The Difference Between Picosecond and Nanosecond Technology

The Difference Between Picosecond and Nanosecond Technology

Laser tattoo removal is a popular business, and the need for removing and fading tattoos continues to grow. As a result, so do the advancements in aesthetic laser technology. However, the evolution of laser tattoo removal technology may be confusing for some. There are many factors to consider when researching the best laser for your tattoo removal business. With numerous laser options in the market, it’s essential to know the differences between the available specifications to find the best fit for you and your clientele. One of the most talked about topics in the tattoo removal industry is picosecond vs. nanosecond technology. Keep reading to gain a better understanding of the difference between picosecond and nanosecond technology. Learn what you need to consider to determine which makes the best sense for your business.

Nanosecond Laser Technology

Nanosecond technology is widely known as the gold standard for laser tattoo removal. A nanosecond (ns) is a billionth of a second. A Q-switched laser (the type of device used to produce nanosecond pulses) will emit a burst of light energy that only lasts a few billionths of a second. This ultrashort pulse duration will effectively break apart ink particles in the superficial layers of the skin.

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Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers produce concise bursts of energy, instantaneously producing massive amounts of power. For laser tattoo removal, the best results are made with shorter pulse durations since tattoo ink particles are minuscule. Otherwise, the skin may be heated for an extended time, increasing the chance of burning. The shorter the pulse duration, the more of the energy goes into shattering the ink and the less it goes into heating the surrounding tissue.  With this in mind, 6 ns help treat ink particles the best by instantly shattering the ink while keeping the surrounding skin tissue safe.

The Astanza Duality, a nanosecond laser, treats most color ink tattoos with a pulse duration of 6 ns. Its max 5×5 mm2 spot size and combined wavelengths (1064 nm and 532 nm) can treat ink quickly, safely, and effectively.

Picosecond Laser Technology

A picosecond (ps) is a trillionth of a second. Lasers that have picosecond pulses deliver their energy in a window that is up to 1000 times shorter than that of a nanosecond laser. Picosecond lasers, such as the Asclepion PicoStar®, have ultra-short pulses 10 times shorter than nanosecond technology that fragments tattoos into smaller particles, allowing the immune system to remove more ink particles after a session.

A benefit to choosing a picosecond laser tattoo removal machine for your practice is the comfort you can give your patients. The shorter pulse duration means less thermal energy is deposited in the skin, leading to more comfortable treatments. The Asclepion PicoStar®, a powerful pico laser backed by Astanza, has a pulse duration of 400 ps. This Nd:YAG laser comes standard with a Zoom ST handpiece, perfect for treating tattoos with its 532 nm and 1064 nm wavelengths. Picosecond lasers like the PicoStar® can treat patients faster, give better results in fewer treatments, and patients have expressed feeling less pain during treatments.

Which is the Best Fit for You?

While there are many claims that picosecond lasers are superior to nanosecond lasers, both technologies effectively remove tattoos. The main difference between picosecond and nanosecond lasers is the pulse duration, or the rate at which each device delivers energy. Numerous studies have also shown that the difference in side effects is minimal between these technologies.

While picosecond lasers are faster, give clearer results in fewer treatments, and are less painful, they can be more expensive than nanosecond laser machines. When purchasing or upgrading your laser, be sure to assess multiple factors before making a decision. Whether you choose a reliable Q-switch nanosecond laser or a newer picosecond laser, both systems will deliver extraordinary results that will keep your clients happy and your revenue growing.

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