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Cosmetic Dermatology


For patients struggling with wrinkleshyperpigmentationacne scars, and tattoo regret, California Skin Institute providers now offer treatments with the PicoSure® laser.  Developed by the skin laser company, Cynosure, this new device uses a combination of light waves and a specialized lens to create bursts of pressure waves that stimulate the skin’s natural repair processes.  However, unlike traditional skin lasers, PicoSure was designed to produce less heat damage to surrounding areas, a feature that can lead to faster recovery times and requires fewer treatments.

To learn if PicoSure is right for you, please call or find a location near you and request a consultation.

What is PicoSure®?

PicoSure® is a skin laser designed to treat various signs of aging and to remove tattoos. However, there are several things that make this device different from other lasers on the market.

Firstly, it uses shorter bursts of light. Many lasers today deliver bursts in nanoseconds or a billionth of a second. PicoSure®, on the other hand, uses picoseconds, or a trillionth of a second. The goal of shortening these bursts is to reduce the amount of heat delivered to the skin and the associated damage to the surrounding tissues.

Secondly, it utilizes a special lens on the device, which converts light energy into short bursts of pressure. Instead of coagulating or damaging skin cells with heat, the waves of pressure disturb skin cells; a process that jump-starts the body’s healing processes.

What PicoSure® Treats

PicoSure® is primarily used to treat signs of aging and to remove tattoos.

When it comes to anti-aging laser treatments, this device can target issues like acne scarsdark spots, and wrinkles. By stimulating the body’s natural healing processes, hyperpigmented lesions are brightened, and the growth of collagen produces a skin tightening effect.

For tattoo removal, it relies on pressure waves to break down ink pigment in the skin. This causes the pigment to break up into much smaller particles, which are then removed by the body’s lymphatic system. Further, because it relies less on the ability to heat up ink pigment, the device can even be used to remove more difficult colors, like orange and red, which are typically harder to target with traditional lasers.

How Long do PicoSure® Results Last?

The longevity of results from PicoSure® will depend on the skin issue that is being treated.

Someone treating hyperpigmentation or acne scars will typically experience long-term results. However, this doesn’t mean that new scars or melanin clusters will not develop in the future.

For tattoo removal, once the tattoo pigment has been removed via the lymphatic system, it will not return unless you get a new tattoo. However, individual results may vary and it may not be possible to remove all of the pigment completely. Further, multiple treatments are needed to fade the tattoo pigment.

What to Expect During Treatment

When you visit California Skin Institute for PicoSure® treatments, your provider will ask you to sit in a comfortable chair and apply topical anesthetic if necessary. You will also be provided with protective eyewear.

Then, the applicator unit will be placed against your skin and the provider will begin delivering energy bursts into the skin. A typical treatment will last about 15 to 30 minutes, though this may vary depending on each patient’s unique situation, tattoo size, and scope of treatment.

Does Treatment Hurt?

Most patients who undergo PicoSure® treatments handle this procedure very well, especially if the treatment is for anti-aging purposes. The majority of patients describe the feeling as a rubber band hitting the skin. Further, your California Skin Institute provider may use a numbing cream to increase comfort.

For patients undergoing tattoo removal, the discomfort will be inevitably greater. This has to do with the process of breaking down large amounts of ink pigment. However, many patients have compared the discomfort of PicoSure tattoo removal to the discomfort of obtaining the tattoo in the first place.

PicoSure Side Effects

For anti-aging treatments, PicoSure® side effects may include mild skin redness and inflammation immediately after treatment. Many patients who visit California Skin Institute even get treatment during their lunch breaks, as makeup can be applied to the skin right after.

With tattoo removal, the patient can expect more inflammation and lingering discomfort. This occurs because clusters of ink pigment are broken apart within the skin; a process that can cause micro damage to the surrounding tissues.

Your PicoSure® Consultation

The best way to learn if PicoSure is right for you is to schedule a consultation with one of our expert providers. Please call a California Skin Institute practice near you, or schedule your appointment online now.


Treatment results will vary, talk to a practitioner to see if this treatment or procedure is right for you.

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