Picoway Laser

Picoway Treatments At A Glance

  • Best Results2-4
  • Treatment Recovery0- 3 days
  • Procedure Time10-20 min
  • Skin SpecialistDermal Therapist, Nurse, Consultant
  • Duration of Results12-60+ months
  • AnaestheticNil
  • Back to WorkNext Day- 3 days
  • Cost$- $$

Picoway Laser

Picoway is the newest generation three Pico Laser. The first & oldest model is Picosure by Cynosure. Pico Lasers can address many skin conditions ranging from pigmentation due to melasma, sun damage, freckles, as well as textural changes including wrinkles, enlarged pores, fine lines, and early and mild acne scarring. Pico lasers are the definitive laser for treating skin of colour, including Asian, & ethnic skin.

FactsFacts on Picolaser skin rejuvenation

  • This laser is called Picoway & is the very latest generation of picolasers
  • Picoway has many advantages over Picosure, namely more accessible power
  • Picoway can treat skin pigmentation including melasma & sunspots
  • Picoway can also improve pigmented acne scars & post inflammatory hyperpigmentation
  • This laser can also be used to treat mild & early acne scars
  • Birthmarks can also be treated with picolasers

What is Pico Laser?

Pico laser refers to the pulse duration of laser light. The very first generation of laser was called Picosure. This laser had its debut in 2013 & has remained largely unchanged for the past 7 years. Regardless, it still can give good results when it comes to treating green tattoos. I was an early adopter of pico technology and ran the Picosure system till late 2019.

Clinic Cutis has updated the pico lasers to third generation systems, namely the Picoway by Candela. This laser has much more power than the Picosure & has many more usable wavelengths including the 532, 785 & 1064 nm, together with fusion modes. This system allows us to treat a wide range of skin conditions including pigmentation, fine lines, enlarged pores, age spots, birthmarks & mild or early acne scarring.

What clinical indications do best with Picoway?

Pico lasers have a narrow therapeutic window, they are not the answer for every single case of pigmentation. Picoway is best for –

  1. Skin rejuvenation in darker skin types: This includes Asians, Middle Eastern, Central & South American as well as Islander skin. Pico lasers can provide dermal toning as well as a reduction in sun spots, background pigment, post inflammatory pigmentation & non-specific dyschromia (pigment).
  2. Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation in all skin types. This can be secondary to acne, dermatitis, burns, & other causes of PIH
  3. Dark marks from acne, namely PIH. Picoway can also remodel early acne scars that are red (PIE). Pico laser does not treat significant atrophic scars, so don’t waste your money.

If you have lighter skin types, you will get more traction out of IPL, BBL, fractional lasers, Q switch lasers & peels. Don’t waste your money on Pico lasers as this is an overkill.

What is the best treatment for melasma, Picolasers or others?

Melasma is a unique form of pigmentation. This is a medical condition, even though it is managed by cosmetic clinics. Treatments are based around decreasing the activity of the pigment cell called the melanocyte. Lasers, including PicoWay, Picosure, Enlighten, Picoplus, Revlite & Spectra are all appropriate ways of treating melasma.

Pico Lasers can give marginal improvements over nano lasers & we do use them in our clinical practice as adjunctive treatments for melasma. Please visit the comprehensive melasma section of this website for much more information on how dermatologists treat this condition.

What is the recovery with Picoway - Picolasers?

It really depends on what we are treating and the settings of the laser.  For cases of melasma, downtime is zero, whilst treating birthmarks & acne scars, downtime ranges from 3 to 6 days. We will give you an accurate healing up time frame based upon your clinical examination.

Davin’s Viewpoint on Pico Lasers

Pico is an instrument, that’s it. Much like how a carpenter uses his or her tools, the efficacy of pico is dependent on the context of the job. Pico lasers have a very, very narrow application window. The question is not ‘can pico treat xyz condition?’ It should be ‘when is it appropriate to employ pico lasers?’ 

Pico lasers have a distinct advantage over Q Switch or fractional lasers such as Fraxel when it comes to treating or addressing pigmentation in ethnic skin types, as well as providing low downtime skin rejuvenation in appropriate skin types. It can improve mild acne scaring, however other devices provide better outcomes with less downtime.

In the context of tattoos, pico can improve clearance of ink compared to traditional Q Switch lasers such as the Revlite, C6, Pastelle & others. Regardless of the pulse duration, tattoos require multiple treatment sessions. The Picoway laser is much better at tattoos compared to generation one Cynosure Picosure as the 2 primary wavelengths of Picoway actually work! Picosure had a marginal advantage with their 755 wavelength in the context of treating green ink. If you have red, black or other ink colours, second or third generation lasers work better than gen one.

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