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What is PicoWay® Laser?

What is PicoWay® Laser?

The PicoWay laser system is FDA and CE-cleared, and it uses a picosecond laser beam with high power and ultra-short pulses to transform your skin from the inside out! The PicoWay laser treats acne scars, wrinkles, and benign pigmented lesions (dark spots), and removes black and multi-color tattoos safely and effectively.

The PicoWay laser first became known for its tattoo and pigment removal capabilities, but it continues to grow in use for acne scars and wrinkles. The PicoWay laser uses different handpieces and laser wavelengths for the treatment of these conditions, which your Bradford Laser Centre technician will use according to what’s right for you and your skin.

How PicoWay Laser Works

All PicoWay laser treatments use a picosecond laser with high power and ultra-short pulses. A picosecond is a trillionth of a second, rather than a photothermal (or heat) approach that heats the skin and can lead to side effects, such as downtime and scarring.

The PicoWay laser works below the surface, leaving the outer layer of the skin intact. It can target tattoo pigment, the excess melanin in the skin that causes dark spots, and other pigment; if treating conditions such as acne scars or wrinkles, it creates tiny spaces in the dermis (the layer just beneath the outer skin) to encourage the production of collagen and elastin.

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PicoWay Laser Treatment Highlights

A man with acne scars on his face.

Acne Scars

Did you know that nearly 40% of those with acne have some degree of scarring?9 Many acne scars result from a loss of collagen in the skin.12 PicoWay Resolve treatments use an ultra-short, picosecond laser that reaches below the surface of the skin to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin11 without breaking the outermost layer of the skin. In clinical studies, 94% of treated areas improved, and patients were highly satisfied with the results.4

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Millions of people each year seek treatment for their wrinkles.10 Wrinkles can be caused by a loss of collagen in the skin.13

The PicoWay Resolve applicator on the PicoWay system is a non-invasive, needle-free treatment option for wrinkles. Resolve uses ultra-short laser pulses to reach under the skin without breaking its outer layer. Picosecond lasers are proven to stimulate collagen and elastin.2-5,11

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Dark Spots

Skin discolouration is common, yet treatable. Dark spots, or benign pigmented lesions, appear in many people on different areas of the skin. Some spots are related to excessive sun exposure. Others can be caused by hormone changes, often impacting women following pregnancy. Many of these skin discolourations can be distressing and affect quality of life.

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Tattoo Removal

The PicoWay system is a high-power laser with ultra-short pulses that shatters tattoo ink but leaves the outer layer of the skin intact. The PicoWay laser treats a wide range of tattoo colours across a broad range of skin types. Over a series of brief treatments, the PicoWay laser can eliminate most tattoos. That’s why the PicoWay laser is the tattoo removal laser of choice by Removery, the nation’s leading tattoo removal provider.


A woman 's face before and after using picoway

PicoWay Laser Treatment Benefits

Low to no downtime laser treatments

The PicoWay laser uses a photoacoustic rather than a photothermal effect, which means the skin doesn't overheat and leads to long downtime. PicoWay laser users typically have low to no downtime after treatment. Patients treated for acne scars and wrinkles can resume normal activities – and even apply makeup – within a day of treatment.

PicoWay works in two ways.

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PicoWay laser handpieces come in either full beam or split beam types. Each handpiece is designed for a particular use or uses, some for tattoos and some for removal of pigment or treatment of wrinkles or acne scars.

All handpieces on the PicoWay laser target pigment in the skin. Pigment can be naturally formed, caused by too much melanin in the skin. This appears as dark spots on the skin that can either be seen at birth or form over time from sun damage (sometimes called sun spots), ageing, or even being a result of medical conditions. Pigment can also be added to the skin in the form of ink in a tattoo. In either case, the PicoWay laser targets the pigment and shatters it into tiny particles that are no longer seen through the skin.

A green background with purple lettering and the word resolv written in it.

The laser beams in PicoWay Resolve and Resolve Fusion handpieces are split from a central beam into 100 identical beams or beamlets. Resolve Fusion has a wider coverage area than Resolve.6,8 These beamlets reach below the skin’s surface in areas that are spaced evenly apart. Because the laser is so fast and powerful, it creates a non-thermal effect, called a “photoacoustic” effect. Tiny open spaces are created under the skin that are then filled in over time with the growth of new collagen and elastin.8

The PicoWay laser literally works from the inside out. The treatment does not cause the outer layers of the skin to break, so patients enjoy low to no downtime after treatment.

