We have been evaluating an opportunity to work with a new laser platform called the Picosure. The company that makes the device is claiming the Picosure Tattoo Removal Laser can remove your tattoos in just half the time. Consequently, businesses using this platform are charging a lot more money to their clients to receive these treatments. However, is it really worth the enormous expense?
Our lasers use multiple wavelengths to treat tattoos. We do this because different colors of tattoo ink absorb various wavelengths of light differently. A wavelength that is great for treating a black ink tattoo may be totally ineffective at treating red or blue tattoos for example. Over the years, lasers have become more sophisticated to produce more wavelengths of light to treat different colors very effectively. The other improvement has been towards shorter “pulse durations” i.e., the amount of time each individual pulse lasts upon firing the laser. Since tattoo ink consists of very tiny particles, a very short pulse duration is used to minimize the amount of heating that occurs in the skin around the tattoo as well as to create a shock wave that breaks apart the tattoo ink.
Our Quanta Q+C system possesses wavelengths to treat all colors of tattoo ink effectively with an amazingly short pulse duration of six billionths of a second. That’s 0.000000006 seconds! The new Picosure laser claims to be event faster at 0.0000000006 seconds (that’s one extra zero), so basically 1/10th of the sliver of the already infinitesimally short pulse duration of Q-switched lasers such as our Quanta Q+C. The makers of the laser think this is a great thing and so they are charging nearly $300,000 for the laser and the clinics are passing that enormous extra cost along to their customers. Furthermore, as the Picosure only offers one wavelength, it is less apt to treat the entire spectrum of colors we regularly see in most tattoos. The company acknowledges this limitation and is currently developing additional wavelengths to address this problem, but for the price and the limitations, we aren’t yet convinced that the Picosure delivers on its hype.
As the busiest laser tattoo removal clinic in Minnesota with three locations, we could certainly add this technology to our device line-up, however, we are still not convinced this will add value for our clients. I’ve seen first hand that the Picosure is totally ineffective against red tattoos (and many tattoos contain red tattoo ink) and I’m not entirely convinced they really remove tattoos that much more quickly than the current gold standard laser. We are going to remain on the sidelines until we see more evidence published by physicians who aren’t getting a kick-back from the company that makes the device.
Rest assured that we are watching out for the best technologies to bring to you the best results.
Good luck removing this red tattoo with a Picosure laser!