This tattoo will respond best to Q-Swtiched or Picosecond 1064nm lasers.
If the ink on this tattoo is exceptionally deep, it may be necessary to first perform an ablative fractional treatment over the deeper ink with an Erbium or CO2 laser and then treat with the Q-swtiched or Picosecond 1064nm laser. I would expect more improvement than this after 5 treatments on most black tattoos, however some tattoos with lots of ink that is placed very deeply by the tattoo artist can be difficult to remove.
Tattoo Removal -- Pico/Q Switched Laser
Tattoos should be removed with q switched or pico lasers, we will often combine with fractional lasers to help speed the process. No matter the device it will take several treatments to see the outcome depending on your response and the technology. Please consult with a laser expert. Best, Dr. Emer
Tattoo Removal Number of Treatments
This is disappointing to see after 5 treatments. It is hard to tell from the picture but it seems like the tattoo is blurry now without any ink loss. Did you have any reactions to the tattoo when you had it done? Even if you did not, I would seek another tattoo removal device perhaps (like the Enlighten).
Resistant Tattoo Ink
It can easily take 8 to 12 treatments to clear even an all black design. I do see some "blurring" but you're right, not a lot of progress and on average I would have expected more ink to clear 5 sessions in. Certainly discuss your concerns with your provider- settings may need to be adjusted.
Picosecond lasers have claimed to remove tattoos in fewer sessions due to their faster pulse capabilities. The fact is that this is not necessarily the case. They do sacrifice some peak power in order to get that quicker pulse, and so they can get stuck on resistant ink as well. So, you can certainly go that route to see if it works better BUT I wouldn't pay a whole lot more per session for it.
Best, Lisa Vuich, MD