Aesthetic Clinic Singapore | Tattoo Removal Pico Laser | SW1 Clinic

Tattoo Removal Pico Laser

Tattoos may seem like a good idea at some point in our lives, but for some, making a major decision such as getting one’s body inked especially when young is rife with regret.

Early tattoo removal treatments such as dermabrasion, salabrasion, argon or CO2 lasers have left many faced with permanent scarring. The Nd:Yag Pico second laser, however, has revolutionized treatment of tattoos. Today, Pico second lasers have become the treatment of choice for tattoo removal. Picosecond Nd:Yag laser has been shown to be vastly superior to traditional Q-switched NdYag lasers.

Traditional Nd:YAG Q-Switched lasers are capable of delivering 10-nanosecond pulses. Because common black pigment particles used in tattoos have thermal relaxation times of less than 10 nanoseconds, the traditional Nd:YAG Q-Switched lasers may not be the most efficient in tattoo removal. The Discovery PICO Plus Laser is able to work in picosecond pulses, harnessing triple laser wavelengths in both pico and nano-second pulses, placing it well above its peers.

Laser tattoo removal works by shattering pigment particles under the skin, which are then removed naturally by the body. Multiple sessions are required, and the number of treatments depends on the depth, colours, and age of the tattoo.

How It Works

Picosecond pulsing enables the “PICO Dusting Effect”, which is pulverization of tattoo pigments using ultra-short, picosecond laser pulses to shatter ink particles at high pressure. This photoacoustic effect breaks tattoo inks into a fine dust cloud, with dust particles tinier than those fragmented by traditional nanosecond Nd:YAG lasers. Pulverized pigments are absorbed much more efficiently, resulting in speedier elimination of the ink particles by the body. The ultra-short bursts also mean even lesser thermal damage to surrounding normal tissue, thus there is lesser erythema and swelling compared to its traditional counterpart, dramatically reducing the risks of scarring.


Superior Photoacoustic Effect of the Discovery PICO Plus Laser. Pigments are pulverized instead of large piece fragmentation with traditional Q-Switched Lasers, resulting in more efficient tattoo clearance and overall reduction in number of sessions required.

What makes the Discovery PICO Plus stand out amongst other tattoo removal lasers?

Discovery PICO Plus has triple wavelengths at 532 nm, 694nm and 1064 nm, it can produce pico as well as nano-second pulses, targeting different coloured inks effectively. Discovery PICO Plus also includes a 694 nm Ruby laser, which just means even notoriously stubborn tattoo ink colours can be safely treated.

A summary of wavelengths and pulse types is as follows:

532nm (picosecond mode) – for treating benign, pigmented lesions in skin types I-IV, as well as removal of red, yellow and orange inks in skin types I-III

1064nm (picosecond mode) – for treating benign, pigmented lesions in skin types I-IV, as well as removal of black, brown, green, blue and purple inks for all skin types (I-VI)

694nm Ruby (nanosecond mode) – for removing a wide range of specific benign, pigmented lesions, as well as removal of tricky ink colours such as sky blue, green and violet.

532nm (nanosecond mode) – for removing a wide range of specific benign, pigmented lesions and vascular concerns, as well as removal of lighter coloured inks such as red, sky blue, green, tan, purple and orange.

1064nm (nanosecond mode) – for removing a wide range of specific benign, pigmented lesions and acne scarring, as well as removal of darker coloured inks such as black, blue and brown.


The Discovery PICO Plus Laser Tattoo removal harnesses triple laser wavelengths in pico- and nano-second pulses to effectively treat multicoloured and black tattoos.

This essentially means that it can not only clear tattoos more quickly with lesser number of treatments, it is also capable of targeting both black and multicoloured tattoos, yet keeping the safety profile of a nanosecond laser, making it the most powerful and flexible laser tattoo removal treatment to date.

How is the procedure like?

Topical numbing cream is first applied onto the skin. Laser is only performed by our highly trained doctors at the SW1 Clinic. The laser light is passed over the tattoo, and only tattoo pigments absorb the laser energy. Treated tattoo pigments may initially acquire a silvery sheen, also known as “frosting”. This lasts for approximately 15 minutes and the treated tattoo returns to its original colour. There may be some redness and swelling of the skin under the tattoo for a few days, and usually noticeable tattoo fading occurs over the following 2-3 weeks gradually.

How many sessions will I require?

Most of our patients find optimal results when the skin is treated with a series of PICO Pigment laser sessions which will allow complete clearance of tattoo from not only the surface of the skin but also the underlying layers. The fading of tattoo experienced is gradual. Certain ink pigments are easier to remove compared to the rest. The easiest are the dark blue or black ink, while red, yellow and green are more difficult. Also, it is easier to remove old tattoo than those new and fresh ones. Your doctor at SW1 Clinic will be able to advise you on the number of sessions needed during the consultation.

Treatment can be repeated every 4 weeks or at the advice of your doctor.

Important note:

The Ministry of Health of Singapore does not allow the publishing of before and after photographs and patient testimonials in advertising materials. If you visit our clinics for more information, we will be happy to show you more photographs and pictures of our patients.

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