Q-Switch Lasers vs Pico Lasers

IIWAM - International Institute of Wellness & Aesthetic Medicine is a One-Stop Centre of Excellence in Wellness & Aesthetic Medicine that provides Education, an Online Library & Learning Portal, and Advanced Cosmetic Procedures. IIWAM is destined to be the Future of Aesthetic Medicine.

IIWAM Aesthetic Education (previously known as Aesthetic Academy Asia) provides evidence-based Aesthetic Medical courses with Dual International Certificates for Medical Doctors, Dentists, Nurses & Certified Aestheticians In this article, we will talk about the major differences between Q-Switch Lasers and Pico Lasers and help to educate you about the various benefits and risks of the same.

About Q-Switch lasers

Q-Switch Laser is a type of non-ablative laser that releases laser beams in pulses per nanosecond, typically 3-7 nanoseconds in length. When focused on a targeted area of the skin, the beams work to destroy the overproduced pigments into smaller particles. These particles are then absorbed by the body and released by the immune system as waste.

There are several Q-Switch lasers – ranging from Ruby (694 nm), Alexandrite (755 nm), or NdYAG with dual frequency (532 nm and 1064 nm)

The commonly used Q-switch laser is the double frequency NdYAG laser, which has two wavelengths – a longer wavelength of 1064 nm and a shorter wavelength of 532 nm. It is commonly used to treat various pigmentary disorders and for tattoo removal along with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, melasma, and acquired bilateral nevus of Ota-like macules with minimal downtime and no crust formation.

About Pico lasers

The pico or picosecond laser can be considered as one of the latest types of laser in today`s time. The picosecond laser is a revolutionary laser technology due to its much-shortened pulse duration. Simillarly, there are few pico lasers with wavelength such as Ruby (694 nm), Alexandrite (755nm) and NdYAG at 1064 nm. The speed of the energy-charged light beams emitted by the Picosecond lasers is faster than nanosecond Q-switched lasers by almost 10 times – after the term Picoseconds. A picosecond is a unit of time – which is a trillionth of a second. The pulses of laser light are so quick, they are very effective at shattering unwanted pigmentation into smaller particles.

Difference between Q-Switch lasers and Pico lasers

Both Q-Switch lasers and Pico lasers operate by delivering laser pulses to the area of interest on the skin. However, pico lasers deliver these pulses within picoseconds which is approximately a hundred times faster as compared to the Q-switch laser which does so within nanoseconds. Consequently, this means that more laser pulses within a certain time can be delivered by the pico lasers as compared to the Q-switch lasers. As a result, while the Q-switch laser typically requires several treatments many months apart to achieve the desired results, pico lasers give faster results almost two times quicker than the traditional Q-Switch lasers when administered to stubborn skin pigmentations.

Additionally, when a Q-Switch laser is used, the major reaction that takes place is photothermolysis through a photothermal reaction, with a very small photomechanical effect. However when a Pico laser is used, stress lock-in occurs and the major reaction involves the photoacoustic destruction of the particle, with a minor photothermal component which results in a more efficient and effective result is achieved with fewer complications.

While both lasers do produce substantial results in the skin problems they set out to target, the difference in their mechanism of action along with the patient’s anatomy of the skin; which is different from one another; does play an important role in terms of the degree of effectiveness in addressing the various skin issues.

(Also read- Laser Scar Revision Training Courses)

Risks & benefits of lasers

Non-surgical laser treatments when compared to various other surgical cosmetic procedures are safer, faster, and almost painless. The results are natural-looking and almost free from any kind of major post-surgery-like complications. However, laser treatments should be performed by certified aesthetic practitioners trained to perform procedures with adequate knowledge about the treatment. The aesthetic practitioners need to be well trained in terms of the principle of laser, types of laser, laser techniques, depth of laser penetration, and laser-tissue interaction so that they can properly administer the laser treatment.

Complications of laser include thermal burns which can be so intense to a point it may cause discoloration of the skin, scarring, infection, reactivation of herpes simplex infections, and even facial disfigurement. Thus, proper education is very important to not only avoid but also to teach them to manage these complications.

 Trusted International Aesthetic Courses

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About IIWAM training in cosmetic treatment using lasers

As always, the practitioner must undergo proper training in facial aesthetics to understand the procedure, the product, and the patient. Equally, he/she must know the benefits, risks, and counter-measures to correct complications. IIWAM also offers an Online Aesthetic Certification programme for Non-Surgical Body Sculpting, Advanced Dermal Filler Training (Restylane, Juvéderm, Teosyal, Bellotero), Advanced Botulinum Toxin Training (Botox, Dysport, Xeomin), Skin Booster Training (Restylane Skin Booster, Profhilo, Rejuran), Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Training, and Thread Lift Training (PDO, Aptos, Happy Lift).

At IIWAM, our trainers pay utmost attention to teaching the following subjects about different kinds of cosmetic laser treatments under Trusted International Aesthetic Courses for lasers.

  • Skin anatomy and physiology

  • What are the various types of lasers?

  • What are the principles of lasers?

  • What is laser-tissue interaction?

  • How do lasers work?

  • Methods & techniques of various laser treatments

  • Various complications that may arise during laser treatment

  • How to avoid laser related complications?

  • How to treat laser complications?

About IIWAM Aesthetic Education

At IIWAM, we provide an International Aesthetic Certification program and Advanced Online Aesthetic Courses for Doctors, Dentists, Nurses, Aestheticians, and Spa Owners in Aesthetic Medicine.

Our Institute is based in Malaysia and has international students from the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, and other parts of Asia. With our The aesthetic practitioners need to be“Be Certified, Be Recognized” insignia, we develop knowledgeable, skilled, and confident aesthetic practitioners of international repute. Our Aesthetic training focuses on teaching the principles of Aesthetic procedures before venturing into Aesthetic clinical skills. IIWAM training Programs are a combination of Onsite Training, LIVE Online Webinars, and Online Learning. IIWAM is the first Institute in the World to have its Programs assured by City & Guilds of London and certified by European International University. IIWAM is also a registered CPD Training provider with CPD Standards Office in the UK and by CPD Malaysian Medical Association.

Onboard is our Assoc. Prof Dr. Morthy, the lead trainer, medical director of the International Institute of Wellness & Aesthetic Medicine (IIWAM), formerly known as Aesthetic Academy Asia ( In the Aesthetic part of our Institute, we provide Advanced Aesthetic Medical Procedures that are Safe, Effective, and Affordable, offering a wide range of specialized treatments for All Your Aesthetic Needs.

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