The PicoWay laser is used to treat dark spots, scars, and wrinkles, but it is also commonly used to remove tattoos. Unlike dermabrasion and surgery, the PicoWay laser causes much less damage to the skin while producing effective results.
This device has several settings designed to target and erase a wide range of colors on all skin types. Once the laser light hits the tattoo, it shatters the molecules of the pigment itself. Then, these molecules enter the bloodstream, where they are eventually processed and removed from the body entirely. If you feel that you’ve outgrown your tattoos or don’t identify with them anymore, PicoWay is the solution that can help you restore the skin you’ve been desiring.
At 17 Med Spa, we utilize this leading technology to provide our patients with exceptional results. If you want to take the first step in your journey toward achieving beautiful and radiant skin through our revolutionary laser tattoo removal treatment, call us at (714) 224-9010 to reach our Buena Park, CA location or (408) 663-8701 for our Cupertino, CA office. Alternatively, feel free to reach out through our contact form to request a consultation. One of our knowledgeable staff members will be in touch with you promptly.
- 1 About Tattoo Ink
- 2 Laser Technology
- 3 Personal Consultation
- 4 PicoWay Tattoo Removal Procedure
- 5 Recovery and Results
- 6 Cost of Tattoo Removal in Cupertino, CA
- 7 FAQ
- 8 References
About Tattoo Ink
In order to make a tattoo permanent, the tattoo needle and ink need to penetrate about 1.5 to 2 mm into the skin. The wounds from the tattoo needle invoke an immune reaction, and the body sends white blood cells to the site of the tattoo. These cells work to fight and remove bacteria and other foreign substances, but they are unable to rid the body of tattoo ink. Instead, white blood cells called macrophages engulf the ink and attempt to break it down- leaving molecules of ink suspended within the dermis layer of the skin. As you get older, this ink can retreat back into the deeper layers of the dermis, creating blurred outlines and colors. (1) People often choose to remove their tattoos once they lose their crisp lines, vibrant colors.
While tattoo art can be quite beautiful, there are some alarming facts that most people don’t know about tattoo ink. Even though a majority of the ink stays put in the dermis, some of it is sent away to the lymph nodes, important tissues of the immune system that prevent cancer cells and aid in defense against viruses and bacteria. Not much is known about the effect of tattoo ink on the body’s immune system. Research has shown that tattoo ink contains primary aromatic amines that come from ammonia, heavy metals that have been shown to be toxic, and many other damaging chemicals. (2) Tattoo artists are often unaware of the ingredients within their ink since manufacturers in the U.S. are not required to label its contents. Luckily, the PicoWay laser isn’t just a cosmetic solution. Itt can help you break down the harmful ink lying within your skin.
While laser tattoo removal has been practiced since the 1960s, many types of laser only emit light at one specific wavelength- the length of a unit of light measured in nanometers (nm). Lasers with these wavelengths are effective at targeting these specific pigments:
- 532 nm lasers erase yellow, brown, orange, and red.
- 755 and 694 nm lasers erase black, blue, and green.
- 1065 nm lasers typically only erase blue and black.
Knowledgeable laser specialists always consider patients’ skin type before performing any laser treatment. By using the Fitzpatrick Scale, clinicians can employ the most suitable laser light wavelength for skin resurfacing and tattoo removal purposes:
- Type I- very pale and always burns
- Type II- white and almost always burns
- Type III- very light olive and tans gradually
- Type IV- Olive toned and almost never burns
- Type V- Brown and rarely burns
- Type VI- Dark brown and never burns
For example, people with darker skin are more likely to experience hypopigmentation, or unwanted lightening of the skin, but this can be avoided by applying a laser that emits a longer wavelength.
Why Choose PicoWay for Tattoo Removal?
PicoWay is a type of picosecond laser, a device that emits more light pulses within a very short period of time (picoseconds – trillionths of a second), leading to shorter procedure times. Patients can also enjoy the benefit of fewer treatment sessions than other tattoo removal lasers. (3) Picosecond lasers can adjust to 532, 694, 755, and 1064 nm, making them the most versatile option for eliminating a wide range of ink pigments. As a relatively new laser that was FDA-approved in 2012, you can expect to see superior results from one of the most advanced tattoo removal devices available today.
