There’s been a lot of hype lately about the new PicoSure laser tattoo removal technology and its claims of being able to remove tattoos quicker than Q Switched technology. Here’s the facts, we (Fallen Ink Laser Tattoo Removal) researched and deliberated in great detail about which laser to invest in (the PicoSure or the Quanta Q-Plus C) and at the end of the day we decided there was no comparison – the Quanta Q-Plus C was the clear choice…here’s why:
Ink Pigment Sits in Different Depths in the Skin:
Different color ink settles in different depths of the skin. Black ink settles the deepest in the skin, Blues/Greens settle mid skin and Reds/Oranges settle at the surface of the skin. In order to successfully treat different ink colors, you need different wavelengths to properly target each color and its depth within the skin.
You Can’t Change Physics:
In the world of tattoo removal, the two most important factors a wavelength has is 1) how deep the wavelength penetrates the skin and 2) what color(s) does the wavelength target.
When taking into account where ink colors reside within the skin, research has proven the best wavelength to successfully target dark pigment (Black, Dark Blues, etc.) is the ND:Yag 1064. The best wavelength to target the difficult Blue and Green colors is the Ruby 694 and the only wavelength to target Red is the KTP 532.
PicoSure and Quanta Q-Plus C Wavelengths:
The Quanta Q-Plus C is the only FDA approved laser on the market that offers three true wavelengths (1064, 694 and 532). Therefore, it is the only laser that can successfully remove a full spectrum of color – period.
The PicoSure laser only offers one wavelength (755). The 755 wavelength was one of the first wavelengths used in tattoo removal and has two main pitfalls – 1) it does not target specific ink colors and 2) it passes right by red ink and can stop short of deep black colors. The PicoSure does have positive results in fading or removing tattoos, but its wavelength inhibits it from hitting exactly where it should in the skin to have ideal responses for complete removal. Also, the PicoSure can not remove red inks – period.
PicoSure Marketing Rhetoric:
Just like any new product to hit the market, the company is faced with the challenge to make ripples or waves in its marketing efforts to position the product as the “latest” and “greatest” technology.
PicoSure has made two main claims in their marketing that lead us to further explore the possibility of investing in one of their machines: 1) The area will heal more quickly with less damage to the surrounding tissue and 2) tattoos can be removed more quickly than Q-Switched technology. After completing our research, it’s our opinion that the PicoSure claims were made based off of inferior Q-Switch technologies to that of the Quanta Q-Plus C laser and is really nothing more than marketing rhetoric. The Quanta Q-Plus C laser also removes tattoos quicker than other Q-Switched lasers and the healing time is the fastest on the market…which by the way, has more to do with technique then anything.
A matter of fact, a recent study by the Journal of Laser and Health Academy concluded:
“[T]he published literature and our preliminary results seem to indicate that current “picosecond” lasers are not expected to have a significantly better tattoo clearance effect in comparison with the “gold standard” Q-switched nanosecond tattoo lasers. … It is our opinion that top-of-the-line Q-switched nanosecond lasers will remain the devices of choice for tattoo removal.”