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Answers to your questions about tattoo removal


If you’re thinking about getting rid of a tattoo, you may quickly get confused by laser terminology. Picolris vs Q Switch tattoo removal is what you may come across. I’ll explain what they are so you can make your own decision.


First, I need to explain how laser tattoo removal works so you can understand the basics:

How effective is laser tattoo removal?

The laser passes through your tattoo, hitting the ink with each flash and shattering it. This causes the ink to break up into smaller particles. Your body’s immune system then begins to “clean up” the tiny ink particles and expel them as waste.


To do this, your immune system needs to be healthy and functioning well. If you are sick or your immune system is compromised by smoking or drug use, the whole process will take longer. So the speed of removal doesn’t always depend on the laser, but on your own body.


What is a Picolris Laser?

Picolris Laser is the brand name for a laser that delivers very fast pulses of light — after the term picosecond. A picosecond is a unit of time, a trillionth of a second. The laser pulses are so fast, they are very effective at smashing the tattoo pigment into smaller particles. This then allows your body to do the rest.


What is a Q-switched laser?

Before the advent of picosecond lasers, Q-switched nanosecond lasers were considered the gold standard for tattoo removal. Q-switching refers to the way light is held and then released, making it very powerful. Imagine water pouring down from a river – it’s very powerful. But if you hold back the water for a while, then let it go – it becomes even more powerful. This is basically what Q-switched lasers are doing.


Most of these lasers use nanosecond pulses. Those are billionths of a second, not trillionths of a second. However, if you compare it to a “Pico” laser, the speed isn’t much different. This is because even though “picosecond” lasers use the term “picosecond”, they don’t actually deliver picosecond pulses – they are much slower than that!


Picolris Laser and Q-Switch

So which should you choose? Different studies have come to different conclusions. Some have shown that picosecond lasers break down ink more efficiently. For example, the study found that 12 of the 16 patients enrolled in the trial had higher clearance rates using the picosecond laser than the nanosecond laser. Click here to read. However, other studies have found little difference. A study in the British Journal of Dermatology concluded that using picosecond laser pulses did not provide better clearance than nanosecond laser pulses.

Other studies have found that nanosecond pulsed lasers at high energy settings perform as well as “picosecond” pulsed lasers. It really depends on the quality of the laser.


The difference between some picosecond lasers and some nanosecond lasers is small. For example, compare the difference between seconds and minutes. You could say the difference is 60 seconds. But in reality the difference between 59 seconds and 1 minute is actually only 1 second! The same is true for the differences between some nanosecond and picosecond lasers, but using different time units.

The Picolris brand excels at removing most colors of tattoo ink, except for the really hard-to-remove reds. Therefore, Q-switched lasers will work better.

Post time: Jun-21-2022