Does the wavelength of the laser used to remove tattoos matter? Can the Picosure rid ink that is really deep?

I am concerned that my small tattoo will not be gone. It was treated 8 times w/ a q-switch laser, and I'm now considering the Picosure. I have read that the Pico's wavelength is shorter, does that matter? I think the ink I have left is really deep.

Answers from doctors (4)


There are many lasers on the market, and the right wavelength is required for different pigment colors. If you haven't been treated with enough energy, treatments will be less effective. Pico doesn't treat red pigment, so another laser is required for that. We have an Astanza Trinity that can treat all colors. We can also "stack" different wavelengths for resistant tattoos. It is important to have a good after care regime to improve how your body absorbs the ink. The laser only activates this ink by "exploding" the ink molecules.

Answered by Clean Slate Tattoo Removal at Vein Specialties (View Profile)

There are many lasers on the market, and the right wavelength is required for different pigment colors. If you haven't been treated with enough energy, treatments will be less effective. Pico doesn't treat red pigment, so another laser is required for that. We have an Astanza Trinity that can treat all colors. We can also "stack" different wavelengths for resistant tattoos. It is important to have a good after care regime to improve how your body absorbs the ink. The laser only activates this ink by "exploding" the ink molecules.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Brooklyn Laser Tattoo Removal, Inc.

Published on Feb 24, 2016

Yes. Most tattoo removal wavelengths are in order of shallowest to deepest (532, 694, 755, 1064nm). The higher the number, the deeper the penetration. Ask what wavelength is being proposed. Different ones target different colors best.

//imgs-origin.edoctors.com/imageresizer/image/user_uploads/58x58_85-1/doctors/6658_1438620511.jpg
Answered by Brooklyn Laser Tattoo Removal, Inc.

Yes. Most tattoo removal wavelengths are in order of shallowest to deepest (532, 694, 755, 1064nm). The higher the number, the deeper the penetration. Ask what wavelength is being proposed. Different ones target different colors best.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


McGuiness Dermatology

Published on Jan 25, 2014

The color of the tattoo ink mattered a lot for all tattoo removal lasers available before the Picosure. In fact, before the Picosure was available, most tattoos needed multiple treatments with more than one type of laser for removal. The Picosure laser is, essentially, "colorblind" when it comes to tattoo removal. Remember, the Picosure is not just a small improvement of an existing laser; it is a totally different type of laser, the first new technology in this field in 20 years! It can be used successfully for all tattoo colors, though red can still be the most stubborn to remove. The Picosure also has been proven to take about half the number of treatments to remove a tattoo compared to the best lasers previously available.

Really deep ink and non-traditional types of ink, can be much harder to treat, in general. However, when treating tattoos with other lasers, sometimes only a certain amount of ink is removed and no further progress is achieved, despite continuing treatment. It may be that the remaining ink is unusually deep, but many times the remaining ink is just too tough for the other lasers to remove further. The Picosure is usually very successful at treating tattoos only partially removed by other lasers.

//imgs-origin.edoctors.com/imageresizer/image/user_uploads/58x58_85-1/doctors/6653_1439479562.jpg
Answered by McGuiness Dermatology

The color of the tattoo ink mattered a lot for all tattoo removal lasers available before the Picosure. In fact, before the Picosure was available, most tattoos needed multiple treatments with more than one type of laser for removal. The Picosure laser is, essentially, "colorblind" when it comes to tattoo removal. Remember, the Picosure is not just a small improvement of an existing laser; it is a totally different type of laser, the first new technology in this field in 20 years! It can be used successfully for all tattoo colors, though red can still be the most stubborn to remove. The Picosure also has been proven to take about half the number of treatments to remove a tattoo compared to the best lasers previously available.

Really deep ink and non-traditional types of ink, can be much harder to treat, in general. However, when treating tattoos with other lasers, sometimes only a certain amount of ink is removed and no further progress is achieved, despite continuing treatment. It may be that the remaining ink is unusually deep, but many times the remaining ink is just too tough for the other lasers to remove further. The Picosure is usually very successful at treating tattoos only partially removed by other lasers.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Change of Art Laser Tattoo Removal

Published on Nov 16, 2013

The Picosure uses the same wavelengths, but the time the light is exposed to the skin is much shorter- a picosecond rather than a nanosecond. I personally haven't used the Picosure laser, but the reports of its results can be found. If your tattoo isn't responding well to the treatments, try waiting 4-6 months between sessions. The longer you wait the more fading you will see. I recommend this to my clients if we aren't seeing significant changes after 4-6 treatments. The time will really make a difference, and that may be what you need no matter what laser you use. I have many clients that will come only once or twice a year. It takes a longer time period to get the tattoo off, but they end up getting fewer laser sessions to achieve the removal.

