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In A Trillionth of a second ( Picosecond Laser Tattoo Removal)

When you think of Tattoo Removal - The technology everyone is talking about is Picosecond Laser, and the reason being this new and exciting technology uses ultra-short pulses of energy to shatter the ink into tiny dust-like particles, which means our bodies immune system is able to then dispose of these tiny particles via our lymphatic system.

You might be more familiar with the term nano second laser which uses a beam of light which travels at a billionth of a second, the picosecond laser is 1000 times faster and travels at astonishing rate of a trillionth of a second.

Lots of research and development has gone into Picosecond lasers, here are just a few of the Various studies that have taken place.

1. Treatment of Tattoos with Picosecond laser pulses vs. Nanosecond Domain Pulses

Published in February 1998!


4 treatments using Picosecond laser pulses in 4-week intervals

8 consenting patients

4 treatments using nanosecond laser pulses in 4-week intervals

8 consenting patients

All 16 patients completed the study

All patients had black tattoos.


A panel of dermatologists not associated with the study were enlisted to compare photographs of each patient’s tattoos to compare lightness.

Electron micrographs were also examined to check for electron density and size changes.

It was established by the panel that in 12 of 16 tattoos, had significant lightening in the picosecond-treated areas compared with those treated with nanosecond pulses.

In terms of electron density and size changes, similar changes were seen for both laser treatments.

Conclusion – Picosecond pulses are a more effective treatment than nanosecond pulses for black tattoos and in some cases, it is possible to clear tattoos with fluences of a lesser magnitude than with nanosecond domain pulses.

2. Successful and Rapid Treatment of Blue and Green Tattoo Pigment With a Novel Picosecond Laser


12 treated using Picosecond Laser pulses

The tattoos contained blue and/or green pigment with the picosecond 755-nm alexandrite laser.


Tattoos demonstrated at least 75 per cent clearance of blue and green pigment after 1 or 2 treatments. More than two-thirds of these tattoos also approached closer to 100 per cent clearance.


This new technology is more effective in targeting blue and green pigment, resulting in quicker treatment with less injury to surrounding tissue.

3. Treatment of Tattoos With a Picosecond Alexandrite Laser


Picosecond laser used on fifteen patients with tattoos

Treatments were scheduled approximately 6 ± 2 weeks apart.

Two-dimensional photographs were used as baseline before each treatment, including one month and 3 months after the last treatment.


12 patients completed the study and all of them obtained greater than 75 per cent clearance.

Nine patients obtained greater than 75 per cent clearance after 2-4 treatments, while all 12 said they were satisfied or extremely satisfied with the treatment.

Conclusion – The picosecond 755-nm alexandrite laser is a safe and very effective procedure for removing tattoo pigment.

4. Treatment of Resistant Tattoos with Picosecond Alexandrite Laser


Nanosecond laser used on 37 patients with six or more previous treatments.

Before and after images were evaluated by blind reviewers and graded on a quartile scale.


Additional tattoo clearing was seen in 36 of 37 patients, while near complete clearing was observed in 15 of the 37. The mean number of treatments for 90 per cent reduction was just two.

Conclusion – Picosecond lasers may be effective when nanosecond lasers have reached a plateau and no further clearance can be completed.

Click here to view the study.5. Clearance of yellow tattoo ink with a novel 532-nm picosecond laser


Treatment took place at 6-8 week intervals on six subjects with multi-coloured tattoos that contained yellow pigment.


One patient achieved complete clearance after one session, while the remaining five required 2-4 treatments to achieve over 75 per cent clearance. No scarring or textural skin changes were observed.


This was the First case series that demonstrated effective and consistent reduction of yellow tattoo ink using a laser with a picosecond pulse duration.

6. Safety and efficacy’s was tested for removal of black tattoo ink on a pig model after a single treatment with a novel 758 nm 500 picosecond laser


Pig’s were tattoo’d using Carbon and iron oxide

6 weeks later they were treated with either a

758 nm 500 picosecond laser

755 nm 30-50 nanoseconds laser

or left untreated

After 4 weeks, clinical responses were evaluated by three dermatologists based on photographs, histopathologic findings were evaluated by a dermatopathologist, while electron microscopic findings were also analysed.


After one treatment, picosecond pulses produced a greater degree of carbon tattoo clearance than nanosecond pulses. Neither treatment resulted in scarring, textural changes, or hypopigmentation.


The picosecond laser showed more efficacy at carbon tattoo clearance after one session than a nanosecond laser emitting at a similar wavelength. Both lasers cleared carbon tattoos move effectively than of a iron oxide tattoos.

7. A New Paradigm for Optimal Tattoo Removal Using Three Picosecond Laser Wavelengths


Using Picosecond laser pulses with 755nm, 532nm and 1064nm

Performed at 1-2 month intervals

44 patients with combined 53 tattoos.

Blinded evaluation was also performed at the end of the study.


31 tattoos with red, yellow, and/or orange pigments responded best to 532nm and achieved 75-100 per cent clearance after an average of 2 treatments.

17 tattoos with blue, purple, and/or green pigments responded best to 755nm

88 per cent of subjects achieved 75-100 per cent clearance after an average of 2 treatments.

7 tattoos with black ink responded equally to 755nm and 1064nm after 1-2 treatments.

Conclusion – The picosecond laser is a safe and efficient tool for tattoo removal, but requires multiple wavelengths. To clear most ink, a combination of 532nm and 755nm is needed, but 1064nm may be preferable for black ink and darker skin types.

8. Treatment of Traumatic Tattoo Using Picosecond Alexandrite Laser


Attempt to clear the untreated traumatic tattoo on the nose of a 62-year-old man using a 755nm picosecond laser.

Results – 6 weeks after treatment, the test spot showed near complete clearance. The reminder of the lesion was treated with the same settings and near complete clearance was achieved again.

Conclusion – The first safe and successful treatment of a traumatic tattoo rather than an ink-based tattoo using this class of device.

9. Assessing the effectiveness of a Picosecond Nd:YAG laser to treat black, green, purple, blue, red and yellow ink


21 consenting subjects with 31 tattoos of varying design and colour were treated with Picosecond pulses.

Subjects with black, blue, green, and purple inks were treated with a 1,064 nm wavelength

subjects with red and yellow inks were treated with the 532 nm wavelength.

Treatments were administered at 6-10 week intervals.


Photographs were taken before each treatment session of the subject’s tattoos and a 10-point scale was used to assess Picosecond’s effectiveness

0 being no clearance and 10 being complete clearance.

The photographs were evaluated by three investigators with no input into the study

In total, a score of 7.94 ± 0.09 corresponding to 79% removal was found on average.

The clearance on black tattoos was 92%, 65% on green, 78% on purple, 43% on blue, 80% on red and 85% on yellow.


Picosecond laser pulses are a safe and effective treatment for tattoo removal beyond black ink. Black and red pigment was removed effectively while yellow ink – which is traditionally one of the toughest to remove – saw an encouragingly high clearance rate.

We here at Aserene are a professional Laser skin clinic, and we offer Laser Tattoo Removal, if you are looking to remove a tattoo please get in touch to arrange a consultation and full skin analysis

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