This is the latest advancement in laser technology in the treatment for skin discolorations such as freckles, melasma, post–inflammatory hyperpigmentation and other benign dark spots such as birth marks. The technology involves sending a laser pulse at one picosecond per pulse. A picosecond is a trillionth of a second. This ultra-short pulse duration can break apart unwanted brown pigment safely because there is no time for damage from heat or thermal energy to occur. Hence, it is a safe procedure for patients with darker skin to control discoloration.
What are PicoWay and PicoWay Resolve?
PicoWay® is an advanced ultra-short, picosecond, laser treatment for acne scars, wrinkles, dark spots (also known as pigmentation or benign pigmented lesions) and tattoo removal that can transform your skin safely. Because PicoWay uses a photoacoustic effect that reaches under the top layer of skin, rather than working by heating the skin, PicoWay's patients have low to no downtime after treatment. Because of low or short downtime, Picoway treatment's aftercare is relatively simple.
PicoWay uses several different laser handpieces to achieve results. PicoWay Resolve treatment uses a laser handpiece that splits the main laser beam into smaller, identical beams for treatment of acne scars and wrinkles.
Did you know that nearly 40% of those with acne have some degree of scarring? Many acne scars result from a loss of collagen in the skin. PicoWay Resolve is an ultra-short, picosecond laser that reaches below the surface of the skin to stimulate production of collagen and elastin, without breaking the outermost layer of the skin.
In clinical studies, 94% of treated areas improved and patients were highly satisfied with results.
Millions of people each year seek treatment for their wrinkles. Wrinkles can be caused by a loss of collagen and elastin in the skin.
PicoWay Resolve is a non-invasive, needle free treatment option for wrinkles. Resolve uses ultra-short laser pulses to reach under the skin, without breaking the outer layer of the skin. Picosecond lasers are proven to stimulate collagen and elastin.
In clinical studies, there were high rates improvement and patients had high rates of satisfaction with results. Because PicoWay does not break the outer layer of the skin, patients have low to no downtime following treatment.
Dark Spots (also known as Benign Pigmented Lesions)
Skin discoloration is common, yet treatable. Dark spots, or benign pigmented lesions, such as freckles, liver spots (age spots), and café-au-lait (brown patches), appear in many people on different areas of the skin. Some spots are related to excessive sun exposure. Others, like melasma, can be caused by hormone changes, often impacting women following pregnancy. Many of these skin discolorations can be distressing and affect quality of life.
PicoWay is a high power, ultra-short pulse laser that reaches below the skin’s surface to break unwanted dark spots into tiny particles. PicoWay is highly effective in skin pigment removal. Many patients see visible improvement following the first treatment.
PicoWay is a high power lower with ultra short pulses that shatters tattoo ink, but leaves the outer layer of the skin intact. PicoWay treats a broad range of tattoo colors and across a broad range of skin types and colors. Over a series of brief treatments, PicoWay can eliminate most tattoos. That’s why PicoWay is the tattoo removal laser of choice by the nation’s leading tattoo removal provider network, Invisible Ink Tattoo Removers.
How PicoWay works?
PicoWay is a picosecond laser that uses a high power laser beam with ultra-short pulses to transform skin. The ultra-short pulses avoid heating the skin. The laser reaches under the skin for its impact, but leaves the outer layer of the skin intact. This process is called sub-surface ablation.
PicoWay has the shortest pulses of any picosecond laser available today.
PicoWay and PicoWay Resolve work in two ways:
PicoWay: Targets pigment in the skin. Pigment can be either natural, like a dark spot that forms over time or it can be pigmented that is added to the skin, like in the case of tattoos. The laser hits the pigment and shatters it into tiny particles that are no longer seen through the skin.
PicoWay Resolve: The laser beam in PicoWay Resolve is formed from the same beam used in PicoWay, but it is split into over 100 identical beams, or beamlets. These beamlets reach below the skin in areas that are evenly spaced apart. Because the laser is so fast and powerful, it leads to tiny areas under the skin vaporizing using a non-thermal (not heating) effect, called a “photoacoustic” effect. Tiny open spaces are created under the skin that are then replaced over time with new collagen and elastin growth. PicoWay literally works from the inside out. The treatment does not cause the outer layer of the skin to break, so patients experience no to low downtime after treatment.
PicoWay Resolve is an effective treatment for acne scars and wrinkles, both conditions that are related to lack of collagen in the skin. Patients in clinical studies showed high rates of satisfaction with treatment.
How Many PicoWay treatments?
For some conditions, results with PicoWay are visible after the first treatment. With others, a series of brief 15-20 minute treatments may be needed.
Mechanism of Action
- Before the procedure, a numbing agent is applied to the target area. (Note the tattoo ink prior to the PicoWay treatment)
- During the treatment the PicoWay® handpiece delivers energy with an extremely precise, high-power laser in extremely short pulses to target ink particles with great impact.