At 17 Med Spa, we understand that making an informed decision about your laser treatment is crucial. That’s why we offer a comprehensive and detailed consultation that covers all aspects of PicoWay laser treatment. During the consultation, a laser specialist will review your medical history and discuss your specific concerns and expectations regarding tattoo removal. Your laser specialist will also evaluate your tattoo’s characteristics, such as its size, color, and location, to determine the most effective treatment plan.
To schedule your personalized laser consultation please call us at (714) 224-9010 (Buena Park, CA) or (408) 663-8701 (Cupertino, CA). You may also schedule your consultation through our online form. We are committed to providing you with the knowledge and confidence necessary to embark on your skin rejuvenation journey.
PicoWay Tattoo Removal Procedure
Before receiving treatment, your laser specialist will cleanse the area of your tattoo and apply a topical numbing cream. You’ll have to wait at least 30 minutes before the effects fully kick in. Next, both you and your technician will wear protective glasses to prevent the risk of eye damage from the light. After placing PicoWay’s handpiece over the tattoo itself, they will make several passes and apply several pulses of light. Depending on the size of your tattoo/s, it may take as little as 15 minutes or as long as 1 hour.
It is possible that for very large tattoos, such as one encompassing the whole back, you may require a local anesthetic so that your skin remains numb for the duration of the procedure. While some patients describe “snapping” sensations on their skin, it is a fairly comfortable process due to the numbing cream. Once your session is complete, your technician will apply an antibacterial cream and a bandage to protect it from infection.
Recovery and Results
Immediately after your treatment, you may notice that the skin around your tattoo is a bit lighter. This is a type of hypopigmentation, a temporary effect that fades within an hour of the procedure. In the next 2 days, you may notice that the area becomes swollen and red, so it’s important to avoid irritating it further. It is also normal to see pinpoint bleeding and experience tingling. We advise all of our laser tattoo removal patients to apply the prescribed ointment and continue to avoid sun exposure. After your first session, you will see that your tattoo/s will appear slightly faded. You will have to wait a few weeks before your next session to continue your treatment.
Cost of Tattoo Removal in Cupertino, CA
To receive an accurate estimate for the price of your PicoWay laser treatments, we encourage you to schedule a personal consultation at one of our locations in southern California. During this consultation, we will thoroughly explain the procedure, answer any questions you may have, and provide you with a detailed breakdown of the expenses associated with your PicoWay laser tattoo removal treatment.
Message us online to book your consultation.
How many sessions of laser tattoo removal will I need?
The number of sessions you’ll need to fully remove a tattoo will depend on the tattoo’s age, depth within the skin, and the color pigments used. On average, patients will need 4 to 5 sessions of the PicoWay laser. Some patients may need 8 sessions or more to completely erase all pigment. Others may simply choose to fade the tattoo enough to get a cover-up tattoo.
How long should I wait in between sessions for laser tattoo removal?
To get the best results, you should wait at least 8 weeks in between each laser tattoo removal session. This way, you’ll allow your skin to heal and prevent the risk of scarring.
Does laser tattoo removal hurt?
Laser tattoo removal doesn’t cause significant pain, but you may feel mild stings during the procedure itself. If you’re too uncomfortable, your laser technician can apply more numbing cream.
What are my options for tattoo removal?
Dermabrasion, chemical peels, skin excision, and cryosurgery are all other options for tattoo removal besides the PicoWay laser. These methods are much more invasive, may leave scars, and are not gentle on the skin like the PicoWay laser. These lasers are designed to precisely target tattoo pigments, not the melanin of your own skin.
- Grant CA, Twigg PC, Baker R, Tobin DJ. Tattoo ink nanoparticles in skin tissue and fibroblasts. Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology. 2015;6:1183-1191. doi:https://doi.org/10.3762/bjnano.6.120
- Negi S, Bala L, Shukla S, Chopra D. Tattoo inks are toxicological risks to human health: A systematic review of their ingredients, fate inside skin, toxicity due to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, primary aromatic amines, metals, and overview of regulatory frameworks. Toxicology and Industrial Health. 2022;38(7):417-434. doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/07482337221100870
- Pedrelli V, Azzopardi E, Azzopardi E, Tretti Clementoni M. Picosecond laser versus historical responses to Q-switched lasers for tattoo treatment. Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy. 2020;22(4-5):210-214. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/14764172.2021.1886307