'Does it actually improve pigmentation?' and 9 other questions about picosecond laser treatments, answered by a doctor.

Thanks to our brand partner, cynosure

If you're anything like us, you probably find lasers to be a little (very) confusing. There's so many different types out there, that it can seem completely overwhelming trying to work out what's the best option when it comes to skin rejuvenation. 

The latest laser treatment that's making major waves in the skincare industry? Cynosure's PicoSure Pro laser treatment.

With the ability to destroy pigment under the skin's surface and get rid of everything from dark spots and melasma (psst... it can even remove tattoos!) all without downtime, PicoSure Pro is one of the revolutionary picosecond laser treatments on the market.

Want to find out more? 

Below we talk to Brisbane-based dermatologist Dr Davin Lim to find out everything you need to know about picosecond laser treatments – including exactly what's involved.

Let's go!

1. What is PicoSure Pro laser?

In case you're not across what a picosecond laser actually is (read: all of us), Dr Lim explains it to us as a powerful, non-invasive, high-energy laser that can treat all kinds of pigmentation issues that other lasers can't. 

"It's the newest laser tech of all the lasers," he tells me. "With the technology and what it does, it delivers a lot of power over a very short time. When we do that, we minimise heating of the tissue, unlike traditional lasers, where there's a lot of heat that goes in."

Meaning? "It's a very safe laser with minimal downtime."

Whether you're dealing with large pores, uneven skin texture or dark spots, if you're looking for something that will help revitalise, brighten and even your complexion without a lengthy downtime, PicoSure Pro could be an option for you.


2. How does picosecond laser actually work?

Cool! So, how does it actually... work? 

Good question, friend. Important question.

To put it simply, picosecond laser basically blows very small (controlled) holes in the upper parts of the skin whilst preserving the lower part of the skin, explains Dr Lim.

"This enables a couple of things. Number one, it reduces pigment. And number two, with that fast energy over a short period of time, it releases your natural growth factors from the cells, called your cytokines."

"These growth factors then trickle down all the way down to the lower part of your skin underneath the dermis. From here, these growth factors are like food for a fibroblast, which are cells that produce collagen."

3. What are the benefits?

When it comes to the benefits for skin rejuvenation, PicoSure is as a true all-rounder, working to improve your overall skin texture and tone, for a brighter, more radiant complexion.

Dr Lim said you can think of this laser as doing one of two things, "treating pigment and giving controlled damage superficially to release growth factors to stimulate the cells."

"It treats mild-to-moderate wrinkles; it treats sun damage, and it can reduce pore sizing and superficial scars," Dr Lim explains.

Told you it was an all-rounder!

4. What's usually involved in a treatment? 

One of the many upsides of the PicoSure Pro laser device is the quick and easy treatment process. Patients are usually given a short-acting numbing cream around 15 to 20 minutes before treatment. 


Dr Lim said, "It's very fast-acting, and that makes the treatment very comfortable in the whole treatment itself."

"It probably takes between five to 15 minutes, depending on the area. So it's a very fast treatment." 

"I would class this as a lunchtime procedure because you can duck up at lunch, get the treatment, you're a little bit red, but you can continue normal activities. So, it's literally a no downtime lunchtime procedure."

5. What kind of downtime is involved?

Again, this is a virtually no downtime laser treatment. Thanks to picosecond laser and the quick delivery of energy, the skin is spared from high thermal damage.

"Picosecond lasers are revolutionary because we call it a very short pulse duration," explains Dr Lim. 

"It delivers energy over a trillionth of a second, which is very fast. It gives you a controlled damage to the upper part of the skin."

6. What's the after-care like post-treatment?

When it comes to aftercare, it doesn't need to be overcomplicated or fancy – you just have to pull back on the active ingredients for a few days. Think, less is more.

"Basically, you skip your actives for maybe about three or four days because it's getting a little bit more sensitive. And then just continue with normal cleansing.

"Make sure you use sunscreen twice a day or at least two weeks following the laser. But everyone should be using sunscreen, anyway."

Right, you guys? RIGHT.

7. When can you usually expect to see results?

The important bit! The results. When do we see them?

Well, according to Dr Lim, you'll start to see optimal results around the six to eight-week mark. Here, patients will notice an overall improvement in skin tone and texture; along with a brighter, more radiant complexion.


8. Who is a good candidate?

So, who is suitable for picosecond laser treatments?

According to Dr Lim, this is a treatment that's suitable for every skin type, including darker skin types.

"It actually suits darker skin types better than lighter skin types because there's more pigment to hit," said Dr Lim. "When you have more pigment, this means that we can release more growth factors." 

... And more growth factors mean? A greater production of collagen and elastin, for smoother, plumper, more youthful-looking skin.

9. How many sessions do you need?

For optimal skin rejuvenation results, Dr Lim suggests most people will require between two to three sessions of PicoSure Pro laser. 

Usually, these treatments can be based four to eight weeks apart.

10. What other concerns can PicoSure Pro laser treat?

Along with the wide range of skin rejuvenation benefits on the face, Dr Lim said PicoSure Pro may also be used to treat "birthmarks and scars", adding, "if you have sun damage on your hands, it can treat brown spots as well."

What's more, Dr Lim said that PicoSure Pro can also be used to remove unwanted tattoos, and is able to target black, blue, and green tattoo inks.

This article is intended as a guide to be used only for general information purposes. The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for qualified healthcare professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Feature image: Instagram/@drdavinlim

Picosure Pro is a revolutionary high-speed, minimally invasive laser skin treatment with no downtime that can help improve unwanted pigmentation, wrinkles, acne scarring, pores and tattoos. To find out more contact your nearest provider for a personal consultation-