Tattoo (And Hopefully Depression) Removal Begins - Bangkok, Thailand

I just went for my first laser tattoo removal...

I just went for my first laser tattoo removal treatment, and thought I should start to share my experience as i'd read a couple of others' experiences on realself and was really heartened by all the encouraging comments going around (less so by the i-told-you-so trolls).

MY STORY
i don't feel so ready to go into detail about why i got a tattoo and what it was supposed to be and all, after so much feeling depressed over it and obsessing over it, some times i'm not even sure anymore, and i can't believe i've done all this to myself. so long story short, i got a tattoo done and the guy did a horrible job, what was supposed to be symmetrical wasn't, and in one spot he actually coloured out of line! so.. i decided to get it covered up, but had another bad experience where the artist started doing his own stuff without consulting me, and it started to look horrible so i decided not to continue with it. both times a had a recommendation from a friend, and had looked at the artist's book, and all looked good. so i don't know, guess i got myself into this with bad decisions and bad luck, and now i just have to deal with it.. and yeah, i've attached some pictures and i think they speak for themselves.. the tattoo is BIG, going from my upper thigh to above my pelvic bone..

it's been tough times, i'm a grad student, currently living alone in a fairly remote part of thailand for research and don't really have anyone to talk to. my parents don't know about it, and i hope they never have to know because i know they'll worry, and i already feel bad enough about what i've done to myself. thankfully, my boyfriend has been nothing but supportive of me even in our long distance relationship, and that has really helped to keep me going. i think the worst of my depression is over, and i've been trying to keep my self-esteem up by exercising lots (i figure if an ugly tattoo that's on its way out is the ugliest thing about my body it'll be much better than totally letting myself go). i'm still pretty conscious of it though, and i used to be a really shorts-wearing kind of girl, but have since bought lots of jeans and dresses to keep it covered.. i'm still far from happy, but i'm hoping that i'll feel better about things when i start to see results from treatment. i'm aware that the artist that did the cover up pumped in lots and lots of ink, and also that colours are hard to remove, so i'm prepared for it to never fade totally, but my end goal is to have it fade enough so that I can get something done over it, by a way more carefully selected artist this time.. it's all still so surreal, i can't believe i'm putting myself through all of this. always thought of myself as pretty steady, but i guess not! this whole thing has really made me question my self-worth and ability to make good decisions.. ahh.

before i get too upset again.. i went for my first laser removal treatment today and i'll talk about it below..

day 1 after first treatment

i just took of the bandages from my first treatment and here are pictures.. i can see a fair bit of blistering and some bleeding on the black areas where the ink was really thick. im worried though because the blue and greens don't look like they reacted with the laser at all ):

first treatment (sorry for the poor order!)

i realised, being a noob that i am, that i've talked about my first treatment session in the section where i'm supposed to review my practioner :/ so i'm retyping it here, and sorry that it comes after my update for post-treatment day 1.

my doctor used a combination of Nd Yag, Ruby, and Alexandrite lasers on my tattoo because there are so many different colours. for the first treatment she set the power of the laser to 0.9 for the 532mm NdYag, 3.6 for the 1064mm NdYag, 5.5 fo the Ruby, and 5 for the Alexandrite, with a spot size of 4 for all except the Alex which was set at 3. this was after a few test shots where she found that my skin burst and bled easily, so she had to lower the power as she said there would be a higher risk of scarring if a higher power was used. i think this is because the ink is so dense in some areas that a lot of laser is absorbed? anyone know anything about power and spot sizes?

she was very nice throughout the procedure and constantly checked in with me to see if i was feeling okay.. she had applied a numb cream before the treatment, and i cant imagine how painful it would have been without! lidocaine injections were available but i didn't want to use it because the doctor told me it might affect how well the treatment works. haha for some reason i dealt with the pain by pinching myself..as if pain in another place will distract from the pain from the laser. there was a fair bit of bleeding during the treatment, and before they wrapped it up i could see that blisters had begun to form over the tattoo.

