Clear and bright skin is a hallmark of youth and beauty. Unfortunately, this clear skin canvass of youth becomes naturally blemished over the years. Age and exposure to the sun and pollutants lead to skin conditions like acne scars, dark spots, wrinkles, and fine lines. Undeterred by the course of nature, people are turning to skin treatment to regain their spotless skin. With technology improving rapidly in the cosmetic treatment industries, laser skin treatments have emerged as a treatment option for these issues.
Pico laser, approved for treatment in 2016, is a new generation of pigment-removing lasers. Pico laser, widely available in Singapore, is an improved technology from its’ predecessor, the Q-Switched laser. Pico laser treatment can treat several common skin ailments like freckles, sunspots, hyperpigmentation, melasma and can be used for tattoo removal as well.
The Basics Of Laser Treatment
Before delving into the world of pico laser, let’s look at the bigger picture of laser treatment. LASER is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Lasers produce light of one wavelength (or color). It can be accurately focused onto small spots with high energy. When lasers are focused on a targeted area in the skin, it uses light and heat energy to cast out the imperfection. Laser is a non-surgical, non-intrusive treatment.
Types Of Laser Treatments
Broadly there are two types of lasers- ablative and non-ablative. Ablative lasers are wounding lasers that damage and remove the topmost layer of skin, the epidermis, whereas non-ablative lasers are non-wounding and work deeper layers in the skin (the dermis) without removing the epidermis. These two types can be further broken down into many subcategories. The main differences between types of lasers have to do with the wavelength they emit. Different wavelengths can be used to treat different conditions.
What Is Pico Laser?
Pico laser is a non-ablative type of laser. It is a non-surgical and non-invasive treatment modality. It fires ultra-short picosecond laser pulses as opposed to its predecessor, the Q-Switched laser, that delivers light beams in pulses per nanosecond.
How Does It Work?
Pico laser works by sending ultra-short picosecond pulses of energy to the targeted areas of the skin. This produces a photoacoustic shockwave which breaks up the unwanted skin pigments into tiny particles. The body then absorbs the smaller particles, and the lymphatic system will discharge them as waste. The speed of the shockwave is distributed at a trillionth of a second. A small amount of heat is produced, which reaches the target area. But it will disappear so quickly that the surrounding skin has no chance to absorb the heat and suffer damage. When used correctly, Pico laser treatment do not burn the skin, and patients typically endure little to no discomfort during the treatment.
Are You A Candidate?
Pico laser is suitable for most skin types. It can be used to treat many skin conditions. Below is a list of skin imperfections that can be treated with Pico laser in Singapore.
- Freckles – Freckles are tiny brown spots formed on the skin due to the overproduction of melanin. This melanin production is stimulated by UV radiation. Also known as Ephelides, they can appear on anyone exposed to the sun and not protected from UV rays.
- Solar Lentigines – Solar lentigines are dark patches of skin, including freckles, sunspots, and aging spots seen in people over 40.
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation – This type of pigmentation occurs after the skin inflammation due to conditions like acne and eczema.
- Melasma – Dark-colored skin patches appearing in women aged 20-40 years due to hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, taking birth control pills, or due to stress.
- Acne scarring – Depressed acne scarring can be improved by gradually improving uneven skin texture.
- Fine lines and wrinkles – Pico laser stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, which leads to firmer skin and diminishes the look and feel of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Tattoo removal – Multi-colored tattoo Ink can be removed effectively.
Difference Between Pico Laser And Other Laser Types
Q-Switched laser is a common laser used to remove excess pigments. It emits light beams in pulses per nanosecond compared to the Pico laser that emits pulses per picosecond. When targeted at a problem area, the Q-Switched laser also breaks down pigment particles which are absorbed by the body and excreted by the lymphatic system. It is used to treat many conditions like pigmentation, acne, wrinkles, and tattoo removal.
The table below gives a quick look at the comparison of Q-Switched laser and Pico laser in Singapore.
Advantages Of Pico Laser Over Other Laser Types Available In Singapore
Pico laser has significantly upped the speed game. Compared to a Q-Switched laser, the Pico laser has a pulse rate that’s a hundred times shorter, meaning that it can deliver more laser pulses to the target area deftly and accurately. Picosecond laser pulses are very energy efficient. They remove more pigments while using less energy than longer wavelength pulses. It also stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, which leads to firmer and rejuvenated skin.
Lesser Number Of Treatment Sessions
The pulse rate from the Pico laser fires faster, making the pigmentation fragments smaller. These small fragments clear up quickly and unveil improvements at a faster rate and over a lesser number of treatment sessions.
Less Damage To Surrounding Tissues
Shorter pulses mean less heat is produced and retained in the skin, and therefore, the damage to the surrounding tissue and the side effects are lesser. Furthermore, the heat produced by the laser is dissipated so quickly the surrounding tissues do not have time to absorb it. This reiterates that the damage to the surrounding tissues is very minimal. Hence, it reduces the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Effective For Tattoo Removal
Unwanted tattoos are a burden for many. Before the introduction of the Pico laser, the gold standard for tattoo removal was the Q-Switched laser. Pico laser in Singapore offers a wider application to eliminate tattoos. Thanks to its multi-wavelength, it can target several types of ink pigments (especially brighter pigments like red, orange, and yellow), even those that are colored deep in the dermis layer. Using both light and heat energy, it breaks apart tattoo pigments that are then excreted by the body. The faster and shorter pulses also reduce the risk of thermal ink damage.
Minimal Discomfort And No Downtime
Pico laser is less painful thanks to the ultra-short pulses. Further adding to the plethora of advantages, it requires little to no downtime. Therefore, Pico lasers provide a safe and efficacious mode to address various skin concerns.
It’s For Everyone!
Pico laser is suitable for most skin types and can be used for other parts of the body other than the face as well.
Despite it being an upcoming and advanced treatment modality, Pico laser is not extravagantly expensive in Singapore. It is set at an affordable price so that everyone may have access to this laser treatment.
Pico laser is one of the newest laser treatments on the market, which is notable and here to stay. It has several advantages over other laser treatment modalities and can be used for a wide array of conditions. If you’re suffering from any of the discussed skin imperfections, you may explore Pico laser as a treatment option. However, it is essential to consult your doctor before choosing any treatment to better understand if the treatment is suitable for you.