Decisions you make when you are young can easily come back to haunt you. That is never truer than when it comes to a tattoo that you now regret. Many people who grow to regret a tattoo they got in their youth wish to have it removed. In the past, this was not always a simple process, but today you have the option of PicoSure tattoo removal.
That's a new technology that allows for easier and quicker tattoo removal. Before you make a decision, you should learn more about how the process works and what to expect if you choose to have it done. Do keep in mind, the information in this article is not medical advice. It is for information only. Please contact a licensed medical professional to discuss the procedure further.
What Is PicoSure Tattoo Removal?
CynoSure, the developer of PicoSure, explains this is a new laser technology. What makes this laser so special is that it uses a special Focus lens. The lens produces short pulses of lasers that flash at the speed of trillionths per second. Because it works so fast, it does not produce a large amount of heat, and there is no damage to the skin.
While doctors may use it to treat a variety of skin conditions, it is especially useful when it comes to tattoo removal. To understand exactly how PicoSure tattoo removal works, you need to understand the basics of tattoos and the skin.
How tattoo removal works
Business Insider explains that tattoo ink often contains metal. It is the metal that enables the tattoo to remain permanent. When injected into the skin, the ink causes a reaction in the body. The immune system recognizes something foreign and tries to remove it. The body may succeed at removing some of the ink particles at this time. The white blood cells can engulf them and carry them away. Most of them are too large. The large particles remain, creating your tattoo.
When you want to remove the tattoo, you have to break those large particles down into smaller bits. It allows the white blood cells to take them away. That's what happens in the PicoSure tattoo removal process. The laser uses heat and speed to shatter the ink particles. The immune system kicks in, and you see your tattoo disappear.
How PicoSure removes tattoos
The PicoSure laser uses pressure to stimulate the cells. With stimulation, a photomechanical effect occurs. According to NLO Source, a photomechanical effect is when cells change due to exposure to light. In this procedure, that means the cells produce collagen and elastin to repair the skin, and at the same time, the photomechanical effect breaks down the ink in the tattoo enough that the body can naturally remove it.
The PicoSure tattoo removal process has some special characteristics that make it stand out. The speed at which it works allows for minimal damage to the skin. Also, its special lens makes it more efficient at breaking down the ink, so the process has much better results than other laser treatment options.
What to Expect from Treatment
When you consider PicoSure tattoo removal, it helps to get an idea of what to expect from the procedure. Going into it with more information may help you to know if this is the right choice for your situation.
How long PicoSure tattoo removal takes
How long it will take for the complete removal of your tattoo using this procedure varies. It depends on some specific factors. The amount of pigment is one factor because more pigment takes more work to remove. In addition, lighter skin tones make removal easier and faster than darker skin tones, so if you have a darker skin tone or have recently gotten a tan, this will require more work to remove the tattoo. Also, the size of your tattoo affects the length of treatment required, since it is a larger area requiring work. Finally, the older the tattoo is, the longer it takes to remove it simply because of the type of ink used and the amount of time it has been in the body.
However, there are some general guidelines for how long the PicoSure tattoo removal procedure typically takes. The actual treatment usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes. So, when you go for a session, expect it to be rather quick. The number of treatments you may need ranges from 4 to 10. Again, this depends on the factors mentioned above. The time between the treatments is anywhere from six to eight weeks. That allows the skin to heal and the body to remove the broken ink particles.
With all that in mind, it could take anywhere from six months to almost two years to get your tattoo removed through the PicoSure tattoo removal process. Keep in mind that your doctor will assess your tattoo during your initial consultation. He or she can then give you the best estimate on how long the process will take.
How the procedure feels
One of the main things people said about older laser removal treatments was that they were painful. The good thing about PicoSure tattoo removal is it is far less painful. Some people may feel no pain at all. Others may feel pain similar to the snapping of a rubber band against the skin. At most, the procedure is as painful as the process was to get the tattoo. However, the doctor can apply a numbing cream before the procedure, which can eliminate or greatly dull any pain.
Is PicoSure Tattoo Removal Safe?
According to MedEsthetics, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved PicoSure tattoo removal, which does verify it as a safe procedure. Throughout testing and using the procedure, it has been proven not to damage the skin. Older laser removal procedures would often cause serious damage and even burns to the skin, which PicoSure does not. It produces excellent results with no long recovery period or lasting issues.
