Pico laser, the laser that treats ALL skin tones
We use the Pico Genesis laser for ultra short pulses that don’t generate heat. It photomechanically disrupts the dermis, causing hyperpigmentation caused by sun spots or melasma to rise to the surface and fall off. This is ideal to treat dark spots on darker skin colors that are sensitive to and may burn from other laser treatments.
Conditions treated by Pico Genesis:
-dark spots, brown spots, sun spots, age spots
-stubborn hormonal melasma
-fine lines and wrinkles
*for minorities: Our Pico Genesis laser doesn’t use heat. This means that the skin of Asians, Latinos, and African-Americans WON’T BURN the way it does with traditional IPL light therapy.
*for Caucasians: PICO Genesis laser is better than IPL for White skin when it comes removing brown spots. With Pico Genesis laser, a patient may need 1-2 treatments instead of 3-4. This treats stubborn dark spots that don’t respond to IPL.
*for melasma: Unlike other lasers, Pico Genesis laser treats melasma, which notoriously worsens and darkens with heat.
*for men: Pico Genesis laser is also ideal for men who wish to remove sun spots on the face without hair loss that occurs with IPL.
How is Pico Genesis different from an IPL or Laser Genesis photofacial?
Unlike Pico Genesis laser which treats only brown spots, Limelight IPL evens out overall skin tone by treating redness as well as brown spots. This works well for light/White skin. Of note, IPL targets redness more effectively than brown spots, so stubborn black spots may later be treated with Pico Genesis laser. Laser Genesis doesn’t target discoloration, but addresses scarring, stretch marks, active acne, spider veins, and rosacea.
How long does the appointment take?
- An appointment is 1 hour long, including numbing for 20 minutes
- The laser disrupts the layer of the skin that has melanin. That layer then slowly rises to the surface before either falling off as a flake or lightens gradually as tiny pieces fall off.
Does Pico laser hurt?
- Numbing cream is not always needed, but numbing cream is available.
- We aim for pinkness for a couple of hours. Brown spots will darken over 3 days and then lighten over 1-2 weeks. You can use makeup immediately afterwards.
- Avoid the sun or use sunscreen for 2-4 weeks.
- Yes, hydroquinone cream is offered as option for enhanced benefit.
- You will want to stop any acids (glycolic acid, for example) for 1 week prior to treatment.
- Sun exposure will cause new melanin to be deposited in the sun, so avoiding the sun is important. Hormonal melasma tends to come back, and patients usually choose to get a treatment every 3 months for maintenance.
- Usually, a treatment lightens the area by 25-50%. Most patients choose 2-3 treatments.
- Pico lasers are made by different companies and are called different names, for example PicoSure by Cynosure or Picoway by Syneron Candela. We use the Pico laser by the well-known Cutera brand, and it’s called Enlighten Pico Genesis. The settings matter. It is up to the doctor to use the device effectively by deciding on the wavelength, duration, size, frequency, and number of passes.
- IPL is great for spots if you have white skin AND the brown spots aren’t melasma. If you are a light-skinned Asian, Persian, Latino, there is a 50/50 chance that you will burn and the spots won’t go away.
- Melasma is patchy, whereas sun spots are discretely round. Both women and men can get melasma. Melasma can look mottled and can make the skin seem dirty.