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You may think that all tattoo removal lasers are basically the same, but in fact they are not. It’s like trying to compare a Commodore to a Ferrari. The speed at which a laser delivers energy to the tattoo ink makes a huge difference on the quality of removal and the time at which it takes to remove a tattoo.

In this article we discuss the difference between picosecond and nanosecond lasers and why nanosecond or Q-switch lasers are becoming obsolete.


The key difference between a nanosecond (Q-Switch ND:YAG) and picosecond (PicoWay) laser is the speed at which each device delivers energy. Nanosecond lasers deliver energy with a slower pulse, measured in nanoseconds – a billionth of a second. Picosecond lasers deliver energy with a much faster pulse, measured in picoseconds – a trillionth of a second.

The PicoWay is a new generation, medical grade, FDA approved picosecond laser. With its ultra-fast pulse, it shatters the tattoo ink into much smaller particles than other devices. The smaller the tattoo ink particles, the easier and faster it is for your body to clear the ink through its normal metabolic processes.


Price is always going to be a factor when comparing tattoo removal providers. At Eden Tattoo Removal, we have the best technology and we will match any equivalent tattoo removal quote with our price match guarantee.

Although PicoWay is a superior device to the Q-Switch ND:YAG’s, Detail Tattoo Removal will match any clinic’s equivalent series pricing to remove a tattoo.

You will need to take into account the number of sessions required to remove your tattoo – you may need 12-15+ sessions with a nanosecond device, whereas you may only need 6-8 sessions with the PicoWay. Costs quickly add up over the additional sessions required with a nanosecond laser.

But, the biggest cost with Nanosecond devices (Q-Switch ND:YAG) is time.  You need 6 to 8 weeks between Nanosecond sessions to allow your skin to heal, but more importantly to give your body time to digest and clear the tattoo ink.

A black tattoo can be removed in approximately 5.5 months with the PicoWay, whereas it would take approximately 18 months for the same tattoo to be removed with a nanosecond laser! 



Some clinics won’t admit to having a nanosecond device, so here’s a list of the NanoSecond or Q-switch ND:Yag devices/ machines in Sydney:

  • Quanta Q-Plus C, Q-Switch laser
  • RevLite Q-Switch, laser
  • Astanza Q-Switch, laser
  • Pastelle Q-Switch laser
  • Palomar Q-YAG 5 laser
  • Candela ATV Q-Switch laser


Let’s get something cleared up, the PicoWay is a different device to the PicoSure. In fact the only thing that is similar between these two tattoo removal devices, is the “Pico” in their name which is short for PicoSecond.

The Picosure (by Cynosure) was the first “Picosecond” device on the market, and currently has a class action lawsuit against it in the USA – read more

The PicoWay (by Syneron-Candela) has improved on this technology in four key areas:


  1. More power – almost three times more powerful meaning more effective clearance
  2. Tri wavelength – target all colours and skin types, including darker skin
  3. Pulse duration – almost twice as fast (see table below)
  4. Type of energy – the PicoWay is mainly photoacoustic (sound) vs Picosure which is mainly photothermal (heat). With the PicoWay’s photoacoustic energy there is less damage to the skin meaning faster recovery and less time between sessions.