i was given Fucidin to apply to prevent infection, and a scar cream to start using after the scabs have fallen off to prevent scarring.. right now it feels like i'm holding a bowl of hot soup on my leg, but with more stinging. i had to travel 4 hours by bus from the hospital to get back to where i live so that was terrible but i made it.. so nervous about whether its going to work..and when i'll start to see results.. i'm probably gonna have a minor breakdown if i don't see results after the first session so please encourage me!
Hey Eva, thank you so much for taking the time to reply and finding those links for me, it means a lot at a time where I'm feeling so stupid! Really glad for you that yours has been a success and you've managed to get to where you are, hope mine will be too.
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Don't feel stupid, just chalk it up as a learning experience and look forward to the future as you continue to work towards fixing this. 
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day 2 after first treatment

most of the bleeding has stopped but the blisters that i have look like they've been filled with blood. its pretty gross! the itching is starting and i'm trying my best to ignore it. does anyone know what the deal with blisters is? i've heard some people say blisters are good cos it shows the laser reacted with the ink, some say blisters are a side effect that the doctors try to avoid. some parts of mine have blistered and some have not which makes me worry that the laser is not being effective on some colours of the tattoo :/

emotionally i'm starting to feel bummed again, the whole tattoo looking so gross after treatment just reminds me so much that i did something so horrible, and its made worse by not being able to go work out and shake off the negative feelings cos the tattoo is over my upper thigh and hip area and i think i shouldn't be moving it too much.
And I'd like to add about the feeling about treatment: I had five sessions of the R20 (which is multiple sessions in one sitting) and was doing great with all of that. I had a bit of weepy feelings afterwards, but nothing big...until September's 2013 session. I was a big ball of tears the next day. I was thinking "oh look what I've done...when will this all end?....look at how much this will cost?...and then....this is impossible"...all the negative feelings I had following the ink regret, were coming back. It was horrible. But it's simply our immune system being challenged, gobbling up the blasted ink. Our minds and bodies are so interconnected, when one is hurting, the other is also...stay hydrated, keep thinking of the future, and share with all of us...it helped me, and it helps many others. It's all part of the process, our bodies are healing after the laser sessions. Do your research about after care, someone here posted some information that was helpful about sam-e, st. john's wort...etc, etc...everything we ingest will affect our healing. My clinic just suggests staying relaxed for a few days, drink plenty of water, limit sugar, limit physical activities to avoid bumping any blisters, avoid alcohol...but it sounds like you have a wonderful clinic (albeit far away) that is helping you on this journey. Good luck...aloha...k
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hi k, thanks for your sharing and comments, it does mean a lot to be able to talk to people who won't judge, or be shocked/horrified at what i've done. i'm originally from Singapore, and tattoos are still not a big thing there, many of my relatives are pretty old-fashioned too and associate tattoos with gangsters etc.. i've so far only told my brother (but haven't shown him the ink) and my boyfriend, who thankfully is so supportive even though we're long distance for now. i'm thankful that he doesn't judge or rub it in my face, and assures me that i will eventually be able to earn back the money that i'm spending on this, and that there isn't a price on happiness. but still, its nice to be able to talk to people who are going through the same process and have felt all the same pains and frustrations, thanks (:
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aloha saskamiri, welcome to the world of ink regret...it sucks, doesn't it? I know all too well the feeling. I also know the experience of being at the hands of an "artist" who does their own thing. That's what happened to me. Now the artist has been on television, has some celebrity status and perhaps it has all blown out of proportion. But the reality of it is that I trusted the artist and was let down. So onto the removal process, this forum and all the support that is here...and I've learned that there is always hope, there is always support. It sounds like you had quite the journey to the clinic, I'm also in that same boat/bus/plane, as so many here are. Hope is a journey, I guess. As for hiding the secret from family, that's a decision that you have made, you may re-consider, you may keep the secret, but sharing with us here on this forum is great for the soul, the psyche, and a burden shared reduces the weight. Now for hiding...I'm not a big fan of this, I say get it out there, share it with the world. I know that hiding secrets takes a lot of mental energy, and after awhile we are exhausted. The first day I shared my story in public, I felt a lot better. I also shared this with a friend here and encouraged her to show her ink regret to the world. We are human, we make mistakes. And my hero, Bruce Lee says "Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them"...and so I freely admit that I made a mistake, and I move on. This mistake is going to take time, money, and patience to fix...and in order to do all of this, positive attitude and persistence is important. As my ink fades, and I share the story with others, they are always amazed that it isn't an overnight procedure (oh how I wish it was...as I'm sure we all wish it was) but I'm still here, still pushing onward. And one final word, before this post turns into an epic novel, just remember we are always here for you, you are not alone. aloha...k
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day 3 after first treatment

