Understanding the PicoSure Tattoo Removal Process By James E. Murphy, MD on December 13, 2017

Tattoo Art — Man with Body Tattoo in Reno, NV

Many people who get tattoos later seek to remove them. In fact, about 20 percent of people with tattoos regret them later on. The designs you like when you are younger may not be designs you appreciate as you grow older, so removing tattoos may become more appealing.

In the past, removing unwanted tattoos was not possible. Today, the process is made simpler with PicoSure. This guide will answer some of the most common questions about PicoSure as a technique for removing tattoos.

Why Do People Consider PicoSure?

PicoSure is used by people who regret their tattoos for a variety of reasons. For instance, some people with visible tattoos find themselves working in professional fields that may not look kindly on ink in the workplace. One researcher suggests that as many as 86 percent of the population believe that tattoos are a detriment to finding a job.

People who want tattoo removal for employment reasons can consider PicoSure treatment on the face, shoulders, arms, back, legs, or feet. Some of these areas are visible in a professional capacity, which leads to people to opt for removal.

People also consider PicoSure when they want to remove a tattoo associated with an ex-spouse or ex-partner. The tattoo might feature the person's name or just a symbol that reminds them of an ex.

How Does PicoSure Work?

PicoSure is a specialized laser that uses a wavelength of light to squeeze cells in its path. PicoSure sends out short pulses, creating what is known as a photomechanical impact. The quick pulses affect only the skin directly underneath, leaving surrounding spots unaffected by treatment. In fact, the pulses are so quick that they last one-billionth of a second.

The process requires your body to absorb the ink as the pigmentation changes. The body acts as the means of eliminating the tattoo.

PicoSure patients find that it may take several treatments to completely remove a tattoo, but this varies based on tattoo size, color, density, and type of skin. Fortunately, tattoo removal typically requires fewer sessions of PicoSure than other removal methods.

After the initial treatment of PicoSure, you will notice some fading. During this time, the particles of ink will metabolize into your system. Within the next six weeks, you will be able to return for another treatment.

Ultimately, the process does involve some pain, often described by patients as a rubber band snapping on the skin. Your doctor will ease the pain by providing a topical numbing cream. Some doctors will also offer a lidocaine shot to ease potential pain. Fortunately, treatment sessions only last between 5 and 30 minutes.

What Should You Do After Treatment?

After a PicoSure treatment, you might want to have an ice pack ready to relieve a potential sensation of burning. You will also want to wear loose clothing to the session so that you do not have restriction over the area immediately afterward.

What Are the Benefits of PicoSure?

One major benefit of PicoSure is that it has the ability to erase even infamously difficult ink colors, like yellow and red.

PicoSure is also beneficial for those who simply want to lighten the tattoo so that a tattoo artist can cover it up with something different. This requires fewer treatments than total removal. You can also use the process on older tattoos that have been previously treated.

Finally, PicoSure is not likely to result in a scar. At most, some patients experience hypopigmentation or lightening.

Murphy Tattoo Removal offers PicoSure tattoo removal services. When you are looking for compassionate, professional service, give us a call. Make an appointment today to see what treatment is available for your tattoos.

Dr. James Murphy

Murphy Plastic Surgery & Medical Spa

Dr. James Murphy is a highly trained, board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon who has been in practice 25 years. He serves patients throughout Reno and Lake Tahoe and is affiliated with several prestigious organizations, including: 

  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons 
  • American College of Surgeons 
  • American Medical Association 
  • Reno Surgical Society

Schedule your consultation today by contacting us online or call (775) 322-3446. Se habla español. If you would like to text us during business hours, we can respond via text to you. You can also send pictures to us with questions.

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