Pico Laser Singapore – Updated 2021 Guide

What is Picolaser or Pico Laser?

The Pico Laser is a proven way to treat skin pigmentation, pores and scars. It can also be used to effectively remove tattoos. The Pico Laser is a new buzzword in aesthetic medicine and has become one of the most requested treatments in Singapore.

The Pico Laser is not a brand or name of a laser machine, but refers to a type of laser technology.

To put it short, “Pico” refers to picosecond: ie: 1/1000 of a nanosecond or one trillionth of a second.

The Pico Laser is a novel laser technology in which the laser is fired with a very short pulse duration – in picoseconds. This is in contrast to conventional Q-switched lasers, in which laser beams are delivered in pulse durations of nanoseconds.

SL Aesthetic Clinic Pico Care Laser

At SL Aesthetic Clinic, we use the U.S. FDA-approved PicoCare brand of Pico Laser from South Korea.

What does Pico Laser do? What are its benefits?

The PicoCare Picolaser is a versatile laser. At SL Aesthetic Clinic, our PicoCare Picolaser is fully equipped with all of the available 6 handpieces to treat a wide range of skin issues.

Some of the conditions that Pico Lasers can treat include:


Epidermal (Superficial) Pigmentation

  • Solar Lentigo (Sunspots, Age spots, Liver spots)
  • Freckles
  • Seborrhoiec keratosis
  • Congenital Melanocytic Nevus (Moles)
  • Dyschromia (uneven skin tone)

Dermal (Deeper) Pigmentation

  • Melasma
  • Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
  • Hori’s Nevus
  • Nevus of Ota
  • Tattoo

Acne Scars

  • Enlarged Pores
  • Atrophic acne scars

Inflammatory Acne

  • Red acne marks (Post inflammatory erythema)
  • Rosacea
  • Facial flushing

Find out more about Pico Laser for Acne Scars & Pore Minimisation.

How does Pico Laser work?

The Pico Laser is a non-ablative pigment laser that works in ultra-short 450 picosecond laser pulses.

It has a photo-acoustic effect, which means that a picosecond laser shatters pigmentation into smaller fragments which are more easily removed by the body’s immune system.

Pico vs Nano or Pico + Nano?

The Pico Laser is likened by many doctors to be an upgrade of the Nano Laser.

With its higher photo-acoustic energy, the Pico Laser breaks down pigmentation into smaller fragments compared to a Nano Laser (Q-Switched Laser). These smaller fragments are then cleared faster by the body.

Plus, because of its substantially shorter pulse duration (the length of time the energy spends in your skin), the Pico Laser has less of a photo-thermal effect. This means there’s less heat generated that may adversely affect surrounding skin tissues.

However, at SL Aesthetic Clinic, we prefer to combine both Pico and Nano Lasers for even better pigmentation removal results.

pico vs nano laser singapore

This is because large ink particles respond better to longer pulse durations (Nano Lasers) while smaller ink particles respond better to shorter pulse durations (Pico Lasers).

Hence, using our Q-Switched Nano Laser, we break down larger and deeper pigment or ink particles. Then the treatment area is rescanned with our PicoCare Pico laser to dismantle the smaller, shallower particles, which are then easily cleared by the body.

This combination of Nano and Pico Lasers yields far better results than using either one of the technologies on its own.

Can Pico Laser remove tattoos?

what tattoo colours can pico laser remove?

Yes! Along with our Q-Switched Nd:YAG 1064nm Nano laser, our PicoCare Pico Laser (532nm to 1064nm) can remove a wide range of tattoo colours, including less common colours such as purple and green.

Is Pico Laser good for pigmentation?

Yes! Just as Pico Laser can remove tattoos, it can also be used to remove unwanted pigmentation such as:

  • Solar Lentigo (Sunspots, Age spots, Liver spots)
  • Melasma
  • Freckles
  • Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
  • Hori’s Nevus

It does this as energy from the laser is absorbed by the pigments, which subsequently breaks up the pigment molecules (melanin or ink particles). These shattered particles are then absorbed and drained by your body.

Can Pico Laser be used for skin rejuvenation, pores and scars?

Yes! Pico Lasers have been shown to improve skin texture and pore size. Results in the treatment of acne scarring are also comparable to fractional ablative laser treatments such as Fractional CO2 Laser.

Read more about our Pico HEXA MLA Laser for skin rejuvenation, pore size, and acne scars.

Is Pico Laser permanent?

Yes, in the case of most pigmentation removals like tattoos etc. However, new pigmentation can still develop due to sun exposure, ageing, and hormonal changes.

This is why it is always important to continue taking care of your skin by applying sunscreen to prevent new pigmentations from forming. Regular maintenance treatments with our wide range of lasers or even chemical peels (Pico Laser, Fotona Snowflake Laser, Q-Switched Nd:YAG Laser, Clear + Brilliant Laser) can also be of benefit to patients.

Improvement of scar appearance are mostly also permanent and are unlikely to return. This is not to say that new scars will not appear.

How much does Pico Laser for Pigmentation and Tattoo Removal cost?

Skin ConcernPrice per session
(may vary by the individual)
Mild to moderate melasma.$450
Moderate to severe melasma.$500
Freckles (~10 spots), Nevus Ota, Nevus Ito Blue, Horis Nevus, Café-au lait / Sun Spot, etc.$350
Tattoo (Eyebrows)$250
Tattoo (10cm X 10cm)$500
Tattoo (20cm X 20cm)$800


How effective is Pico Laser?

There’s a reason why Pico Lasers are fast becoming a strong contender in the field of laser applications, especially in the field of aesthetic medicine. Because they work!

Plus, the Pico Laser settings and protocols are also suitable for use in darker skin types.