Most people who have a PicoSure tattoo removal experience only minor redness and swelling for one to three hours following the procedure. Some people may experience blisters or scabs, but this is very rare. To ensure proper healing, you should treat the area carefully and protect it for a couple of days following the treatment. You may have hyperpigmentation, which is the lightening of the skin, but this does not last. The actual tattoo removal results are permanent.
You should be aware that you can only get PicoSure tattoo removal from a licensed medical professional. Typically, plastic surgeons or dermatologists will offer this service. Anyone else offering laser tattoo removal services is not likely using PicoSure. Also, if you do not get services from a doctor, the chance of complications or issues is very high. It is recommended to seek only the services of a licensed medical professional to ensure a safe and successful procedure.
How Much Does the Procedure Cost?
It is not possible to give an actual cost estimate for PicoSure tattoo removal because cost directly relates to how long the removal process takes. The size of your tattoo, the pigments it contains, your skin tone, and how old your tattoo is all play a role in how many treatments you will need to remove the tattoo completely. The more treatments you must have, the more money it will cost. You should understand that since it is a new technology, it is one of the most expensive options you have for tattoo removal. Also, insurance rarely covers the cost of this procedure.
PicoSure Tattoo Removal Compared to Other Tattoo Removal Options
PicoSure tattoo removal really is not comparable to other tattoo removal options. It is revolutionary in its results and technology. However, it is a costly procedure. It may help you to make a better decision to look at how PicoSure tattoo removal compares to other options.
PicoSure vs. older lasers
According to Severn River Plastic and Laser Surgery, the way the PicoSure laser works is very different from the way older laser treatments work. PicoSure uses pulses of energy to produce a photomechanical effect. That allows the pigment in the ink to break down into a dust-like form. Older lasers break the ink pigment into larger chunks. These large chunks take much longer for the body to remove. In addition, the older lasers produce a lot of heat that may burn and scar the skin. PicoSure produces very little heat and causes no damage to the skin.
As far as results, PicoSure tattoo removal is very precise. A doctor can target a particular area and remove only small parts of the tattoo. For example, if you want just a background color removed, PicoSure can do it. Older lasers do not have these capabilities.
Above all, PicoSure tattoo removal takes fewer treatments than older laser treatments. It also offers a much easier and shorter recovery period. Plus, you get better results overall because PicoSure can remove all ink colors. Older treatments have limitations when it comes to color removal. Sometimes, they cannot remove lighter ink colors completely.
PicoSure vs. cryosurgery
Cryosurgery was a popular and commonly used tattoo removal procedure at one time. According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, in this type of procedure, the doctor uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the cells quickly. When frozen in this way, the hope is it destroys the cells.
The good point is that almost anyone can have cryosurgery done. It also does not require any preparation, which is similar to PicoSure. In addition, the pain level is similar to PicoSure tattoo removal with a slight burning.
However, there are some downsides to this procedure. These include bleeding, blisters, swelling, loss of feeling at the site, loss of hair, scarring, and pigmentation loss. Almost everyone who gets this procedure will experience swelling blisters and redness. There is usually a healing process where you have to ensure the site remains clean. That prevents infection. It can take six weeks or longer to heal fully. Because the skin never breaks with PicoSure, you don't have to worry about keeping the area clean to avoid infection issues. It's another plus for PicoSure over other laser methods.
PicoSure vs. creams
According to Michele Green, M.D., a common at home tattoo removal method is the use of special creams. These creams often have a basis in the idea of microdermabrasion or removing old skin cells. As you may guess, this does not usually work well if at all. If you think about it, every day your old skin cells die and fall off your body. So, that would mean that over time your tattoo would just remove itself, and there would be no need for PicoSure tattoo removal or any other type of removal procedure.
What typically happens is people waste money on creams that do nothing to help remove their tattoos. If they do work, they take a very long time. Typically, they only work on certain pigments when they do anything. Also, there is always a risk for scarring with this method of tattoo removal.
The Bottom Line on PicoSure Tattoo Removal
PicoSure tattoo removal is a breakthrough in the field of removing tattoos effectively and efficiently. This new treatment option open doors for the removal of difficult tattoos with hard to remove colors or those that are older. It can be just the right option regardless of the size, color, or age of your tattoo because it is gentle on your skin and requires hardly any recovery.
The benefits of PicoSure over other options even further show why a PicoSure tattoo removal is a top option. It may be one of the most expensive choices for tattoo removal. However, if you really want your tattoo gone and do not want scarring or other negative side effects, PicoSure offers you the best solution.
This article is for informational purposes only. Please seek the services of a licensed medical professional if you consider PicoSure tattoo removal. A doctor can offer further assistance and explain the procedure fully.