Pico Laser

Learn about Toronto’s New Standard of Excellence

Pico Laser Technology

With the pico laser at Toronto’s Sovereign Skin, you can now remove melasma, sunspots, acne scars, and tattoos like never before. It’s the newest technology used to target unwanted skin pigment, and everyone’s catching on to this faster, predictable method for stunning results.

Darkened skin spots (hyperpigmentation) and uneven tone and texture spark interest in Toronto laser treatments. Tattoo removal is nearly as popular as tattoos themselves, and the trend of removing regrettable ink is also driving demand for lasers that don’t damage tissue or bring long recovery times.

Enter the pico laser (or picosecond laser). Technological advancements in this area have put both the results and the patient experience far ahead of the competition.

Like the traditional Q-switched laser, pico is used for pigmentation removal. The ultrashort, picosecond pulses are light-years ahead of past processes, making versatility, safety, and outcomes dramatically better too.

Let’s take a closer look at why this next-generation laser works so well and why our patients love their results.

Pico laser: How can it help you?

Pico technology breaks up and removes unwanted pigment without damaging the skin.

Toronto patients choose this treatment to:

  • Lighten age spots and sunspots
  • Reduce the appearance of melasma
  • Reduce freckles, moles, and pigmented lesions
  • Even out skin tone
  • Lighten scars
  • Remove tattoos (with fewer treatments!)
  • Treat the face, neck, chest, back of hands — nearly anywhere!

Pico means one trillionth of a stated unit. In the case of the pico laser, we are referring to lightning-fast energy pulses that are one trillionth of a second.

Pico laser technology vs. Q-switch: What’s the difference?

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Q-switched laser. Still a prevalent technology, there are some limitations and critical differences between how these modalities achieve their results. The comparison is essential to our clients, who enjoy better results and their experience with pico.


The length of time that pulse energy lingers in the skin is 100 times shorter with pico than with a Q-switched laser. More pulses can be rapidly delivered by the pico at one trillionth of a second to accomplish precise, targeted pigmentation destruction.

Safe for all skin colours

Combining 14 laser modalities and 4 different wavelengths, the StarWalker system is versatile enough to treat a wide range of skin tones and pigment types. Asian, African, and diverse ranges of skin can be treated with the pico laser.

In the past, many people with medium to dark skin shades avoided laser skin treatment due to related risks. Scattered heat energy can unintentionally target the skin’s pigment and cause burns.

The very precise homogeneity of the laser beam profile ensures safety during treatment, as the laser energy is evenly distributed.

For you, that means that a risk of bleeding, transient textural changes, or other adverse effects are significantly decreased. Energy is concentrated deep below the surface of the skin, which means that people with dark skin can safely use the treatment.

1. Picosecond technology is superior to heat for breaking up pigment

Thermal (heat) energy is what traditional lasers use to penetrate the skin and target pigment under the surface. Classic methods can involve thermal damage to the skin and the unintended scattering of energy to the surrounding tissue.

Instead, short-pulse technology removes the worry of skin damage from excess heat. Fotona’s StarWalker pulse modality photo-acoustically breaks apart pigmentations into tiny particles, without heat.

2. Pico technology is more predictable than topical, chemical treatments or lightening creams.

For melasma, acne scars, and darkened sunspots, many dermatologists recommend lightening creams or steroids to remove dark pigmentation. That type of treatment can take months to show results and may bring unwanted effects.

For some pigmented lesions and tattoos, there isn’t a topical product capable of reaching and removing marks deep under skin.


Plus, many people want to avoid medications today, so they appreciate a laser that breaks up dark pigment so the body can eliminate it naturally.

Deep chemical peels and dermabrasion can deliver results, but they remove outer skin layers and bring lengthy recovery periods. The inconvenience of downtime is a deterrent. That’s why the new pico laser is so appealing: measurable results without downtime or the inconvenience of topical medication.

3. StarWalker pico laser treatments are comfortable and safe for most skin tones

Most pico laser treatments take as little as 10 minutes per session. Even better is the lack of discomfort that many people associate with laser melasma treatment. Since the energy penetrates deep below the surface without heat, it’s often described as tingly, but comfortable.

Tattoo Removal

FracTAT™ is the mode that makes StarWalker a superior tattoo removal laser. It breaks the ink into pulverized particles so small that they’re flushed easily from the system.

Even hard-to-remove ink colours respond remarkably well, and the skin frosting or potential scarring of other systems don’t result from StarWalker.

What’s different about this laser is its power, efficacy, and safety. Rather than infusing the tissue with heat energy, the laser light vibrates to break apart pigment into “dust” particles. This laser works in picosecond pulses instead of nanosecond pulses like the Q-switched laser.

It may seem that micro differences don’t amount to much, but working on a cellular level, they certainly do. More efficient ink targeting and destruction means:


  • Fewer treatments
  • Faster treatments
  • More comfortable treatments

Fewer treatments required

Both the Q-switched and pico laser target pigmentation. But when it comes to treating melasma, brown spots, and tattoos, the pico system enables skin to clear fragments faster and reduces the number of sessions required. Once the desired results are achieved, your fresh complexion will be long-lasting.

Is pico laser treatment painful?

Based on each individual’s pain tolerance and the location of their treatment, sensations will vary. For your comfort, topical numbing solutions can always be used, and the device is equipped with cooling air components to soothe skin while it works. Thankfully, most patients describe the feeling as tiny prickles or subtle warmth, and they tolerate it well.

How many Toronto pico laser sessions will you need?

Depending on the type of pigment, the number of treatments can vary. A few factors that influence your treatment plan may include skin type, skin health, sun exposure, hormones, acne, and more. On average, 4 to 6 treatments or fewer achieve optimal lightening for most people.

Are there side effects of laser skin treatment?

Some people experience a temporary “pink” flush or mild skin itching after their session, lasting a few hours.

No post-treatment care or restrictions are required.

You can return to your regular activities or work immediately after. However, our skin specialists will advise you to avoid direct sun exposure for a week to prevent hyperpigmentation.

Some people observe greying/browning/darkening of the existing pigmentation for a short time before it clears away.

Are the results permanent?

Most pigmentation won’t return once you’ve removed it with a laser. It is possible to develop new pigmentation with sun exposure or due to hormonal changes, so talk with a Sovereign Skin specialist about steps to keep an even complexion.

Is pico laser right for your condition?
  • Fast tattoo removal
  • Pigmented lesions
  • Melasma treatment
  • Nevus of Ota treatment
  • Solar lentigo treatment
  • Vascular lesion removal
  • Acne & acne scar lightening
  • Port-wine stain removal

If you have pigmented lesions or body art that you’re ready to say goodbye to, we’d love to meet you and offer a free skin assessment. You can visit Sovereign Skin’s complexion care team, including skilled, licensed laser nurses. We’ll help you determine the best course of action to get pigment cleared away and restore skin that you feel good about.


Quality – Aesthetics – Professionalism

If you would like to further learn about what this incredible team of beauty advisors and medical professionals can offer you, please contact Sovereign Skin today to start your journey towards the very best Canada has to offer!

Sovereign Skin

(647) 343-0801

59 Hayden Street, Suite 701 Toronto, ON M4Y 0E7