today the wound seems to hurt more when i move. i think it's because some of the blisters have burst and made crusty scabs and these tear when i move my leg. it's also more painful when i touch it to apply the ointment that the doc gave me, not sure why this is. tomorrow i will have to start work again, and i work outdoors where the sun here is blazing hot. i'm apprehensive about that but really have no choice.

today is Mother's Day, which brought on lots of feelings I wasn't prepared for. i sent my mum a happy mother's day text, but at the same time felt like a hypocrite because i know that she will be so disappointed in me for what i've done to myself, worried about the treatments, and upset that i am spending soooo much money on this ( i can't believe how much it's going to cost me in the end). i really miss my family, but at the same time i'm dreading going back home where i still live with my parents (as most people in my country do until marriage), because i don't know how i'm going to keep hiding this from them, but also can't deal with them finding out. i guess this is the part that emotionally is most difficult for me. it's hard to not care about what your family thinks, even if you can deal with most of the world judging..
Hi, please check out the latest update on this review where he speaks about spot sizes 
MY TATTOO REMOVAL JOURNEY - CARDIFF

Also, I know you are really struggling right now with emotions of regret and worry about not feeling like you can share this with anyone, such as your family. I think that in time, when you feel it is right, you will, so just take your time and work through your emotions. I never thought I would ever tell any of my friends about my situation but now I am sharing with friends and family and none of them have judged me or had anything negative to say, they were only supportive and wished I had come to them sooner. But again, you will know when you are ready. Also, being a mother myself - I would only offer support and love if my son or daughter came forward with any issue, regardless if a tattoo or any (what they consider to be a mistake) was. I would never want them to carry the burden themselves and would hope they felt they could come to me, I am certain that goes for most parents out there. 

I really am glad you found us to help you through this. I have often referred to my tattoo as my biggest mountain to climb, and finally feel like I have reached the top - so just take it day by day, step by step and in time you will reach the top of your mountain too, I know you will! 
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thanks for your words Eva (made me cry). i know my mum would still love me and all, but every time i've made a mistake, even one that i was already regretful about, she would first respond with anger and negativity and that's just the way she expresses herself. we used to fight a lot, but i now know that her anger is all out of care and concern, but still i wouldn't want to deal with it till i am much much stronger myself. she is also a great worrier, and i don't want to worry her. for now i shall have the support from this community, so thanks (:
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aloha saskamiri, As for your healing, apply the ointment as prescribed by your doctor, if you can, keep it bandaged to protect from the sun, keep hydrated. As for being a hypocrite: I know I am from a different culture, but I think you are an amazing woman tackling this problem while working on your graduate research. I have the most utmost respect for you.
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treatment 1, day 4

i decided to get back to outdoor fieldwork today (i study monkeys. weird, i know!). i would love to wait longer before working again, but i just can't, or i won't have enough data for my dissertation. turned out i went out for nothing cos my head wasn't in the right place and i accidentally deleted all my data off my recorder ARGH.