//imgs-origin.edoctors.com/imageresizer/image/user_uploads/58x58_85-1/doctors/6585_1437713802.jpg
Answered by Change of Art Laser Tattoo Removal

The Picosure uses the same wavelengths, but the time the light is exposed to the skin is much shorter- a picosecond rather than a nanosecond. I personally haven't used the Picosure laser, but the reports of its results can be found. If your tattoo isn't responding well to the treatments, try waiting 4-6 months between sessions. The longer you wait the more fading you will see. I recommend this to my clients if we aren't seeing significant changes after 4-6 treatments. The time will really make a difference, and that may be what you need no matter what laser you use. I have many clients that will come only once or twice a year. It takes a longer time period to get the tattoo off, but they end up getting fewer laser sessions to achieve the removal.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Related Questions for Laser Tattoo Removal

Laser Tattoo Removal -2 answers
I've had 33 treatments over 5 years on my tattoo at a very good laser center. I know they're using the best lasers for the job. It's faded, but it just won't go away. I'm so frustrated. Is there anything I can try besides the traditional approach?
See More
Laser Tattoo Removal -3 answers
I got my first removal session just over 5 weeks ago. I have black and red ink. There are bumps ranging from small to sort of large clusters (seems swelled) in the red part of the tattoo. It's not painful, just slightly tender and gets itchy. Ideas?
See More
Laser Tattoo Removal -3 answers
I've had my small wrist tattoo treated 8 times, but the outline is still present (grey looking). I know extremities take longer, but could it be impossible to remove the tattoo considering the depth/placement?
See More
Laser Tattoo Removal -4 answers
After the treatment, how long does the ink stay in the body before the blood cells carry it away?I would like to move forward with tattoo removal treatments, but I am planning to get pregnant in September, when do I stop the treatments to be safe?
See More
Laser Tattoo Removal -3 answers
I have developed 3 enormous blisters after having the Picosure procedure, and I'm growing more concerned now that my ankle is swelling. It's 3x bigger. It doesn't make any sense, especially since it was my calf that was treated and not my ankle. Is this normal? I have no pain.
See More
Laser Tattoo Removal -3 answers
I had my first session a couple days ago, and the treatment area is super swollen and painful. Is this normal? What can I do to take away the swelling?
See More
Laser Tattoo Removal -1 answer
I've had two laser removal sessions, and the tattoo is a bit lighter, but how many more sessions will I need for the tattoo to disappear?
See More
Laser Tattoo Removal -4 answers
I just had my first laser treatment today on my brown eyebrows. The ink has turned red. Is this going to be permanent or will it fade?
See More
Laser Tattoo Removal -3 answers
I had my 3 laser tattoo removal session before 2, 5 weeks, but unlike previous times, it hasn't been healed yet and it looks like a brown smudge. My doctor said that the laser had to go deeper this time so the burning was deeper. I'm scared, is it normal?
See More
Laser Tattoo Removal -3 answers
Will drinking water, vitamin supplements, no alcohol, etc.. help with the removal process?
See More
Get answers from our experienced doctors.
How it works
Laser Tattoo Removal -3 answers
How many sessions will be needed before my tattoo is removed? What factors influence how long it will take?
See More
Laser Tattoo Removal -3 answers
I understand that black tattoos are the easiest to remove because they absorb the entire spectrum of light that the Laser outputs, but I was wondering, can very dark (heavily pigmented tribal tattoos) be completely removed from lower legs? I realize it will obviously take more sessions, but how many?
See More
Laser Tattoo Removal -3 answers
How does the laser remove the ink from skin? Is it sucked out of the skin or pushed deeper, so that you can't see it from the surface? Does it burn it off? Thanks!
See More
Laser Tattoo Removal -3 answers
Do I need to wait a certain amount of time before removing it? I got the tattoo about 3 months ago, big mistake, also, will it take more sessions to remove because it is new?
See More
Laser Tattoo Removal -2 answers
Hi I have a tattoo at the base of my skull; I got it when my head was shaved. You can see half of it on my neck (below hairline) and half in hair, I'd like to get it removed but I don't want a permanent bald spot. Will Laser TR get rid of the hair?
See More
Laser Tattoo Removal -1 answer
I did microblading 3 months ago. I immediately regretted it and few weeks later I did laser tatto removal (Q switch). So far I did 3 laser sessions and every time it makes my skin red and it doesn't remove the ink. I tried at different places and it's always the same result. I now have two very red eyebrows with the tattoo. It's really bad.
See More
Laser Tattoo Removal -2 answers
Are certain medical lasers better than others? What should I ask my specialist about the laser(s) their facility uses?
See More
Laser Tattoo Removal -2 answers
I've had 3 laser treatments on my tattoo which just has dark blue color. It has been 3 years now and it has faded quite a bit. Will it ever ALL go away or will I carry this "ghost" forever? Would 3 more sessions do it?
See More
Get answers from our experienced doctors.
How it works

Related Articles

Have specific questions?
ASK A DOCTOR