Hear what people say about PicoWay

The tattoo on my shoulder bothered me so much that I stopped wearing strappy dresses. Thanks to PicoWay I can show off my shoulders again. The treatment was comfortable, and in 4 sessions the tattoo was completely cleared.


New York, United States

PicoWay was able to provide fast and excellent results with minimal discomfort. All my pigment simply faded away.


San Francisco, United States

I love my Resolve treatment! My skin has a glow, my pores are smaller and my skin is much smoother.


Boston, United States

The tattoo on my shoulder bothered me so much that I stopped wearing strappy dresses. Thanks to PicoWay I can show off my shoulders again. The treatment was comfortable, and in 4 sessions the tattoo was completely cleared.


New York, United States

PicoWay was able to provide fast and excellent results with minimal discomfort. All my pigment simply faded away.


San Francisco, United States
A person getting their face laser hair removal


The PicoWay laser is an ultra-fast picosecond laser that treats acne scars, wrinkles, benign pigmented lesions and tattoo removal.

The PicoWay Resolve laser is a treatment on the PicoWay laser system, that uses a laser handpiece that splits the full beam into tiny microbeams. This allows treatment of conditions like acne scars, wrinkles and benign pigmented lesions. PicoWay Resolve acts by creating tiny open spaces, called vacuoles, under the skin where new collagen and elastin are built and can transform the skin over time.4,5,8

PicoWay treatments are typically brief (15-20 minutes) and are done over a series of treatment sessions spaced weeks apart.8 Your doctor will recommend a treatment plan that works best for you.

If you are looking for a laser treatment that acts below the surface of the skin and offers low to no downtime, then the PicoWay laser may be the right laser for you. Ask us if PicoWay laser treatment can minimize your acne scars or wrinkles or remove bothersome dark spots and tattoos that you no longer want.

The PicoWay laser is FDA and CE mark cleared for certain uses: acne scars, wrinkles, dark spots (benign pigmented lesions), and tattoo removal. If you are looking for other laser treatments, such as hair removal, then the PicoWay laser is not the treatment for you. Candela offers hair removal devices, such as the Gentle Max Pro laser.

While the PicoWay laser works on both lighter and darker skin types, depending on the wavelength and applicator needed for your treatment, the PicoWay laser may not be the best treatment for your skin type. Your treatment provider will know which PicoWay applicator is best for your skin type and treatment needs.

Keep in mind that a PicoWay laser treatment typically requires multiple sessions. A PicoWay laser treatment provider can walk you through your treatment needs and will be the best source for determining whether treatment with the PicoWay laser is right for you.

Side effects with the PicoWay laser are typically transient and expected as part of the laser treatment.1-6 Patients experience low to no downtime. In some cases, patients may use a topical anesthetic to enhance comfort during the treatment. More common side effects include redness, swelling, pinpoint bleeding, tingling or purplish spots.1-6,8 These effects will differ, however, depending on the treatment you receive.

Your level of discomfort depends on the type treatment you receive. For example, those undergoing tattoo removal are like to experience some pain and discomfort. However, when undergoing the PicoWay Resolve treatment, patients treated for wrinkles generally reported low levels of pain, and mild to no discomfort from those treated for acne scars or dark spots.

You may be able to see initial improvement after just the first treatment. However, this depends on the condition treated, and multiple sessions are typically necessary.1-6

With PicoWay Resolve treatment, most patients reported low levels of pain during treatment for wrinkles and mild to no discomfort for acne scar treatment.

Yes, you can. Most people can return to their activities of daily living shortly after treatment. Following tattoo removal, however, you may need a bandage to keep the treatment area dry for a few days.

PicoWay is a picosecond laser with a high peak power and ultra-short pulse durations, leading to a photoacoustic effect, instead of a photothermal one (which can overheat the skin). The majority of PicoWay patients report high satisfaction and low to no downtime.2-6

Treatment cost will vary depending on the type of treatment, size of treatment area, number of treatment sessions and other factors.