- These pulses shatter the tattoo ink into minuscule particles. Following the PicoWay treatment, most of the ink particles are removed by the body.
PicoWay treatments selectively treat the tattoo while leaving surrounding skin undamaged. Less heat is generated than traditional lasers which leads to a safer treatment with fewer side effects. After treatments, patients may experience temporary discoloration or reddening of the skin around the treatment site. Some patients may also experience a temporary lightening of the skin following treatment. The skin will typically resolve to a normal skin tone.
Laser light is targeted at unwanted pigment in ultrashort picosecond pulses. These pulses shatter the pigment into very tiny particles which are then easily eliminated by the body’s natural processes. The PicoWay laser emits less heat energy than traditional lasers providing a more comfortable treatment.
PicoWay treatments selectively treat the melanin pigmentation while leaving surrounding skin undamaged. After treatments, patients will experience temporary discoloration or reddening of the skin around the treatment site. Some patients may also experience a temporary lightening or darkening of the skin. The skin will typically resolve to normal pigmentation color.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is PicoWay?
PicoWay is a picosecond laser that is FDA cleared for treatment of acne scars, wrinkles, pigmentation (dark skin spots), and tattoo removal.
If you are looking for a laser treatment that acts below the surface of the skin and offers low to no downtime, PicoWay may be the right laser for you. Ask your doctor if PicoWay can help minimize your acne scars or wrinkles, of if it can remove bothersome dark spots or tattoos that you no longer want.
PicoWay is FDA cleared for certain uses: acne scars, wrinkles, dark spots and tattoo removal. If you are looking for other laser treatment, such as hair removal, then PicoWay is not the treatment for you.
While PicoWay works across a broad range of skin types, depending on the wavelength needed for your treatment, PicoWay may not be the best treatment for your skin type.
PicoWay is a treatment that typically involves treatment over a series of treatment sessions, so that is an important consideration in your treatment decision. A PicoWay treatment provider can walk you through your treatment needs and will be the best source for determining whether PicoWay is right for you
PicoWay is a laser with high peak power and ultra-short pulse durations. It reaches below the surface of the skin to target pigment, such as dark spots or tattoo ink, and breaks it down into tiny particles nearly invisible to the naked eye.PicoWay Resolve
PicoWay Resolve is a treatment on the PicoWay laser system, using a laser handpiece that splits the full beam into tiny microbeams. This allows treatment of conditions like acne scars and wrinkles. PicoWay Resolve acts by creating tiny open spaces, called vacuoles, under the skin where new collagen and elastin are built and can transform the skin over time.
PicoWay treatments are typically brief (15-20 minutes) and are done over a series of treatment sessions spaced weeks apart. Your doctor will recommend a treatment plan that works best for you.
Side effects with PicoWay are typically transient and expected as part of the laser treatment. Patients experience low to no downtime. In some cases, patients may use a topical anesthetic to enhance comfort during the treatment. More common side effects include redness, swelling, pinpoint bleeding, tingling or purplish spots. These effects will differ, however, depending on the treatment you receive.
How PicoWay feels will be dependent on the treatment you receive. Those undergoing tattoo removal are likely to experience some pain and discomfort with treatment.
With PicoWay Resolve treatment, most patients reported low levels of pain during treatment for wrinkles and mild to no discomfort for acne scar treatment
Depending on the condition treated, you may be able to see initial improvement as early as after the first treatment. Typically, multiple treatment sessions are needed. As an example, a clinical study of benign pigmented lesions found that after 2 treatments, 87% of lesions had a least good response (>50% had a good response or better). [PicoWay 510(k) clearance for benign pigmented lesions (K150326)]
With PicoWay Resolve treatment, most patients reported low levels of pain during treatment for wrinkles and mild to no discomfort for acne scar treatment.
Yes, PicoWay has low to no downtime. Most people are able to return to their activities of daily living shortly after treatment. You may need a bandage to keep the treatment area dry for a few days following tattoo removal.
PicoWay is a picosecond laser with high peak power and ultra-short pulse durations for a photoacoustic, rather than a photothermal effect that heats the skin. PicoWay patients report high patient satisfaction and low to no downtime.
PicoWay cost varies by treatment type. A treatment session may range from approximately $150 to several hundred dollars depending on the type of treatment, size of treatment area, number of treatment sessions and other factors. Only your doctor can provide you with the expected cost depending on your condition. In general, it can be assumed that treating a larger area, such as a large tattoo, is a higher cost than treating a small tattoo or dark spot.
See the photo gallery for before and after pictures.
Want to learn more about treatments with the Picoway laser at Premier Derm Center?
Call our Houston, TX office at (832) 767-5975 to schedule an appointment today