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We’ve had many patients inquire about the Picosure laser for tattoo removal over the past few months. What makes it difficult for consumers to understand which laser is optimal for their tattoo removal is the technical aspect of laser dermatology.

A Picosure laser is an effective laser technology for certain colors. The challenge is that the wavelength of the laser (755 nanometers) is not the same as most other tattoo removal lasers (Nd:Yg is most common at 1064/532 nanometers). What this means is that the IDEAL color for treatment with the Picosure laser is green. This is a less common color with most tattoos and for this reason, in many cases, the Picosure laser is not the best laser for tattoo removal. Below you will find an excerpt from Wikipedia, which details the 755 (Alexandrite) wavelength for q-switched laser tattoo removal and the challenges with this wavelength.

“Q-switched Alexandrite: 755 nm. The weakest of all the q-switched devices and somewhat similar to the Ruby laser in that the Alexandrite creates a red light which is highly absorbed by green and dark tattoo pigments. However, the alexandrite laser color is slightly less absorbed by melanin, so this laser has a slightly lower incidence of unwanted pigmentary changes than a ruby laser. This laser works well on green tattoos but because of its weaker peak power it works only moderately well on black and blue ink. It does not work at all (or very minimally) on red, orange, yellow, brown, etc. This laser wavelength is also available in a picosecond speed with anecdotal claims that it removes ink faster.” **

** Reference

The bottom line with laser tattoo removal is that certain lasers (wavelengths) are better suited to certain colors, so the “best” choice of laser technology depends on the color of the tattoo. Your results, on the other hand, are determined by both the laser technology AND the experience and skill of the person doing the treatment. For best results, find out which wavelength of laser is mst appropriate for the color of your tattoo and find an office with lots of experience treating patients with your skin type and tattoo color.

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