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Pico Laser vs Traditional Laser Treatments: What’s The Difference

pico laser

In order to address various skin issues and improve their appearance, many people have turned to laser skin treatments due to their effectiveness and impressive results. As technology continues to develop, there are now more types of laser treatments available that can help improve your appearance further, some with shorter treatment time and downtime.

Laser treatment is a non-invasive, non-surgical procedure that uses heat and light radiation to remove various types of skin damage, including:

  • pigmentation
  • wrinkles
  • acne scars
  • tattoos

Among the many types of laser treatments  now available, the rising star has been Pico laser in Singapore. Before we talk about the differences between Pico laser and traditional laser treatment, here’s what you need to know about each treatment.

What Is A Traditional Laser Treatment?

Traditional laser treatment is also known as Q-Switched Laser treatment or nanosecond laser treatment. The Q-switched laser technology produces pulsed light with high intensity, concentrating its energy into incredibly strong pulses that last only a billionth of a second.

Q-switched lasers are known for protecting the tissue around a treatment area and having a lower risk of adverse side effects because the energy has less skin contact than other lasers. Various light wavelengths can be generated by a Q-switched laser to treat different skin conditions, such as:

  • enlarged pores
  • pigmented skin
  • melasma
  • wrinkles
  • acne marks
  • tattoo removal

Side Effects From Traditional Laser Treatment

These are the following common side effects that you need to be aware of when getting a Q-Switched Laser treatment.

  • burning sensation
  • redness
  • skin turning a bit grey and white
  • bruises
  • blisters
  • mottled hypopigmentation
  • hyperpigmentation
  • leukoderma
  • hives

If these side effects persist, seek medical attention immediately. You should also note that laser treatment is not suitable for you if you are:

  • pregnant
  • on certain medication, such as anticoagulants
  • have a history of cold sores or herpes simplex virus

Pros of Traditional Laser Treatment

Here are a few pros of traditional laser treatment.

  • Makes skin tauter and gets rid of sagging
  • Reduces wrinkles and dark spots
  • Lightens acne scars
  • Treats facial pigmentation
  • Reduces discolouration

traditional laser treatment

Cons of Traditional Laser Treatment

Just like any medical treatment, there are some downsides. So, here are some cons of traditional laser treatment.

  • Treatment can be expensive
  • Patients with sensitive skin may experience pain during treatment
  • Healing time can take up to two weeks for some people

How Much Does Traditional Laser Treatment Cost?

A Q-switched laser treatment typically costs $200 to 350 per session, with several sessions being advised for noticeable effects. On the other hand, no-frills laser treatments appear to be less costly at first glance, but they are actually more expensive compared to Q-switch laser treatment in the long run.

The setup for no-frill treatments is the same for everyone, where energy settings are not adjusted to meet your particular requirements or expectations. Hence, you will need a highed number of sessions for a no-frills laser procedure. This leads to higher costs for a similar outcome, not to mention the needless time invested.

Time Needed For Traditional Laser Treatment

The majority of Q-Switched laser procedures take 12 to 15 minutes and are performed every three to four weeks.

Compared to no-frills laser treatments, which only last 1-2 minutes each and need you to get them up to 3–7 times each week, this saves time.

The planning of treatment sessions can be done around your schedule rather than the other way around with Q-Switched.

What Is A Pico Laser Treatment?

Pico laser treatment in Singapore is neither a specific brand nor the name of a laser machine; instead, it is the name of a type of laser treatment. The word “Pico” in “Pico Laser” stands for a picosecond, which is one-trillionth of a second or 1/1000 of a nanosecond.

A Pico laser is a non-surgical laser that produces strong power (1.8GW) in extremely brief pulses.

Since the Pico Laser’s pulse rate is 1000 times shorter than a Q-Switched Laser, it can deliver more laser pulses to the targeted area for maximum effectiveness. As such, the likelihood of hyperpigmentation and the skin heating up is reduced due to the shorter pulse duration.

Another significant feature is that tattoo removal is made safe and efficient since the pigmentation is broken down into smaller pieces due to the laser’s capacity to provide ultrashort pulses.  Consequently, depending on the severity of the skin condition, this results in fewer treatment sessions, little to no discomfort, and a quicker recovery.

Side Effects From Pico Laser Treatment

Most patients handle Pico laser treatment well with little to no side effects. However, here are some potential and rare side effects that certain people may experience.

  • pain
  • erythema
  • oedema
  • pinpoint bleeding
  • crusting
  • blistering
  • scarring
  • postinflammatory hyperpigmentation
  • postinflammatory hypopigmentation

If these side effects persist, seek medical attention immediately.

Pros of Pico Laser Treatment

Here are some pros to Pico laser that make this treatment unique compared to other laser treatments available in Singapore.

  • highly targeted, reducing the risk of skin damage
  • minimal recovery time needed
  • little to no pain during treatment
  • fewer sessions required to achieve results
  • little to no side effects
  • short duration of treatment
  • affordable
  • non-invasive

Cons of Pico Laser Treatment

While Pico laser is an innovative and noteworthy treatment, there are still some cons to this method.

  • may cause rash for those with very sensitive skin may increase chances of susceptibility to skin pigmentation disorder

Who Is Suitable To Get Pico Laser Treatment?

Any adult with any skin type can get pico laser treatment. Previously, individuals with darker complexions who also had hyperpigmentation, age spots/sun spots and post-inflammatory erythema had to resort to non-laser treatments such as chemical peels. This is because earlier laser treatments could harm darker skin and worsen dark patches due to the skin’s sensitivity to the laser beam. Since Pico Laser employs energy rather than heat to penetrate the skin layers, it is appropriate for those with darker skin.

For the majority of healthy individuals and skin types, Pico laser treatment is generally harmless.

How Much Does Pico Laser Treatment Cost?

The cost of a Pico laser treatment in Singapore differs for each individual, as it depends on the severity of the skin conditions and also the extent of the area. For example, tattoo removals can range from $250 for small regions like the eyebrows to $350 for freckles and sun spots and $450 to $800 for larger areas like melasma or bigger tattooed areas.

Time Needed For Pico Laser Treatment

Most people prefer Pico Laser since treatment takes a short time, only 15 to 30 minutes. It is frequently compared to scheduling an appointment for a mani-pedi, where you can conveniently drop by and leave when done.

While there is very short to no downtime for Pico laser, patient should avoid direct sun exposure and use their sunscreen religiously for the next 2 weeks.

Difference Between Traditional Laser And Pico Laser Treatment In Singapore

The primary distinction between the two laser treatments is speed.

When compared to traditional laser treatments, Pico Laser’s ability to provide shorter pulse duration allows pigments to disintigrate into significantly smaller pieces, results in lower heat and shorter downtime. As such, the power may be increased for more effective treatments, leading to less number of sessions required. For example, tattoo removal using pico laser generally requires 40% less number of sessions compared to traditional laser treatments. Downtime is also comparatively shorter.

In comparison to a Q-Switched laser, the Pico laser treatment’s ability to deliver ultra-short pulses also allows pigments to disintegrate into significantly smaller pieces.

Looking to get your first Pico laser treatment in Singapore? Check out SL Aesthetic Clinic today!

For a high-quality Pico laser treatment, it is crucial to get a trained and experienced doctor to do it for you. SL Aesthetic Clinic provides an array of FDA-approved treatments available for both men and women. For more information, contact us or call us at +65 6235 3246.

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