PicoSure® Tattoo Removal FAQs

  • Is the PicoSure® laser tattoo removal treatment painful?

    PicoSure® laser tattoo removal is generally well-tolerated by most patients, and is much less painful than the nanosecond lasers still used by many practices.  Most patients describe the discomfort as feeling like a warm to hot pressure against the skin.

  • What type of anesthetic is used for PicoSure® Tattoo Removal?

    Most St. Louis tattoo removal patients at Women’s Laser Center have their tattoos removed after an application of a topical anesthetic, which will desensitize the discomfort of the laser. We also offer the option of using local anesthesia, at an additional cost, providing patients with significantly minimized discomfort of the laser.

  • How long does a PicoSure® laser tattoo removal treatment take?

    The actual PicoSure laser treatment lasts between 5 and 30 minutes, depending on the size of the tattoo.

  • How many PicoSure® laser tattoo removal treatments are required?

    Depending on the tattoos’ ink colors and size of tattoo, patients can expect that 15% - 25% of the tattoo will fade after each PicoSure® treatment.  Many tattoos require typically 4-6 treatments, however they may require more depending on the size, the type of ink, colors, and how “heavy” handed the artist may have been.  Waiting 8-12 weeks between treatments will offer better clearance resulting in fewer treatments.

  • How will the treated tattoo area appear after laser treatment?

    Immediately following treatment, the area treated will have mild to moderate redness and mild swelling. You may develop some crusting usually within 24-48 hours. We apply cold to the area, then apply post treatment care and a dressing. You are sent home with a post care kit to use daily for the first 5 days or until there is no visible crusting. The tattoo itself can be washed the day after treatment and then daily thereafter.

  • What type of tattoos can be treated with the PicoSure® laser?

    Unlike nanosecond lasers, which can only fade certain colors, the PicoSure® laser can fade every single color, including the previously difficult to treat reds, blues and greens.

  • What skin types can be treated with PicoSure® tattoo removal?

    Unlike nanosecond lasers, which can only treat light-to-medium colored skin, the PicoSure® laser can remove tattoos from all skin colors.  The treatment may provide less efficacy on darker skin than lighter skin, and darker skin will have a higher risk of hypopigmentation (lightening of the treated skin.)

  • Is Women’s Laser Center of St. Louis the only local tattoo removal center to offer PicoSure®?

    We are not the only St. Louis tattoo removal center to offer the PicoSure® laser tattoo removal treatment. We are, however, the only PicoSure® tattoo removal center under day-to-day on-site guidance and management of a physician, allowing us to offer our patients a significantly minimized discomfort of the laser using an injection of local anesthetic.