Laser isn't working anymore, are there any other options?

I have a tattoo that is 6 years old. It has black, blue, green, yellow, and red. I had 6 qswitch laser treatments and 6 picosure treatments. I have spent so much money. I have scarring from the laser and hypopigmentation. Is there any other option to get rid of this tattoo? I was thinking of looking for a plastic surgeon that can excise it. I just don't want to see the ink anymore. It's so ugly! It's about 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches on my wrist.

Doctor Answers 5

Resistant Ink

I am sorry to hear about your frustrations with your tattoo removal. I utilize the PiQo4 laser which has 4 Pico wavelengths. With this laser we typically see 96% clearance in about 4-6 sessions. I would recommend an in person exam to evaluate you for an ideal treatment route. I am unable to give a recommendation without a photograph. 


Chicago Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Persistent ink after multiple lasers on tattoo

Picosure started out as only one wavelength. It is now going to be 3. There are other pico lasers that have 2-4 wavelengths that you might want to try. Of the pico lasers, Picosure is probably the weakest of them. I don't think that cutting it out would be an option in the wrist area. On other option is trying CO2 fractional laser resurfacing. It will help both the scarring and ridding the pigment.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tattoo Removal

Thank you for your question in regards to tattoo removal. Typically the wrist is not an ideal area to excise a tattoo. To be sure what is best for you, see two or more board-certified providers in your area for a complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have treatment. I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 150 reviews

Sessions with PicoSure

Thank you for your question. I would suggest you continue treatment with only the PicoSure laser. There are many factors that determine how many sessions of the PicoSure will be effective for your tattoo removal. Sessions vary depending on how large your tattoo is, the color of the ink and how densely the ink has been placed. You have had only 3 treatments of the PicoSure, even though some tattoos only take 3-6 treatments, it can take up to 8-12 treatments for some patients. Please schedule a consultation with your provider. 

Bruce E. Katz, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Tattoo Removal -- Pico/Q Switched Laser

We will often combine with fractional lasers to help speed the process. If 12 after sessions you have not achieved optimal results, we can treat with CO2 laser which leaves a scar in the shape of the tattoo but removes it. The other option is to do the R20 method and do multiple treatments of the tattoo laser at once, it costs more, and blisters more but speeds up the healing. Please see a laser expert. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 165 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.