SL Aesthetic Clinic’s PicoCare Laser is an FDA-approved and Korean-tested picosecond laser developed by WonTech, a leading medical laser manufacturer in Korea.

Which is the best Pico Laser in Singapore?

Unlike some lasers marketed to use “pico technology” but fail to deliver results similar to real picosecond lasers, SL Aesthetic Clinic’s PicoCare Laser is one of the few true picosecond lasers (450 picoseconds) available in Singapore. Just like the Discovery Pico, PicoSure, PicoWay, and PicoPlus.

With that said, there is very little evidence to show that one genuine Pico Laser is better than the other. The differences in the Pico Laser brands are minute and technical – i.e., laser wavelengths, pulse durations, maximum power of the machine. These factors influence how the machine is operated. And are hence more pertinent to the doctor handling the machine than to the patient.

What matters most in the best Pico Laser for you in Singapore rely on factors such as:

  1. Research and ultimately trust in the doctor.
  2. The doctor’s diagnosis, consultation, and the agreed upon treatment protocol.
  3. Appropriate pre- and post- laser care.

How long does Pico Laser treatment take?

Pico Laser treatments can take anywhere between 15-30-mins, depending on your skin concern. This excludes a pre-treatment numbing, which may take another 20-mins or so.

Is Pico Laser painful?

Most patients find Pico Lasers to be very bearable. While many other lasers (i.e. slower lasers) generate heat in the skin, Pico Lasers generate comparatively less heat and hence produce less skin irritation, downtime, and pain for you.

Patients liken the Pico Laser treatment process to tiny rubber bands snapping on the skin, or tiny warm pricks on the skin.

How long does it take for Pico Laser to work?

Depending on your skin concern, you may see improvements within the first (1) session. However, we recommend at least 3-4 sessions for optimal results.

How many Pico Laser treatments do you need?

Depending on your skin condition and concern, we recommend a series of 3-4 treatments, in intervals of anywhere between 2-4 weeks each session. Intervals may also increase up to 8 weeks for darker skin types.

Are there any side effects or downtime with Pico Laser in Singapore?

Generally there is also a lower risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and hypopigmentation (white spots) with Pico Lasers compared to nanosecond lasers.

In treating unwanted pigmentation and tattoos, Pico Lasers are safe and effective when performed by an experienced doctor. There is virtually no downtime except for some redness and mild peeling, which will resolve in a day or two.

In treating acne scars or improvement of skin texture, there may be temporary redness, mild discomfort, and tiny bruises on the skin. These dissipate within a few days or so.

Can I wear makeup after Pico Laser?

With rejuvenation and acne scar treatments, we recommend at least no makeup in the first 3 days after treatment.

We recommend to avoid wearing makeup on the day of treatment with the treatment of pigments and tattoos.

Who’s suitable for Pico Laser?

The Pico Laser is safe for most healthy adults and skin types. This treatment will be beneficial for patients looking to remove unwanted pigmentation and tattoos, as well as to improve acne scar appearance and skin texture, reduce pore size, and even out skin tone.

What are the pre- and post-care instructions for Pico Laser in Singapore?

Pre-treatment instructions: ensure that you’re in a good state of health and not suffering from any bacterial, fungal or viral infection, especially that of the skin.

Always disclose your full medical history during consultation, including supplements and other medications you may be taking.

Also inform the doctor at least a week before treatment if you have any history of Herpes Simplex (cold sores) on your face so that the appropriate medication can be prescribed to prevent an outbreak.

While pregnant ladies are free to enjoy this treatment, you must also inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning for pregnancy, or are breast-feeding.

Inform your doctor if you have other skin conditions (e.g., eczema, psoriasis) or have any unusual or allergic reactions to any ingredients or topicals.

Plan ahead; avoid any ablative lasers at least 4 weeks prior, and schedule your treatment at least 1 week ahead of a special event as the skin may take up to 7 days to heal from the laser.

Post-treatment instructions: after each treatment session, avoid prolonged sun exposure for the next 7 to 10 days. 

Also avoid tanning beds or tanning booths and sunlamps. Continue to wash and moisturise your face with a gentle cleanser and moisturiser for the next few days. And always use sunscreen.

Do not use products that can cause irritation such as alcohol-based facial products, abrasive scrubs, and toners or products containing glycolic acids or Retin A.

Who’s unsuitable for Pico Laser?

The Pico Laser may be unsuitable in the following circumstances:

  • Patients with unrealistic expectations, such as those seeking complete eradication of any skin problems or to return to a former skin condition or look.
  • Patients with a tendency to form keloid and hypertrophic scars
  • Prior ionising radiation to the area to be treated
  • Connective tissue diseases
  • Recent deep chemical peels or dermabrasions
  • Moderate to severe active acne
[15 Jul 2021] Written by Dr. Sue Ho

Dr. Sue Ho – The Dynamic Mum
MB BCh BAO, Ireland

Having honed her medical and surgical skills in Ireland and across the straits, Dr Sue has, since 2006, worked in Singapore’s public hospitals, including Singapore General Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, and National University Hospital.

Sue’s passion for aesthetics was sparked by a chance encounter with Dr Kelvin Chua, founder and medical director of SL Aesthetic Clinic. Sue is committed to enhancing the natural beauty of each patient, through a personalised and holistic program of treatment and care.

Vaginal rejuvenation and tightening, Botox treatments, filler augmentation and skin rejuvenation are some of the minimally invasive procedures Sue is interested in. She is also an advocate for active living, often giving patients tips and insights to leading a healthier, more wholesome lifestyle.

Recently married to a Frenchman and having just become a mother to a lovely daughter, Sue makes a conscientious effort in keeping a work-life balance.