Pico laser is a type of pulse laser resurfacing skin treatment that is used for aesthetic purposes. It is non-invasive and non-surgical. Making use of high-energy pulses with a very short duration, Pico laser can shatter pigmentation or ink particles from tattoos on the skin. Those shattered pigments will then be eliminated naturally and our skin will start to repair the damage on its own. It is an innovative technology for people who would like to improve their skin conditions but will not want to do any invasive procedure.
Pico laser has a wide variety of usages in aesthetic treatment, including but not limited to:
- Pigmentation removal on skin
- Wrinkle smoothing
- Smoothing of acne scar
- Stretch mark removal
- Tattoo removal
- Birthmark removal
- Melasma treatment
What are the advantages of Pico Laser?
1. Only little discomfort to patients
Pico laser works by sending very short pulses of energy to the problematic skin areas. Although the energy of the pulses is highly concentrated, the effect of the laser on the outer skin surface is considered to be mild. Patients receiving Pico laser treatment seldom feel uncomfortable as a result.
2. Easily adjustable based on what the patient needs
Pico laser can also be adjusted to produce a wide variety of wavelengths. This allows for the practitioner to tweak the treatment based on the skin conditions of the patients, providing more flexibility for patients. This also enables for Pico laser to cater to different conditions and different skin types.
3. Production of new collagen and elastin
During the treatment, new collagen and elastin are created in response to the laser. Collagen improves skin elasticity to make our skin look better and younger. Elastin helps skin retain its bounciness.
4. Treatment sessions are short
The procedure of Pico laser treatment is quick. In normal conditions, it only takes about 10 to 30 minutes for the whole process. Results also start showing within 1 - 2 weeks after the first treatment.
5. Little to no side effects
Pico laser has little to no side effects. Most people receiving Pico laser treatment can resume with their daily routine almost immediately after the treatment is completed. While some people may possibly experience redness and swelling after the treatment, the problems will usually vanish within several hours.
What are the potential risks for Pico laser?
Pico laser is mostly safe, but there are some potential effects that patients may experience in the short term, including:
- Erythema – skin reddened due to an increase in blood supply
- Oedema – tissue swelling
- Blistering – fluid-filled skin lesions
- Hyperpigmentation – darker color pigmentation than normal
As noted previously, these are not severe side effects and usually will vanish within several hours after the treatment. If any of these effects last longer than a few hours, we recommend you consult with a doctor about it.
How do I prevent such risks?
Although Pico laser is suitable for most people, it can help to consult a doctor and examine your skin condition before receiving a Pico laser treatment. This will assist the practitioner in performing the Pico laser treatment and making sure your needs are met.
If you have received Pico laser treatment, it is advised to avoid direct sunlight for around 7 - 14 days as UV rays may cause pigment changes to the skin. It is highly recommended that you also put on sunscreen before going to outdoor activities.
What are the differences between the 4 types of Pico laser?
Pico Laser currently offers 4 different lasers: PicoSure, PicoWay, PicoPlus and PicoCare. The main difference is in the technical aspect of the machines and the variance of wavelengths they can achieve.
In theory, the ability to use different wavelengths will increase the machine’s effectiveness in different skin-related pigment issues. However, a skilful practitioner will also be able to tackle those issues regardless of the machine being used.
Overall, we recommend that, instead of looking at the machine specs, it is more important to enquire about your practitioner’s portfolio and experience when it comes to Pico Laser treatment as opposed to choosing which machine is being used.
Are Pico laser treatments painful?
While Pico lasers require very little downtime, they can still cause minor discomfort based on the patient's pain tolerance. A common description for the sensation is similar to being snapped by a rubber band. If in doubt about whether Pico laser will be uncomfortable, you could try snapping a rubber band against the area that will be receiving the treatment to see if the discomfort is at an acceptable level.
However, if a patient finds the process painful, practitioners will also be able to offer options to reduce the pain level, including applying a cooler or ice to the treatment area. Local anaesthetics may also be offered. We recommend discussing with your practitioner about your options in advance.
Who is not recommended to undergo the Pico laser treatment?
We don’t recommend people who are sensitive to flashing lights, have a history of seizures (epilepsy) or currently have an active skin condition (such as blisters, open wounds or rashes) in the targeted treatment area to undergo this treatment due to the potential risk and complications that may happen. If interested in laser resurfacing services, you should discuss it with your doctor for alternatives.
Help at OT&P
Our clinic has a team of experienced practitioners that can help you choose the right treatment for any concern you may have with your appearance. If you have any questions about Botox or any other procedures, you will be able to have them answered during a consultation. Book your consultation here.
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- Wu, D. C., Goldman, M. P., Wat, H., & Chan, H. H. L. (2020). A systematic review of picosecond laser in dermatology: Evidence and recommendations. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, 53(1), 9–49. https://doi.org/10.1002/lsm.23244