Picosure vs PicoWay: What's the Difference?

If you are confused about all the pico laser treatments in town and are looking for a guide to better understand pico laser and pigmentation treatment, you've come to the right place. “Pico Laser” is a recent buzzword in aesthetic medicine, so it's no surprise that Pico Lasers are one of the most popular treatment nowadays. However, the science is also mixed with hype and you are likely to get overwhelmed and cluttered over this Pico Laser treatment.

PicoWay vs PicoSure

Picoway vs Picosure? The PicoWay and the PicoSure lasers both use picosecond technology to remove tattoos. A picosecond is one trillionth of a second, so these lasers are named for how they deliver constant bursts of energy that only last for a picosecond. However, although similar in name, the PicoWay laser has several key advantages over the PicoSure laser. (advancedlaser)


PicoWay: 532nm, 785nm, 1064nm

PicoSure: 532nm (laser pump handpiece), 755nm, 1064nm (laser pump handpiece)

PicoWay is the only laser that has three wavelengths in one laser system. These three wavelengths­­­ ­­− 532nm, 1064nm and the new 785nm – are able to treat the widest range of tattoo colours and types. The 532nm wavelength can remove red, yellow, and orange pigments, while the 1064nm can remove black, brown, green, blue, and purple. The 785nm wavelength further enhances the already strong capabilities of the PicoWay system for treatment of blue and green tattoos. Because these wavelengths are in the same laser, multiple colours can be treated simultaneously. This is not possible with the PicoSure’s single 755nm wavelength. Dual wavelengths also allow maximum absorption into the targeted pigment and minimum absorption into the surrounding skin. This results in a safer tattoo removal with minimal adverse effects to the skin. Furthermore, multiple wavelengths are more effective at removing pigment from any skin type, whereas PicoSure’s single wavelength has difficulty targeting pigment on darker skin tones.

Pulse Duration

PicoWay: 532nm @ 375ps, 785nm @ 300ps, 1064nm @ 450ps

PicoSure: 532nm (spec not released), 755nm @ 750ps, 1064nm (spec not released)

Picosecond is a measure of time. 1000ps = 1 ns (nanosecond). The lower the number, the faster the laser is. PicoWay has the fastest operating laser in the world at 300ps on the 785nm. The speed of the laser is what generates the photoacoustic shockwave (mechanical energy) to shatter the ink pigment. Q-Switched nanosecond lasers use photo-thermal energy to heat the ink pigment to fracture the ink. Heating the ink is less effective and also damages the surrounding tissue.

PicoWay laser has shorter pulse duration over the PicoSure. Shorter pulses allow the laser to shatter the pigment of the tattoo into smaller molecules that the body can easily break down and eliminate. PicoWay’s ultrashort pulses also mean that it produces a photoacoustic effect rather than the PicoSure’s predominantly thermal effect. Photoacoustic energy is a light energy that penetrates the skin and gently vibrates and fractures the targeted ink. This means better clearance, fewer required treatments, and a lower risk of skin damage caused by thermal heat.

PicoSure operates at 750ps which is only 25% faster than 1000ps (1 nanosecond). This means PicoSure still rely mainly on heat to remove tattoos. The heat is also the reason why the recovery times are the same as nanosecond laser. No specs are released on the laser hand pump converted 532nm and 1064nm.


The PicoWay laser also outshines the PicoSure laser with its superior peak power. While the PicoSure only peaks at 0.36GW, the PicoWay has a peak power of 0.9GW. This is important because more power ultimately means more effective removal of a tattoo. The more powerful the laser, the better it is at blasting the pigment into particles that the body can absorb. Not only does PicoWay’s powerful pigment removal mean fewer treatments, it also means that the treatments can be administered closer together, thereby minimalizing the overall time and total cost required to achieve results.

PicoWay: 532nm @ 0.53gw, 785nm @ 0.33gw, 1064nm @ 0.90gw

PicoSure: 532nm (spec not released), 755nm @ 0.36gw, 1064 (spec not released)

PicoWay operates at 300ps vs PicoSure 750ps. The peak power is achieved at 2 ½ x faster speed and this is what shatters the pigment for tattoo clearance.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled related pico laser questions and answers in one place in order to answer the above question and to de-clutter your mind. All answers are provided by medical doctors and dermatologists. The information below is based on published answers from major sites on the internet.

