, and without heating up the skin. Instead of breaking tattoo ‘boulders’ into large ‘rocks ‘at first, these new lasers shatter them into tiny particles at the outset. This causes the disappearance of tattoos with fewer treatments, since each treatment is doing a more effective job at ‘shrinking’ ink particles so they are small enough for the body to absorb, and then remove them.
You can read more about how PicoSure™ works for tattoo removal, and watch a video demonstration, on this web page: http://www.picosure.com/how-does-it-work-2/
For wrinkles, sunspots, freckles and acne scars, the PicoSure™ system works with a Focus Lens Array, which delivers 20x more energy per pulse than without. The PressureWave™ technology in the machine then uses slight pressure from a laser light to squeeze individual skin cells. This is opposed to using heat to burn cells, or remove skin layers, like other skin rejuvenation techniques. The squeezing, in essence, creates intentional, ‘micro injuries’ to the cells, which then activates your body’s natural immune response to produce more collagen and elastin in the area. The goal of stimulating the collagen and elastin production is what heals the skin of its impurities, by removing the previous damage.
How many treatments does the PicoSure™ take to achieve total tattoo removal or skin healing?
Since every tattoo is made differently, there won’t be one answer to how many treatments it will take to fade a tattoo with lasers. We can say that newer and professionally inked tattoos are much more resistant to laser removal technologies. Not only that, the location of the tattoo on your body can also affect how well it reacts to the laser pulses.
That said, most tattoos can be removed within 4 to 10 sessions, with some experiencing removal in 2 to 5 sessions. A consultation at our cosmetic clinic in Surrey will give you a better estimate of how many treatments we think it will take to remove your unwanted tattoo.
For those wishing to remove acne scarring, wrinkles or pigmented areas on the skin, each case will also be dependent on the existing condition. Some cases report results within as little as 2 treatments. Treatment plans will require an in-person consultation.
What is the cost of PicoSure™ laser treatments at your skin clinic?
We offer personalized consultations for assessing your tattoo or skin, to give you a general estimate of what we think your treatment plan will cost. Consultations do come with fees, however these costs can be credited towards treatments at our clinic later.
Our prices start at $250 CAD per treatment, depending on the tattoo or skin pigmentation issue you’d like to have removed.
What can I expect during a PicoSure™ laser treatment? Is it painful?
This laser treatment works by placing a handpiece over your skin where the tattoo or affected area is. We then release a pulse of energy from the machine onto your skin in small bursts. Each pulse covers an area of 6-10 millimeters (the size of the pulses depend on the skin type and the condition being treated. They must also be measured against the joules of energy being administered). So it goes without saying that the larger your tattoo, or surface area of the pigmentation, the more pulses will be needed. An entire face can be about 5500 pulses, though this is just to give a general reference, and won’t ever be an exact prescription for every person.
You will also need to return for treatment every 4 to 8 weeks, until your tattoo is completely faded. Skin revitalization treatments should be scheduled every 2 to 4 weeks.
During the later stages of tattoo removal, sessions may need to be booked further apart. The time between treatments is for allowing your immune system to rid your body of the ink particles.
There can be some discomfort during tattoo removal, but not a lot. The same goes with the Focus lens treatments for pigmentation or scarring. The experience feel like small pinches on your skin with each pulse. For those that need it, we can apply a numbing cream, free of charge, before the treatment to reduce the pain.
It should be noted that because of the ultra short pulse lengths with picosecond lasers, less heat is produced, resulting in less pain than with other laser tattoo or skin revitalization treatments.
Is there any downtime with a PicoSure™ laser treatment?
No, not really! We will ask you to avoid sun exposure for a period of time after the treatment, since your skin will be sensitive to light, and more susceptible to sunburn as a result.
For skin revitalization patients, you will be able to use makeup shortly after treatment. You may experience redness and swelling for a few hours after the session.
Are there any side effects to PicoSure™ tattoo removal treatments?
Side effects with the PicoSure™ laser are rare. It is generally a safe procedure, when done with precision and training. Each person’s tattoo and skin type needs to be assessed for treatment with this machine, so as to avoid complications, while still getting the best results possible with each session.
With that said, scarring and skin lightening or darkening where the tattoo once was is common. If you have a tendency to form scars or keloids easily, you should let us know before starting treatment.
Shortly after treatment, your skin will appear lighter for a period. You may also experience redness and swelling after a treatment.
Being a doctor-led skincare clinic, we exercise great safety in our practice to avoid burns and scarring, which can occur with any laser that is misused. We have also been doing tattoo removal for over 15 years, on thousands of patients, and are thus very experienced in what to expect, and what to avoid, for each case scenario we are dealing with.