woman smiling with flawless skin and sharp jawline

Have you ever heard of a laser device that uses very short pulse durations to target tattoos (pigmentations and ink particles on the skin)? That is exactly what a picosecond laser is. But before this current state-of-the-art treatment used to remove tattoos, tattoo regret (a process where someone who was once passionate about having a tattoo later feels he or she will like to have such tattoo removed) has always been something many have been concerned about.

Unlike the picosecond laser that removes most tattoos more completely than any other means, and in the shortest possible time,  there have always been more painful options been used before. Let us consider some of those old, painful, and less effective methods.

Common Tattoo Removal Methods before the Invention of the Picosecond Laser

Before the invention of the picosecond laser, the methods used were not the best and some were dangerous. Read on for some of these examples.


This is one of the earliest means of removing tattoos. A very rough and strong object like a wire brush, or metal gauze is used to scrub the area covered by the tattoo that is meant to be removed. In some extreme but urgent cases, sharp stones were also used. It always leaves the patient with more wounds that might take weeks to heal. It also leaves the person prone to infections.


This method used a gauze pad with the common table salt in scrubbing the area covered by the tattoo. This method was never going to remove the tattoos altogether but will remove a majority of it. It also leaves the patient with more injury and a lot of scarring.


As the search for a less painful method of removing the tattoo removal method intensifies the thought of using chemicals flashed through the mind of scientists. Tannic acids and silver nitrate in combination with phenol solutions were explored.  Even though it worked to an extent, some of its limitations were disfiguring of the skin as well as burns.

Surgical Operation

The use of surgical operation is used to remove the entire skin of the area covered by tattoos while skin graft or skin from other parts of the body is used to cover over the area.  Still, other surgically froze the tattooed area using cryogenics and later removed the ink using microdermabrasion.

The Superiority of Picosecond Lasers

The issues with all the earliest forms of tattoo removal when observed from an objective point of view, all had the same underlying limitations. All the methods were extremely painful and thus exposed the patient to infections. All methods were less effective; some of them even removed the skin and did not leave the skin intact as before. And all the methods took time. Some of them might take as long as 2 hours to complete and an even longer period to heal.


Picosecond laser for tattoo removal has been seen to be the best method, a state-of-the-art method in removing tattoos, and done in a short time. It also offers a faster recovery time. The next time you think of removing a tattoo, be grateful that you are living in the age of picosecond laser and do research to find a professional clinic to receive this treatment. Read more about what else a pico second and fractional laser can do for you here.

What is a Picosecond Laser?