Here is the list:

Q: I am looking for a treatment for melasma, pore size reduction and rejuvenation. I came across pico technology but what is the difference between Pico Way and Pico Sure ( apart from a manufacturer). Is one better than the other for my concerns?

A : Melasma is very difficult to treat and heat often makes it worse. Start by looking for prescription strength 4% Hydroquinone (HQ). Do not buy it over the counter or off the internet. Laws vary by state. In Texas, physicians can prescribe and dispense in office. 

It is difficult for me to compare PicoWay vs. PicoSure. We have been using the PicoSure for 4 years and know how well it works. The picosecond lasers were originally engineered for tattoo removal.

CynoSure recognized early on the picosecond benefit to skin rejuvenation. They came up with separate handpieces and settings for rejuvenation. I have seen several complication pictures on this site from other pico treatments that we have never seen with the PicoSure. Experience with any laser makes the difference.

We have been very successful using the PicoSure laser with the FOCUS and / or Flat Lenses eliminating hyperpigmentation with a series of treatments. Our protocol is a series of very low pulse count combined with using our chiller unit blowing cold air. FOCUS lens treatments have the extra benefit of reducing fine lines, wrinkles and scars. This is one of our go to treatments for patients older than 40 and worried about the signs of aging. The PicoSure laser is SAFE for ALL SKIN TYPES. Start with sunscreen every day! Once you have treated your hyperpigmentation to your satisfaction, you will probably need a follow treatment every 6 to 12 months depending your level of re-pigmentation.

Source: https://www.realself.com/question/enfield-e3-pico-pico-difference#7849139

Q: What is the difference between all the Pico lasers? Genesis, PicoWay, focus lens array, Picosecond?

A: Pico second technology uses sound-waves to shatter pigment both on the skin and in tattoos. Pico is a brand new mechanism of action in the already sophisticated world of technology. What makes each device unique are the different spot sizes, and depths of penetration, along with the flexibility of different wavelengths.

We love the PicoWay laser since it has three wavelengths for tattoo removal and removes all colors on the spectrum. Pico Way also have smaller spot sizes which gives four times the depth of penetration and energy then the other Pico lasers.

What's really great, is that it improves all aspects of problematic discoloration including melasma, brown spots, sun damage and cafe au lait. Their Resolve handpieces correct texture/lines/wrinkles/pores with nd:YAG handpiece and brown spots/pigmentation with the 532nm handpiece. It's a great laser facial with no downtime and lots of results.

The Pico Way is safe for all skin types.

Source: https://www.realself.com/question/edmonton-ab-difference-pico-lasers-genesis-picoway-focus-lens-array-picosecond#7755018

Q: What is the difference between Pico Plus, Pico Way and Pico Sure?

A: PicoWay, PicoPlus and Picosure lasers are different brands of laser where lasers are delivered in a much shorter time (i.e. picosecond rather than the nanoseconds) that Q switch lasers deliver it. The claim to these lasers is that with shorter burst of pulse, it will theoretically means less thermal damage to the surrounding skin. Some of these companies also claim that that also means it can deliver more energy and therefore is more effective. 

The truth is that there is no real strong head to head studies to show that picosecond laser is better than the conventional Q switch lasers in pigmentation reduction. Q switch laser has been around for several decades and picosecond lasers are a new trend with lots of marketing campaigns done on the internet. In 2015, there is a lawsuit against PicoSure laser.

I think the important point I want to make is that it is hard to know the difference between what is marketing dollars talking and what is real evidence based medicine. Many studies have small sample size and are sponsored by the product company itself. So are many claims on the internet. 

My personal opinion is that many pico lasers used in the hands of the right doctor will function very much like the conventional Q switch lasers if the power, duration and diagnosis of your pigmentation is correct and the aftercare from the doctor is followed. I am honestly doubtful about claims of significant superiority to Q switch lasers in pigmentation removal. In fact doctors thinking that such picosecond lasers are much safer and therefore increase the power wrongly may result is greater damage than good. 

In short, go to a doctor who is experienced in pigmentation reduction rather than focusing so much on what laser is being used.

Source: https://www.doctorxdentist.com/questions/what-is-the-difference-between-pico-plus-pico-way-and-pico-sure


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