What is the difference between Pico Plus, Pico Way and Pico Sure?
I am a 28 year old female and am looking at Pico laser for treatment for pigmentation. I have seen clinics in Singare that offer different type of Pico laser machines. How do I know which Pico laser to choose, as this enables me to select the right clinic?
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. More recently, there is a ongoing lawsuit against PicoSure laser and its harm.
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.
Hope that helps.
This is a question that I get quite commonly. PicoPlus, Pico way and Picosure are different brands of quality Picosecond lasers.
There are other picolaser brands like discovery picolaser, Picocare and Enlighten.
This being said, there are several differences amongst Picolasers:
1. Pulse duration
- the hallmark of Picosecond lasers is the ultra-short pulse duration as compared to nanosecond in Q switched lasers. Pulse duration is important as shorter pulse duration means less photo thermal effect (less heat) to surrounding skin.
- the "gold standard" pulse duration is widely accepted to be 450 Picoseconds. Picolasers like PicoPlus, Discovery pico and Picocare have 450 Picosecond pulse durations.
2. Number of Picosecond Wavelengths
- more wavelengths means more types of pigmentation conditions that can be treated.
- PicoPlus & Picocare have 4 Picosecond wavelengths. Discovery pico has 3 wavelengths. PicoSure has 2 wavelengths.
3. Peak Power
- high peak power means more Laser energy to break down stubborn pigments, which translates to better results in fewer sessions.
- Discovery pico and Picoplus have the highest peak power of 1.8GW.
Apart from technical specifications of machines, do consider the following 2 factors which affect results too.
1. Country of manufacture
- research and clinical protocols for the picolaser are developed based on the predominant skin type of their population (Korean lasers have been studied on korean/oriental skin).
- Korean Picolasers like Lutronic's Picoplus and Wontech's Picocare have been developed to treat stubborn pigments in Asian skin.
- other picolasers were originally made predominantly for tattoo removal in Caucasian skin.
2. Experience & Training of the doctor in that specific Picolaser
- at the end of the day, an excellent picolaser that is suitable for Asian skin is just a tool for the doctor.
- look for a doctor who has been well-trained by key opinion leaders in the laser.
Special note: look at the credibility and track record of the laser manufacturer.
Syneron which produces Picoway has a history of producing excellent lasers.
Similarly, Lutronic, which produced PicoPlus, has a legacy of producing top grade pigment lasers like Spectra XT (Q switched laser).
For more insights on Pico lasers in Singapore, you can read my article on DxD.
Hope that this helps!
Dr Justin Boey
Before choosing the laser, we should first find out what is the pigmentation that you are having. Different pigmentation response better with different laser. Once that is done, you can then consider what is the best form of treatment. It might not even be laser!
It will be too long to go into the various treatment here. You will need to have a proper consultation and assessment before discussing the treatment plan. I do notice that PICO laser has certain advantages which i could see in my patients after treatment, compared to their previous treatment using other lasers in my clinic, but it is no miracle on its own.
PICO is just another excellent option in our magic bag when treating patient, not just in pigmentation but also for many other skin conditions. It may also be used in combination with other treatment modalities for better result. PICO may not even be the treatment of choice in some cases.
Have a great weekend ahead.
Dr Elias Tam