We often hear the word “recalcitrant” when speaking of a hard-to-remove tattoo. Technically, a recalcitrant tattoo is one that has visible pigment after 10 laser treatments. If you consider the fact that most laser treatments are roughly 6 weeks apart, this means a patient has undergone at least 10 treatments over the course of a year.
I have had many patients come to me who had lost count of the number of their treatments with some POS Q-switched laser. Many times these recalcitrant tattoos are scarred from the heat POS Q-switched lasers produce and visibly hypopigmented or discolored. One reason for the existence of tattoo “remnants” and recalcitrant tattoos is the inability of Q-switched lasers to remove tough or colored inks. Additionally, POS Q-switched lasers use a higher fluence (energy measured in J/cm2) which increases the risk of thermal injury to the skin. Fortunately, recalcitrant tattoos can be effectively treated with PicoSure lasers to remove the residual ink and likely diminish the appearance of the scarring. Want to talk about it? I can be reached by phone @ 512-479-9997 or just stop by my NEW location in Austin, TX: Austin Medspa on W. 6th St.