Picosure® is a laser based on picosecond technology that achieves tattoo removal in a safer, more efficient way in less time.

The demand for elimination of tattoos has increased in recent years, as it is a fashion and a high rate of the population has tattoos. Professional and personal reasons are the most frequent causes for which patients want to remove tattoos.

The incorporation of Picosure® laser to IML's technical equipment is an important step in the removal of our patients tattoos.

Picosure, picosecond laser for tattoo removal, available at IML

Picosure®, picosecond laser for tattoo removal, available at IML

How does picosecond laser work?

The main feature of Picosure® is that it is the first laser for medical applications which emits pulses in picoseconds. A picosecond is a million times shorter than a second.

This ultrashort pulse generates two effects:

  1. Sudden increase in temperature in the tattoo pigments. The Picosure® pulse set at 500-750 picoseconds produces a highly concentrated energy delivery in a billionth of a second. In this way, the temperature increases very sharply and the pigments explode into tiny particles, which are metabolised by the body more easily.
  2. Effectiveness in smaller ink particles. This type of particle has a shorter thermal relaxation time, so that its elimination was not satisfactory with conventional Q-Switched type lasers.
How does picosure laser work

How do tattoo pigments accumulate on the skin?

To understand the advance of the picosecond laser it is interesting to know how pigments accumulate in the skin when the patient has a tattoo.

The pigments accumulated in the skin in the form of particles and granules.


  • Have a diameter of between 40 and 100 nm.
  • They can be found in the interior of the cells or in the extracellular space.


  • Are concretions of particles.
  • Typically they have a size between 10 and 400 times larger than the particles with a diameter of between 400 and 4,000 nm.
  • They are found on the intracellular level.

The tattoo pigment accumulates in the skin in the form of particles or granules

The tattoo pigment accumulates in the skin in the form of particles or granules

Electron microscope images, courtesy of H.R. Jalian, M.D.

The thermal relaxation time of the particles is different from that of the granules. The smaller the size of the pigment, the shorter the thermal relaxation time. So we need to deliver energy in pulses shorter than the thermal relaxation time to cause bursting of the pigment.

The pigment particles have a thermal relaxation time of 40 to 1,000 picoseconds. Unlike Q-Switched lasers, that generally deliver in 5 nanoseconds or 50 nanoseconds as pulse width, Picosure® emits at 750 picoseconds. That is to say, the use of picosecond lasers, with a duration 100 times shorter than Q-Switched lasers, improves efficiency when the target of the laser is composed of small particles.

The peak tensional stress is the maximum voltage that a material can withstand while under pressure before rupturing or exploding. This peak is reached by the pigment particles and granules when they are impacted by Picosure® energy, thereby creating a very intense photomechanic effect.

Peak tensional stress

This picture explains the peak tensional stress: maximum pressure that a substance or material supports prior to rupturing or exploding

When the laser energy delivery to the tattoo pigments is done in a time of 705 picoseconds, pigments reach their fracture index more effectively, breaking up into tiny particles that the lymph capillaries can transport for elimination.

What types of laser do we apply at IML for tattoo removal?

At IML, the different types of Q-Switched laser remain important in the various stages of tattoo removal and, in some cases, we apply treatment by combining different devices, depending on the residual pigment, depth, colour and the anatomical region of the tattoo.

At IML we have all types of lasers for tattoo removal

At IML we have all types of lasers for tattoo removal

Advantages of Picosure® laser tattoo removal

The main advantages of Picosure® laser for tattoo removal are:

  • The treatments are effective with half the energy, which is much gentler on the skin.
  • Lightening of the tattoo is achieved more quickly.
  • Lightening of the tattoo is achieved in half the sessions or less than with the traditional lasers.
  • Can treat recalcitrant tattoos, i.e. tattoos that are very resistant to laser and that after a high number of sessions, there is still a high density of residual pigment.
  • Increases efficiency in removal of light blue or light green pigments.
  • The thermal mechanism of the tattoo removal is greatly improved.
  • The maximum level of mechanical stress is achieved.

For more information on tattoo removal, request a free informative consultation now with our medical experts.

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