When it comes to tackling uneven skin pigmentation, acne scars, and regrettable tattoos, we now have laser options to take care of the problem. Albeit a pricier solution, it attracts many because it is tried and proven to work. Faced with this available technology, the concern now is to find a treatment that is safe, efficient, and reliable. PicoWay Laser was introduced into the market along with the promise of being able to deliver results that are a step above the usual performance of other lasers. See why it is something you should consider.
The PicoWay laser is a recent addition in the field of pigmentation removal. It was released a few years ago, but it has been racking up good reviews. It is ideal for anti-aging, benign pigmentation, acne scars, and tattoo removal.
This laser system developed by Syneron Candela comes in 3 wavelengths (532nm, 785nm, and 1064nm) which operate at full picosecond power and speed. These wavelengths determine the following:
- the depth of penetration that the laser has on the dermis (second layer of the skin)
- the pigment color the laser can treat
- and the skin type that the laser can work on
The ultra-short 785nm wavelength in a PicoWay laser is unparalleled in the aesthetic market. It also expands the capabilities of the PicoWay platform for tattoo removal. It uses a titanium sapphire laser, which is particularly helpful in the optimum removal of a wide range of tattoo colors and skin pigmentation. Its ultra-short picosecond pulses (which are equivalent to one trillionth of a second) eliminate the targeted skin issue faster and with little to no downtime. The picosecond pulses also produce less heat energy, providing a more comfortable treatment.
So, would it be worth the switch from what you are using now? Let’s take a closer look.
PicoWay vs PicoSure
Before Picoway came onto the scene, there was PicoSure by Cynosure. It was also introduced into the market with the same benefits as that of PicoWay. The two almost have similar specifications, but PicoWay came in with more ammo.
PicoSure comes at a lower wavelength at 755nm, and it uses laser pump handpieces to convert it into 532nm and 1064nm. This process of conversion drops the energy and compromises the potency of the wavelength.
To understand the concept between the effectiveness of these laser devices, you must wrap your head around its pulse duration. Picosecond is a measure of time (1000ps is equivalent to 1 nanosecond/ns). The lower the number, the faster the laser.
PicoWay is known to have the fastest operating laser at 300ps on the 785 nm wavelength. The speed of the laser is what generates the photoacoustic shockwave (also a mechanical form of energy) to shatter the pigments into very tiny fragments. This makes it easier for the body’s immune system to eliminate these particles through its natural processes. In tattoo removal for instance, the smaller the pigment, the better the ink is removed from the tissues.
Meanwhile, PicoSure only operates at 750ps. This means that it still relies mainly on heat to remove pigmentation such as tattoos. The amount of heat generated also explains why the recovery time for PicoSure is the same as that of nanosecond lasers.
In the picosecond category, PicoWay overcomes the limitations of PicoSure thanks to its multiple wavelengths that are capable of treating a wider spectrum of colours.
PicoWay vs. Nano Technology or Q-Switch Lasers
Before picosecond lasers came to the fore, the industry was dominated by Q-Switched or Nanosecond lasers for more than two decades. However, both PicoWay and Q-Switched lasers function through focused beams of pulsating light to target and shatter pigmentation into smaller particles. But, as with PicoSure, the speed at which the light energy is delivered is what separates the two.
It has been established that the quicker the laser energy is delivered to the tattoo, or any pigmentation, the more effective it is in removing it. Q-Switched lasers deliver energy for only a millionth of a second and are based on photothermal technology. Its attempt to break up pigments into tiny fragments faster only result in the laser heating up to a considerably high degree, but with a very minimal shattering effect. This can result in blistering, scarring, and dyspigmentation.
Q-Switched lasers require 10-15 treatments, sometimes more, with intervals of 6-8 weeks. This results in clearance taking more than 12-18 months. In some cases, there are some tattoos that still don’t have full clearance even after that span of time.
Meanwhile, PicoWay lasers can remove tattoos within 6-8 treatments, with intervals of 6-12 weeks. Patients can also expect clearance within 6-8 months.
PicoWay may be twice the cost of Q-Switch lasers per treatment. But, with less than half the number of treatments required, the actual total cost of treatment with the PicoWay is comparable – if not cheaper – than Q-Switched.
Pain and Safety
Since the PicoWay operates in three separate wavelengths, it is safer for those with darker skin tones. This is appropriate for Asian skin, with its high epidermal melanin content, making it less likely to develop adverse pigmentary reactions after a laser treatment. There may be some degree of discomfort, since pain tolerance varies for each person depending on the nature and location of the pigmented lesions on the body.
Due to the long-pulsed nature of Q-Switched lasers, eliminating lighter colors like yellow and blue were difficult and usually painful. Furthermore, for the laser to influence acne scars, wrinkles and saggy skin, you need to undergo sessions frequently at high settings. Instead of treating the problem, this could result in darkened or lightened spots on the face.
Why We Chose PicoWay
We at The Aesthetics Centre use the PicoWay laser to address common pigmentation concerns because it delivers the results our patients deserve. It has both fractional and non-fractional capabilities that can remove multi-colored and recalcitrant tattoos. It is also safe, reliable and efficient in treating skin irregularities (lentigo, freckles, birthmark, acne scars, nevus of ota) and the different signs of aging for all skin types.
Through a consultation, we can help you decide the best treatment option to help you achieve your goals. If you want to give it a try or make that switch today, please call +65 6820 3308 or +65 6820 3309.