New Picosure laser removes tattoos in fewer sessions

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Removing a tattoo with a traditional laser can involve as many as 20 sessions, but a new laser cuts down on your time in the doctor's office. (WLS)

Removing a tattoo with a traditional laser can involve as many as 20 sessions. It's expensive and painful, but there's a new laser that uses cutting-edge technology that cuts down on your time in the doctor's office.

Jasmine is in the middle of undoing something she did when she was 16. She's getting rid of a tattoo of a Shakespeare quote that covers her entire left side.

"I definitely don't want a giant tattoo on my side for the rest of my life," she said.

She had bad luck trying to get smaller tattoos removed: seven visits and they're still visible. Then she found Dr. Dennis Dass, who uses a new Picosure laser. A picosecond is a trillionth of a second.

"When a laser energy is delivered in a trillionth of a second, you're actually getting a pressure wave that disrupts the ink particles as opposed to heat damage to the ink particles, so you get less damage to the surrounding skin," Dr. Dass said.

After giving her lidocaine shots for pain, Dr. Dass will spend five minutes using the laser on her tattoo. Here's Jasmine's tattoo after three sessions. Here are more before and after photos. What can be a two-year process with a traditional laser takes about eight months with Picosure.

"With the older laser technology it takes anywhere from 12-20 treatments to get that tattoo removed. With this newer technology, we can remove it in about six to eight treatments," Dr. Dass said.

"I'm imaging the best possible outcome with maybe a little bit of you know some here and there discoloration and scarring, which I'm totally open to as long as the tattoo is for the most part, gone," she said.

That should happen in three more sessions. Some tattoo colors are impossible to remove with traditional lasers.

Within the last year, Picosure released an attachment that zaps reds, yellows, and oranges just as quickly as it does other colors.

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