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Laser Tattoo Removal: Advantages of PicoSure® vs. Q-Switched Lasers

If you have an unwanted tattoo and are considering getting rid of it, you may have heard rumors about how painful or unpleasant it can be. Fortunately, people who had these experiences with tattoo removal most likely had treatment with older types of lasers. At Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz, we offer the advanced PicoSure® laser for a faster, more comfortable, and more effective laser tattoo removal experience. 

What is Laser Tattoo Removal? 

Whether your tattoo was an impulsive decision or no longer reflects who you are, you can eliminate it and achieve a clean slate with laser tattoo removal. This treatment breaks up pigments to remove tattoo ink. In the past, this procedure was typically performed with one of several Q-switched lasers. These widely used lasers have many medical and aesthetic purposes, but they are less than ideal for tattoo removal. For this reason, we prefer the PicoSure® laser system that works without generating heat or causing trauma to the skin.

Before & After Photo Gallery

*Individual Results May Vary

Real Patients. Real Results. View before & after images of vein and cosmetic procedures in our photo gallery.

How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?

During laser tattoo removal, laser energy travels through the skin and targets the ink particles embedded there. When using a Q-switched laser, the pigments absorb the laser energy as heat. The heat causes them to break apart into smaller, more removable pieces. When using a PicoSure® laser, extremely rapid pulses of laser energy strike the ink particles, shattering them into pieces without heat. Both methods are effective in removing tattoos, but the addition of the PicoSure® laser has improved the level of comfort and effectiveness you will experience during treatment. 


Your body’s lymphatic system can remove these broken pigment particles, carrying them away to be eliminated from the body. While it cannot remove the full-sized pigments, which makes your tattoo permanent, it can effectively clear the remaining pieces. 

Laser Tattoo Removal: Advantages of PicoSure® vs. Q-Switched Lasers

Our preference at Premier Vein & Body for the PicoSure® laser is due to several factors. We find that it provides the best experience for you with fewer treatments, more comfort, and better results. While Q-switched lasers are very effective for many purposes, they are an all-purpose laser not targeted for tattoo removal. 

How Do They Work?

Traditional Q-switched lasers break up tattoo pigments using heat. This generates heat in the skin, which can lead to pain, blisters, and a longer recovery time. PicoSure® does not produce any heat. In addition, its pulses of energy can address more different ink colors than the blues and blacks that older lasers treat most effectively. 

Which Colors Can They Remove?

Q-switched lasers are traditionally most effective on black or blue inks, while they struggle with bright colors such as oranges or reds. PicoSure® uses three wavelengths that effectively break up the entire spectrum of pigment colors, leading to more complete tattoo clearance, even with vivid colors that older lasers used to leave behind. 

Are They Safe For All Skin Tones?

Q-switched lasers can be used on most skin tones, but they have the potential to cause pigmentation issues or even burns on darker skin when used improperly. PicoSure® is safe on all skin tones, letting everyone benefit from the freedom of erasing an unwanted tattoo. 

How Comfortable are They?

The heat generated by a Q-switched laser can make treatment an uncomfortable process. In addition, it can cause skin sensitivity, peeling, and blisters. PicoSure® is much more comfortable and results in minimal downtime. Many people remark that the PicoSure® experience is more comfortable than they expected. 

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

The number of treatments needed to remove a tattoo varies widely depending on many factors. However, the PicoSure® laser usually requires fewer sessions. It removes more pigment colors with each treatment than a Q-switched laser and addresses bright colors in less time. Fewer sessions save you time and money, letting you enjoy your results sooner.

Consultations Available Now

To learn more, schedule your consultation with Dr. Schwartz by filling out the form on this page or by calling his practice at 913-451-8346. Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz serves patients throughout the Kansas City metro.

Is There Any Downtime After Laser Tattoo Removal?

After treatment with PicoSure®, you may experience minor redness and swelling lasting a few days. We will provide you with products to care for your skin for the next few days, and you may experience peeling or crusting. Most people can return to their usual activities without any downtime,  but you must use consistent sun protection and avoid exposure. 

Am I a Good Candidate for Laser Tattoo Removal?

Almost anyone with an unwanted tattoo can have it removed with the PicoSure® laser. Since it works for all skin types, tones, and ink colors, this laser is safe for all skin and all tattoos. You should not have laser tattoo removal treatments if you have an active skin condition, infection, or injury in the treatment area. Only a consultation can determine whether laser tattoo removal is right for you. 


*Individual Results May Vary


Read from real patients about their experiences with Dr. Schwartz and his team at Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz.

Take the Next Step

If you are interested in laser tattoo removal, please call us at (913) 451-8346 or complete our online contact form, and one of our trusted staff members will reach out to you. Premier Vein & Body is located in Kansas City, MO, just past the State Line, and proudly serves Leawood, Overland Park, Johnson County, and the entire Kansas City metro area.

** This blog provides general information and discussion about medicine, health, and related subjects. The words and other content in this blog and any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If anyone has a medical concern, they should consult with an appropriately licensed physician.

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