ND YAG Laser vs. PicoSecond Laser: Finding the Right Ink Eraser for Your Tattoo

ND YAG Laser vs. PicoSecond Laser – Tattoos are a wonderful way to express personality and style, but as time goes on, some may wish to part ways with their skin art. The reasons for wanting to remove a tattoo are as varied as the art itself – from job prospects to a change in taste. As more individuals explore the possibility of tattoo removal, the choice they face isn’t just about making the decision to go ink-free but how to do it effectively and safely.

Fortunately, the evolution of laser tattoo removal technologies has made it easier and more effective than ever to erase the past. But with all the different types of lasers on the market, how do you know which one is right for you?

This article explores the differences between the ND YAG Laser and the PicoSecond Laser, two of the most popular choices for tattoo removal.

The ND YAG Laser: A Versatile Veteran in Tattoo Removal


ND YAG Laser vs. PicoSecond Laser – When it comes to tattoo removal, the ND YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet) Laser is the time-tested workhorse. It operates by targeting the tattoo ink with a specific wavelength of light, which is absorbed by the pigment and broken down into tiny particles.

This type of laser uses a wavelength of 1064 nanometers, which is effective at targeting deep pigments like black and dark blue. Its longer wavelength means it’s less absorbed by melamine in the skin, reducing the risks of hyperpigmentation, which is the darkening of an area of skin, meaning It is a safe, effective and reliable method for removing tattoo’s.

Overview of ND YAG Laser Technology

ND YAG lasers are well-known for their ability to deliver brief, high-energy light pulses that break down tattoo ink particles in the skin without affecting the surrounding tissue.

How ND YAG Laser Works for Tattoo Removal

When the laser’s light energy hits the tattoo, it’s absorbed by the ink particles, which are shattered into tiny fragments. Over time, these fragments are cleared away naturally by the body’s immune system, leading to the gradual fading and eventual removal of the tattoo.

Pros of the ND YAG System

  • Proven Efficacy: ND YAG lasers have been the go-to for tattoo removal for years. They are known for their ability to handle a spectrum of ink colours, including stubborn ones like green and blue.
  • Safety: Safer for darker skin tones due to its reduced risk of hyperpigmentation
  • Reliable: Known for treating stubborn tattoos, those fading after previous removal
  • Cost-Effective: Compared to newer options, the ND YAG laser is generally more affordable. This can be a significant factor for those on a budget or those looking for a series of treatments over time.

Cons of the ND YAG System

  • Multiple Sessions Required: Due to the need for multiple treatments to break down tattoo ink, the ND YAG system might require more sessions for complete removal,

The PicoSecond Laser: Precision with Speed



Overview of PicoSecond Laser Technology

ND YAG Laser vs. PicoSecond Laser – PicoSecond Lasers are relatively new to the tattoo removal scene but have quickly gained popularity due to promising technology. The picosecond laser emits ultra-short pulses in picoseconds, which are a trillionth of a second. This rapid pace ensures that the ink is shattered into finer particles,

Pros of the PicoSecond Laser

  • Efficiency in Number of Sessions: A significant advantage of PicoSecond lasers is the potential for fewer treatment sessions. The ultra-short pulses result in faster ink breakup and subsequent removal with each session, potentially reducing the overall treatment duration.

Cons of the PicoSecond Laser

  • Colour Selectivity: While effective for many colours, PicoSecond lasers can sometimes struggle with lighter ink shades, which can be more stubborn and may require additional treatment to remove completely.
  • Higher Price Tag: With their advanced technology and promising results, PicoSecond lasers tend to come with a larger initial investment. Individuals considering this method should be prepared to pay more upfront.


Comparison of ND YAG Laser and PicoSecond Laser

When choosing between the ND YAG and PicoSecond lasers, it’s essential to consider their differences and what might work best for your tattoo’s specifics.

Differences in Technology and Effectiveness

The primary difference lies in the pulse duration and the resultant effect on the ink. The PicoSecond laser’s ability to break down ink into smaller particles means better results for certain colours but doesn’t necessarily make it universally more effective than ND YAG for all tattoos.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between the Two Lasers

The speed and cost of the removal process are always going to also be crucial factors, as PicoSecond lasers can often promise a more rapid treatment schedule. However, it is also important to consider the cost, as even though Picosecond laser sessions may mean less are required, they can be up to 3 times more expensive. Meaning the overall cost of getting the tattoo removed is much higher.

Which Laser Is Right for You?

When deciding between the ND YAG Laser and the PicoSecond Laser for tattoo removal, it is crucial to consider your tattoo’s unique characteristics, your skin tone, and your budget.

  • For Dark Black & Multi-coloured Tattoos: If you have a tattoo with a variety of colours, an ND YAG treatment might be a good starting point, as it is more likely to work across the spectrum.
  • For Potentially Faster Results and a Significantly Higher Budget: If you’re willing to invest more and have a tattoo with colours that the PicoSecond Laser typically targets well, you may lean towards this option for potentially quicker and more thorough results.

 It’s important to consult with a dermatologist or a professional in a laser clinic specializing in tattoo removal to evaluate your specific needs. Each person’s experience with laser tattoo removal can vary, so a professional’s insight can be invaluable in your decision-making.

Hesr’s what Tom our AW3 Certfied Laser Techicain thinks

My opinion is that both are excellent choices for Laser Tattoo Removal, and yes, in theory, Picosecond may be better. However, here’s the thing, ND YAG lasers are more than capable of removing unwanted ink, so combine that with the reduced cost, I am 100% certain they offer far better value for money.

You may need a couple of extra sessions, but if you get the same results and save £500, are you bothered? Furthermore, we even have clients come to us that have had Picosecond laser tattoo removal, have not got the results they want and have come to us for ND YAG removal.

An ND YAG laser in the hands of an experienced technician, who knows how to use and set the machine properly, is more than a match for an unwanted tattoo.”

In conclusion, both the ND YAG Laser and the PicoSecond Laser offer unique benefits and drawbacks when it comes to tattoo removal. The best choice for you will depend on the particulars of your tattoo and your individual preferences.

Whether you’re looking for affordability, speed, colour range or capability there’s a laser system out there that’s ideal for your ink erasing.

For advice and information on ALL THINGS LASER TATTOO REMOVAL click the higlited text.


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