In youth, many people get tattoos and then change their minds about them as they mature. Even when we get older, a spur-of-the-moment decision to get a tattoo may end up in tattoo regret. With the advancement of laser technology, your tattoos no longer have to be permanent. 

Aging is inevitable, and everyone experiences unwanted facial blemishes at some point in their lives. Some are affected by acne in their youth that turns into permanent scars that remain throughout adulthood. Others experience sun spots, enlarged pores or common skin growths like moles. Luckily, laser technology can also treat all of these conditions and more. 

If you have an unwanted tattoo, signs of aging or skin blemishes, PICO Genesis treatment with the Enlighten laser system can provide smooth, youthful skin and an even complexion.

What Is PICO Genesis™? 

PICO Genesis is a nonablative laser skin treatment on the Enlighten system by Cutera, a leader in the manufacturing of medical aesthetic devices. While it was initially designed for tattoo removal, the PICO laser is now also used for mole removal, pigment reduction and helping produce smoother, firmer skin on the face and body. PICO Genesis delivers the industry-standard Nd:Yag 1064 nm wavelength in picoseconds, which results in maximal breakdown of tattoo inks as well as skin pigmentation. 

This innovative device can achieve your desired results with fewer treatments compared to traditional lasers and without any downtime. 

What Is PICO Genesis™ Good For? 

  • Unwanted tattoos 
  • Benign pigmented lesions, such as:
    • Dark spots 
    • Age spots 
    • Freckles
    • Moles
    • Melasma
  • Acne scars
  • Injury scars 
  • Sun damage 
  • Enlarged pores
  • Fine lines
  • Wrinkles 

How Does PICO Genesis™ Work?

The PICO Genesis laser shatters pigment within the skin to treat tattoos and pigmented lesions using ultra-short pulses of two light wavelengths. Rather than using heat (thermal) energy, this laser achieves photomechanical disruption of the skin to break apart pigment. It also targets the deep layers of skin tissue to stimulate collagen production for the reduction of wrinkles and fine lines. These processes result in tissue remodeling and improved skin texture, clarity and tone.

How Many PICO Genesis™ Treatments Will I Need? 

In general, the majority of patients need three to five sessions. Your specific skin concerns and reason for getting treatment will determine the ideal number of PICO sessions for optimal results. 

Skin Pigmentation and Texture Concerns 

For most patients, a treatment series of three sessions may achieve significant skin renewal results. There should not be any pain or social downtime after laser treatment. You may need more or fewer treatments for skin rejuvenation depending on the extent of your hyperpigmentation. Textural concerns like lines, wrinkles and pores are better addressed by PicoSure, GenesisPlus and Aerolase lasers. 

Tattoo Removal

For tattoo removal, at least three, if not six, sessions would be required to provide the most significant improvement. The size and color of your tattoo will affect the total number of treatments you need. We can use adjunctive PFD patch and/or microneedling to augment clinical efficacy. We also like to alternate PicoSure and PICO Genesis lasers for tattoo removal, as different wavelengths of 755 nm and 1064 nm may achieve synergy in tattoo reduction.

Scars and Moles 

Most scars and moles need four treatments to achieve the desired results. 

How Often Can I Have PICO Genesis™ Treatment?

For your initial treatment series, we recommend undergoing PICO treatments every two to four weeks if you have fair to medium skin. If you have dark skin, we may recommend waiting up to eight weeks between sessions for tattoo reduction or four weeks apart for facial pigmentation reduction. 

If you’re interested in follow-up PICO Genesis treatments to maintain your revitalized skin, you can undergo sessions every three to four months. 

When Will I See My Results After PICO Genesis™?

Results are generally noticeable after just one or two treatment sessions. Your smoother, more even skin will become apparent approximately two to three weeks after each session.

How Long Will My Results From PICO Laser Treatment Last?

Tattoo removal results will be permanent; the ink from your tattoo will be broken up and naturally eliminated from your body, making it unable to come back. Scar and mole removal also produces permanent results, as the pigment is destroyed and removed. The reduction or removal of superficial skin concerns like wrinkles, lines, freckles and dark spots should last for about six months. After that time, they may recur due to natural aging, sun exposure and other environmental factors that contribute to aging. 

Frequently Asked Questions About PICO Genesis™

How Long Do PICO Laser Treatments Take? 

Each treatment session usually takes less than 40 minutes. The total time for your treatment will vary based on the size of your target area and concerns. 

Is PICO Genesis™ Painful? 

Patients describe this treatment as painless and liken the sensation to a small rubber band snapping against their skin. 

Does PICO Genesis™ Work on Dark and Light Skin?

Yes, PICO Genesis can effectively treat any skin type, including dark ethnic skin. The advanced laser technology of this device allows for patients with a range of skin tones to safely treat their cosmetic concerns. 

Is the PICO Genesis™ Laser Safe? 

The short, quick laser pulses of this non-thermal laser don’t harm the surrounding tissue like heat lasers can, which means it offers a safer treatment compared to intense thermal laser treatments. Because of this, patients don’t have to worry about treatment being painful or significant skin redness or inflammation after treatment. 

Are There Any Restrictions After PICO Laser Treatment? 

No downtime is needed after this procedure. However, we recommend that patients refrain from performing intense exercises for the first day, but light workouts and walking are fine. It’s best to avoid overheating your body for a few days also, such as in hot tubs and saunas. Do not use products that contain retinoids for a few days, and keep your skin out of direct sunlight. Using sunscreen daily can help protect your skin and maintain your results.

Will I Have Side Effects After PICO Genesis™?

Most patients experience very mild, if any, side effects after PICO Genesis treatment. Your skin may flake slightly and have mild swelling temporarily.

Laser Your Way to an Even Complexion With Enlighten® PICO Genesis™

At California Dermatology Care, Dr. Ting and our experienced, certified providers can help you achieve youthful, radiant skin with a more uniform complexion. We have offices conveniently located throughout the eastern San Francisco Bay Area in San Ramon, Hercules and Livermore.

Call or text us at 925-328-0255 or schedule an appointment online to learn more about how PICO Genesis can give you the healthy skin and confidence you deserve.