PICO Laser Pigmentation Removal

Pico laser pigmentation removal is  safe and effective in treating a wide range of pigmentation conditions. These include common sun-induced freckles and solar lentigenes (sun spots). It has also been found to be effective in treating pigmented birthmarks such as Naevus of Ota and Cafe au lait macules (CALM). In addition, deep dermal lesions such as Hori’s Naevus have been found to respond positively to pico laser treatments.

How does Pico Laser Pigmentation removal work?

Over the past few decades, there have been strides in laser technology. The principle of selective photothermolysis established in 1980s enabled lasers to selectively target melanin, haemoglobin and water within the skin. Primarily, lasers are classified as either long-pulsed (microseond to milliseconds) or short-pulsed (nanoseconds to picoseconds) in laser dermatology. 

Pico laser pigmentation uses picoseond lasers with high power and ultra fast laser pulses. Of interest, the ultra fast pulses (about a trillionth of a second!) generates a strong yet stable acoustic effect on the target pigments. This photoacoustic or photomechanical effect shatters pigments more finely without much collateral damage.  The finely shattered pigments are subsequently removed by the body’s natural healing processes.

Differences between Nanosecond and Picosecond Lasers.

5 nanoseconds
450 picoseonds

Speed is the key determining factor. The ultra fast pulse released from the picosecond laser platform exerts a photoacoustic or photomechanical effect. Blasting pigments into smaller particles without overheating of the surrounding tissues allows lower downtime, side effects and fewer laser sessions.

What's the downtime with Pico Laser treatment?

The pico laser’s ability to reach its target beneath the skin without overheating, while leaving the upper skin layer intact is advantageous. The delivery of ultra fast pulses with the pico laser pigmentation laser means that recovery is quick for most cases. Generally, most scabs fall off within a week.


Who is unsuitable for treatment?

The PICO Laser pigmentation removal treatment is suitable for most individuals who are in generally good health with reasonable expectations of the benefits of the procedure. 

PICO laser treatments, like any other medical procedures, has a few contraindications. Please let the doctor know if you have a medical history of the following conditions:

  • Active skin inflammation or infection
  • Open skin wounds
  • Herpes infection
  • Active Acne
  • Hypersensitivity or seizures to flashing lights
  • Medications that increases light sensitivity.

Are Pico laser treatments painful?

Most treatments are tolerated well. A tingling sensation is commonly felt. We use numbing cream prior to your treatment to maximise comfort and experience.

How soon can I see results?

Depending on the type of condition treated, you may notice early results after the first treatment session.

How do I take care of my skin after treatment?

A gentle cleanser and moisturizers are advisable to keep skin clean and hydrated. You may be prescribed a topical antibiotic to minimize the risk of infections. Stay away from direct and prolonged sunlight, and protect yourself by using a sunscreen (SPF 50 and PA+++).

Avoid exfoliants, AHA/BHA and retinoids for at least one week after your procedure to avoid unwanted skin irritation.

How many sessions are required?

Pico laser pigmentation treatment depend on the size of treatment area and the type of pigmentation involved. A consultation and assessment of your skin type and medical history are factors we take in account when advising the costs of the treatment. An average of 4-6 treatment sessions are spaced at least 4 weeks apart.

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  1. Chan JC, Shek SY, Kono T, Yeung CK, Chan HH. A retrospective analysis on the management of pigmented lesions using a picosecond 755nm alexandrite laser in Asians. Lasers Surg Med 2016;48(1):2329.
  2. Kung KY, Shek SY, Yeung CK, Chan HH. Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of the dual wavelength picosecond laser for the treatment of benign pigmented lesions in Asians. Lasers Surg Med 2019;51(1):1422.

  3. Yang Y, Peng L, Ge Y, Lin T. Comparison of the efficacy and safety of a picosecond alexandrite laser and a Q-switched alexandrite laser for the treatment of freckles in Chinese patients. J Am Acad Dermatol 2018;79(6):11551156.