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PICO Laser | Fractional Laser Treatment

PICO Laser treatment is based on the principle of selective photothermolysis. This is when the target skin chromophore absorbs photons, leading to its destruction by thermal energy.

So what is laser therapy?

Laser stands for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Lasers work by producing an intense beam of bright light that travels in one direction. The laser beam can vaporize and/or ablate skin tissue to improve wrinklesscars and blemishes, seal blood vessels or cut skin tissue.
The laser has the unique function to produce one specific color (wavelength) of light, which can be varied in its intensity and pulse duration.The skilled laser specialist will evaluate your skin condition and tailor the most appropriate  laser settings to suit your skin producing healthier and more even colour and clarity.

What are the benefits of a Medical grade laser? 

  1. Natural glow, healthy radiance
  2. Lightening blemishes and spots 
  3. Firm and tighten pores


Lasers breach the epidermal barrier and reach the correct depth of penetration through varying the following factors:31

  • Wavelength: longer wavelengths have deeper penetration
  • Spot size: smaller spot size increases depth of penetration
  • Energy: larger (higher) energy has deeper penetration



PICO laser procedure uses high speed, non-thermal pulsed energy to treat tattoos, melasma, age spots and unwanted freckles.


PICO LASER works by using ultra-short laser pulses (PICOSECOND IN DURATION = 10 ¯ 12 seconds) of 2 wavelengths, photo-mechanical shockwaves. This selectively shatters the pigment and stimulates remodelling to skin simultaneously, requiring significantly fewer treatments compared to other lasers.

What are the results with PICO LASER? 

  1. PICO laser produces instant results.
  2. Fairer, more radiant skin, with obvious lightening of skin pigmentation.
  3. Can be used to treat the face, neck, décolletage or anywhere of concern.


  1. PICO Laser treatment is pain free, produces immediate results with no downtime.
  2. Treatment with PICO lasts 15 minutes – a genuine lunchtime laser.
  3. Suitable for all skin types, most notably darker/ Asian skin tones that have a higher risk of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Lasers can be classified under two broad categories, namely ablative and non-ablative.


Ablative Fractional lasers


So what is skin resurfacing?

Being the latest breakthrough in skin rejuvenation, skin resurfacing is used to improve cosmetic flaws – such as wrinkles, pores,  acne scars and aging or sun-damaged skin.Using a laser handpiece, undesired skin cells and wrinkles literally vanish and are replaced by fresh skin cells. The procedure also offers more control in the depth of penetration of the skin’s surface, allowing an increased degree of precision and safety in treating delicate areas.What can laser therapy target?A short office procedure with zero downtime.


What can Fractional Laser do?

  • Erase fine lines and wrinkles of the face.
  • Smooth and tighten eyelid skin.
  • Improve crow’s feet around the eyes.
  • Soften pucker marks and frown lines.
  • Remove brown spots and splotchy, uneven skin color.
  • Improve and flatten scars.
  • Repair smoker’s lines.
  • Improve skin tone and texture.
  • Remove tattoos.
  • Erase spider veins.


What can be expected during and after treatment?

Discomfort is usually minor during the procedure, described as a sensation of heat and mild tingling. Following skin resurfacing, the treated areas are kept moist with ointment and repair creams the first few days. The treated sites must be protected from sunlight after the procedure. Once healing is completed, sunblock lotion should be applied. In some cases, a post inflammatory pigmentation may remain for several days to several months.  This can be well managed with topical treatment.

Common side effects with fractional laser?

Each year, thousands of laser resurfacing procedures are performed successfully. Significant complications are rare, and the risk of scarring is low.

My mnemonic is RBC.

  • D= Day
  • D1 – D2 Redness or brown discoloration at the treatment sites
  • D3 – D5 Bronzing of skin
  • D5 – D7 Crusting (which usually goes away over 4- 7 days)

These are usually minimized by our post treatment care regime.

What are the limitations of laser resurfacing?

Laser resurfacing is not a substitute for a facelift nor can the procedure eliminate excessive skin or jowls. However, via tightening loose skin, laser resurfacing can improve certain folds and creases. Laser resurfacing works well in conjunction with or as an additional treatment to other cosmetic skin procedures such as botox, fillers, RF skin tightening,  chemical peels, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) and liposuction of the face and neck.

What are the benefits of laser?

  • Improved therapeutic results
  • Reduced risk of infection
  • “Bloodless” surgery with most lasers
  • An alternative to traditional scalpel surgery, in some cases
  • Less scarring, in most cases
  • Safe and effective outpatient, same-day surgery for many skin conditions

What can ablative fractional laser treatment treat? 

  • Acne Scars
  • Pores
  • Moles, Milia, Skin lumps

What can ablative fractional laser treatment achieve? 

  • Texture improvement with pore refinement
  • Smoother skin
  • Clear and brilliant skin

Ablative treatment is in the form of CO2 and Erbium-YAG lasers. It involves the use of electromagnetic energy to induce damage to the entire epidermis and a portion of the upper dermis – the chromophore here is water. Their function lies in skin resurfacing. CO2 works at a 10600 nm wavelength, which targets water both intra- and extracellularly.

Erbium-YAG works on a 2940 nm wavelength, targeting water both intra- and extracellularly, but because it is more selective for water, its energy is mainly confined to the epidermis and superficial papillary dermis, hence there is less depth of penetration compared to CO2, so side effects are reduced, but peak efficacy is less rapid than the CO2 machine.

A subset of ablative lasers is fractional ablative lasers, namely the fractional CO2 and fractional Erbium lasers. They work through inducing microthermal zones, with healthy skin cells inbetween, therefore promoting faster healing and recovery. The potential for improvement in skin resurfacing is dependent on the depth and extent of tissue damage.14,15,16,17

Non-ablative lasers

Non-ablative resurfacing treatments target structures in the underlying dermis, while protecting the overlying epidermis. This is achieved through varying the wavelength, energy, pulse duration and spot size. Some examples include Pico Laser, Q-switched Nd:YAG laser, intense pulsed light (IPL) and light-emitting diode (LED).

PICO Lasers, Q Switched Nd:YAG and IPL can be used to treat pigmentation, pores and acne and, to a small degree, skin texture. Q-switched Nd:YAG 1064 nm lasers, through a process of selective photothermolysis, target the chromophore and melanin in the epidermis, hence reducing damage to the overlying epidermis.12 Long pulsed 1064 nm Nd:YAG lasers, through increasing pulse duration, protect the epidermis, while targeting chromophores, water and oxyhaemoglobin in the dermis. They work to stimulate collagen and reduce vascularity in deeper vessels.12

IPL via a broad-spectrum wavelength of 515 nm to 1200 nm is based on the principle of selective photothermolysis, selectively targeting melanin and haemoglobin in the superficial skin layer.11-14

What can non ablative laser treatment treat? 

  • Dull Skin
  • Pimples, Acne
  • Pigmenation

What can non ablative laser treatment achieve? 

  • Brightening, whitening effect
  • Clean and clear skin
  • Natural radiance