You’re invited to a wedding, and it’s July, and the forecast is steaming hot. It’s a semi-formal outdoor affair, and you’d like to wear that gorgeous loose silk dress, but it’s backless and you’ve got two fading butterflies book-ending a random chinese phrase on your shoulder blade. Cute? Not exactly. We can’t all Angelina Jolie our way through adolescent tattoo choices, or re-do the time we got matching best-friend dolphins before “tramp stamp” was a part of our vocabulary, but there is hope.
Dr. Robert Anolik, MD and the new PicoSure laser to the rescue. He specializes in cosmetic dermatology and laser surgery at the prestigious Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York in Midtown Manhattan, and he’s well-respected for his industry-leading knowledge of dermatology and expertise in lasers. Dr. Anolik has direct access to one of the most advanced collections of laser technologies. Given his pedigree and experience with laser surgery, he’s the perfect candidate to shed some light on the new PicoSure laser. Dr. Anolik was one of the first dermatologists to use this laser in New York and he believes its technology is truly transforming. Here, using Dr. Anolik as a primary resource, Charlotte’s Book reviews the new PicoSure laser treatment.
The Picosecond Laser: Pulses Faster Than A Nanosecond, And More Effective
PicoSure™ is an aesthetic laser that was first developed to remove unwanted tattoos, but now, newer techniques use PicoSure to rejuvenate skin by improving skin texture and discoloration. What makes this laser unique is that it’s the first and only picosecond (shorter than a nanosecond!) laser on the market, delivering ultra-short bursts of energy to your skin in trillionths of a second, literally. For many tattoo types, PicoSure showed to be less painful, with fewer treatments needed (as few as 4-6, compared with up to 10-15 with nanosecond lasers), a faster recovery time, and far more effective at removing certain tattoo colors (greens, blues, and purples). While PicoSure was first used for the removal of tattoos, newer clinical research shows impressive changes on acne scars, textural changes, skin discoloration and aging in general. Impressively, the rejuvenation techniques allow for minimal downtime with just a few hours of appearing pink.
Can Everyone Use PicoSure?
PicoSure can be used on all skin types, but must be performed by experienced dermatologists for safety. Darker skin types require more delicate delivery of laser energy. Talk to your dermatologist or plastic surgeon about the best strategy for you.
What Does The Treatment Feel Like?
PicoSure treatments are quick but can cause some minor discomfort. Some treatments require no numbing, but some may require numbing in the doctor’s office. The discomfort of a PicoSure treatment is often compared to a rubber band snapping the skin, but is tolerable with appropriate pain management. Immediately following treatment the surface area may feel like a mild sunburn, but painless unless rubbed.
How Long Does Treatment Take?
PicoSure sessions take about 15 minutes each on average; however, your actual session length will depend on the size of your tattoo or treatment area. Typically, tattoos require 4-6 sessions.
Are There Immediate Side Effects?
When using PicoSure for rejuvenation, acne scars, and discoloration, it is common for the skin to appear pink for a few hours after treatment. It is important to apply sunscreen on the affected areas for a few days after treatment.
What Can Results Can I Expect, Ideally?
PicoSure reduces, or often completely removes, the appearance of unwanted tattoos and pigmented skin lesions; other treatment strategies reduce the appearance of scars, stretch marks, fine lines, wrinkles, pores, and uneven skin tones, resulting in a more youthful, even complexion. With PicoSure, results are usually visible immediately following treatment, but because it can treat a range of conditions, the extent of improvement and healing time varies according to the surface area being treated.
Where Is the Best Place To Get PicoSure, And From Whom?
Only a board certified (ABMS, ASPS, ASAPS, AAD) dermatologist or plastic surgeon who specializes in the PicoSure laser should administer this treatment. PicoSure treatment courses depend on what is being treated, but treatments spaced every 3-6 weeks are typical.
How Much Does It Cost?
$300 – $1400 per session depending on what is being treated.
According To Charlotte
PicoSure treatment is heavily marketed for tattoo removal, but the anti-aging benefits are wondrous. Talk to your doctor about how to leverage this new treatment for reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and pores.
PicoSure treatment is known to work miracles on most tattoos, but a black cat across your thigh might be a bit tricky. Be sure to ask your doctor what the expected outcome of treatment is so you’re not disappointed with the results. One last note: should this treatment cause your skin to blister, avoid touching it at all costs. Apply an ointment like Aquaphor and a bandage to ensure best results.
Experts, Concerns and Treatments Mentioned In This Feature:
Dr. Robert Anolik, MD, Charlotte’s Book Advisor, practicing at Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York
Wrinkles & Aging