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  • Writer's pictureMemphis Mori

Picosecond vs. Q-Switched YAG: What's ACTUALLY Better?

You've come to terms with it, getting your partners name on your bum was a bad idea and you're officially over it. You've started looking into tattoo removal and realized a few things

  1. tattoo removal is expensive AF.

  2. there's a lot of conflicting nonsense on the internet about what laser is better and no one is giving a straight answer

Laser clinics and doctors who use Q-switched lasers say Q-switched is better. and not surprisingly, Picosecond laser users say that Pico is superior. So what's the real story?

Truthfully, both Q-switched and Picosecond work equally as long as the technicians are using all the available wavelengths, the technicians skill and training is adequate, and you are healthy and your tattoo was professionally applied into the skin.

The thing with laser tattoo removal is that there is no magic answer that works on all people. Skin type, overall health, location of the tattoo on the body and how the tattoo was done (including the ink colours used) are all hugely important in deciding how a tattoo is going to react to laser. Some people can remove a solid black tattoo in 3 sessions, others take 10+. There's no simple answer that we can provide here to explain why.

Darker skin types like type 5 and type 6 can only use the 1064 nm wavelength and it will remove Black, Red, Green, Blue + Some Reduction in Purple​, while skin types 1-3 are much easier to remove all colours with more wavelengths as there is less melanin to consider.

Professionally done tattoos are easier to remove because the ink is consistently applied into the dermis.

Tattoos closer to your heart respond better to removal treatments as your circulation is better there than a tattoo on your foot.

The reality is, if you have a type 1 to type 3 skin tone, with a professionally applied tattoo, on your chest, and you're a healthy person who goes to a qualified laser technician with a quality laser who has the correct wavelength - the type of laser really doesn't make a difference.

However, Picosecond lasers tend to shatter the ink into smaller particles which makes it easier for your immune system to remove it, which means less sessions overall, and a quicker less painful experience but you do pay for the speed and the reduced number of sessions.

Q-switched lasers tend to be as effective and less expensive per session, there are more q-switched lasers available as they are the older technology.

Picosecond is the newer technology (and Reth-ink has the newest technology with the brand new Picosure Pro - released in 2022) but it tends to be more expensive per session as you will need less sessions, with less down time and less discomfort.

In conclusion, don't let sales tell you one is superior to the other just because of the technology, there are pros and cons to each technology and as long as you pay for a reputable laser with qualified laser removal technicians - you should see the results you're looking for, eventually.

Our pro tips:

  1. research and look for before and after photos from the actual clinic and not the laser manufacturer

  2. make sure the clinic offers multiple wavelengths that would specifically work for your skin type and your specific ink colours

To learn more, check out our site or send us an email at

Lastly, you can send us a consultation request form for a quote and to get started removing that tattoo you're sick of.

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