We get lots of questions about why we use the Quanta Q Plus C Q-switched laser for tattoo removal. One of the most common questions is how does it stack up to the competition, specifically the new and very heavily marketed Picosure by Cynosure.
The first thing you need to know is that all tattoo laser removal works on the same principal. The laser targets the tattoo ink pigments using specific light wavelengths to break down the ink into small enough particles to be absorbed by the body. Tattoo ink molecules are too large for the body to absorb them and they settle in the layers of skin. For a good video of how tattooing works go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMuBif1mJz0. So let’s
break down how both machines work.
Q-switched lasers such as the Quanta Q Plus C fire a laser measured in nanoseconds or one billionth of a second. How a Q-switched laser operates is beyond the scope of this article. What is important is that Q-switched lasers use thermal or heat energy to break up the tattoo ink particles. The Picosure laser uses pressure waves to break down the ink, and fire the laser measured in picoseconds or 1 trillionth of second. 1000 times faster than a nanosecond.
Breaking Down the Ink
The question is which is better and why? The Picosure advocates say that because the laser fires much faster that it breaks down the ink into smaller particles than the q-switched laser and makes it easier for the body to absorb the particles. This very well may be true, but so far there is no empirical evidence to suggest that this is the case. The claim is that the Picosure laser can remove tattoos in about half the sessions it takes for a q-switched laser to do the same tattoo. Picosure and its operators do a very good job of marketing this claim, but provide no real evidence to show that this is true. No clinical studies exist to show that Picosure works faster than a Q-switched laser such as the Quanta Q plus C.
Pressure vs Heat
Is pressure wave energy used by the Picosure better than thermal energy used by the Quanta machines? Again, Picosure advocates will say yes. That thermal energy has greater chance of damaging the surrounding tissue. They also claim that the shorter picosecond laser speeds mean that the surrounding tissue is better protected because it has less exposure to the laser. Again, this may be true, but there is once again no evidence to suggest that this is so. However, there is a reason that people who operate lasers need to be properly trained. Using too much energy from either laser can cause a lot of damage to the skin. The point is to use the correct amount of energy in order to remove ink without permanently damaging the skin and cause scarring or adverse pigmentation. The truth is that both systems need to be operated properly to achieve good results within the safety limits.
How fat is Your Wallet?
What are the relative costs of the procedures between a q-switched machine and the Picosure. This is hard to determine because pricing varies so widely, and each person reacts differently to the process. However, we can say that all laser tattoo removal machines are expensive, and we charge accordingly. The Picosure is about twice as expensive to comparable Q-switched lasers such as the Quanta Q plus C, and you can expect to pay about twice as much for each session with a Picosure. The Picosure advocates claim that the tattoo is removed in half the time, which would make cost a wash between the two types of lasers. I would like to point out again, that there is no credible evidence to suggest that this is true. You may just end up paying more. Plus in the next paragraph I discuss why the Picosure is ineffective with certain tattoo colors.
The Key to Wavelengths
Here is where the Quanta Q Plus C out shines the Picosure and other Q-switched lasers: Wavelengths. The most important factor in determining how a laser targets different pigments is the wavelength of the laser. The Quanta Q Plus C has three separate lasers incorporated into the machine. These are 1064nm, 532nm, and 694nm. No other laser, Q-switched or the picosure, can claim this distinction. You really need all three in order to hit all of the possible colors that tattoo inks incorporate. The Picosure only has 755nm which can only which can treat black, some blue and green inks. Some lasers extend their wavelengths through the use of dye hand pieces which are attached to the laser. Some Q-switch lasers supplement wavelengths with handpieces along with the Picosure which recently added the 532nm wavelength with a dye handpiece. Unfortunately, adding a handpiece only imitates the wavelength and effectively reduces the power output of the laser to the point that the removal process at that wavelength becomes ineffective. You need dedicated lasers with full power output to effectively treat all colors. For a more detailed discussion of the Quanta Q Plus C wavelengths read our other article: https://www.regenlaser.com/tattoo-removal/wavelengths-matter-tattoo-removal/.
Of course, we are biased because we own and use the Quanta Q plus C, but we did our research before purchasing our laser. The Quanta Q plus C is truly the gold standard in tattoo removal. In fact, the Picosure may have marketed itself into a deep lawsuit. There is currently a class action lawsuit against Cynosure the maker of the Picosure. The lawsuit claims that the Picosure cannot effectively eliminate tattoos as the marketing brochure claims. What type of machine you choose for your tattoo removal is important. So do your research. There are more factors than just the machine. Remember that customer service and properly trained technicians are important as well. We think that after doing the research you will find that ReGen Laser will be top of your list. Come and visit us today and see why our laser and our staff will offers the safest and most effective tattoo laser removal service you will find anywhere.