anyway, i had placed a light gauze dressing over the wound site to protect it, but i think i still caused some blisters to pop as there was a fair bit of fluid on the dressing when i took it off :/ how bad is it to pop blisters? i must say i can't wait for these blisters to go away, they look and feel disgusting. and i'm not squeamish but touching them when i apply the ointment everyday feels ugh.
Awh I am to in an LDR and feel horrible that I did this when my BF has NO tattoos. But it will get better I am also hoping to cover up although I am regretting ALL of my tattoos these days. Best thing is to keep positive and like you I have also started to exercise and am hoping to get in GREAT shape. Maybe the tattoo is a piece of the journey.. hope all is well I am going for treatment #3 this Friday :)
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Grad school work and laser healing don't often mix, but it's good that you're getting back to work. As for deleting...these things happen. I had a similar experience, and one of my profs said "there is always another day". Keep hydrated, rest when you can, and keep your blisters moist and covered, you're doing great. The first session is always the hardest, you don't know what to expect, or how things will go, or for how long. But you're on the first step, and you're doing awesomely. aloha...k
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Hey. I'm not sure if you checked out the photos on my review but I blistered quite severely one time. One of the blisters was massive and was really uncomfortable. From what I read, you should avoid popping blisters unless they are causing you a significant amount of distress. Be sure to use a sterilised needle if you do. :-)
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treatment 1, day 5

the wound felt better today, it was definitely less painful and raw when i was applying the lotion onto it, and the blisters seem flatter (partly due to me accidentally pressing on and popping some while working :/). so i'd say the worst days in terms of pain are days 2-4. i can feel the itching is about to start for real though! it's taking a lot to curb the itch to scratch!

i have a question about aftercare creams. my doctor gave me Fucidin which is an antibiotic ointment, but i read an article earlier today where a doctor recommended NOT to use antibiotics, and to just use petroleum jelly instead. what does everyones doctor prescribe?
i just read your review and actually i think your tatt looks lovely, definitely better than mine! but i understand the feeling of just not liking it and wanting it GONE. the Picosure seems to be working amazing for you, so much fading in the purple after just one session, nice (: i wish i had access to Picosure but they don't have it in my part of the world yet ):
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not too much beef and eggs!

just remembered that my doctor told me that if you're really afraid of forming keloid scarring, avoid eating too much beef and eggs, because of their high protein content. forgot to ask why beef and eggs specifically out of all the high protein foods but yea, just sharing. i'm vegetarian so no beef anyway, but i do love eggs ): i guess in moderation would be okay
I'm not sure about the scarring. I am a vegan...no animal products of any kind, not even honey...and I have some slight scarring. I've been told that people of darker skin can form keloids very easily. The location of the ink also makes a big difference. I think it's important to stay healthy, follow the advice of your professional (even if it conflicts with other people's advice here) as that professional knows the skin in your area. Northern people may not get so much sunlight, and maybe they'll be told different things. Keep healthy, keep moisturized, hydrated and think positive. This whole process takes time, and a positive outlook definitely helps.
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That is interesting regarding the beef and eggs and keloid - scar tissue is protein essentially (collagen)...so maybe that is why...I don't know...can you ask for more information on that the next time you go. 
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T1 first week

it's been a week since my first treatment (that went quick). the doctor told me that scabs should fall off between a week to 10 days, but i don't think mine will so soon.. i tend to be a slow healer so not totally surprised..
anyway, doing well, resumed some light exercise but nothing that will stretch and move my quads too much since the wound is on my thigh.
itchy itchy itchy!
Glad you are doing well - great to hear it!!
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The first time I was lasered, the scabs took almost two weeks to fall off, and when they did, it was weird, they came off in one large piece. I felt like a snake shedding my skin. Everyone is different with the healing process. As for the itch, I took anti-histamines and got cortisone itch cream, they worked like magic. Exercise is good, boosts your spirit, your mind, and your immune system. You're doing fantastic.
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on tiny piece of scab fell off from the purple bit of my tattoo, and upset me a bit because the colour underneath looks even more vibrant and shiny :/ working on controlling my emotions and not getting too upset too fast though, so i'm gonna wait for all scabs to come off before freaking out...
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opinions?

hmm.. i found another laser place in bangkok. this one carried the medlite c6 machine for the Yag, which i hear is a great laser. my current place uses a Won Cosjet which seems more obscure, but i go there because they also have a Candela Alexandrite laser which i need for my greens. Wondering if i should get treated at two different places?
The Medlite is a great laser for black ink- I used it and saw great results. I've nvr heard of the Won but the Alexandrite is great for greens I hear. I def don't think it would hurt to alter at each clinic for each color...
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I think there are many here that go to more than one place. I think if you are honest with both places, they will be able to help you plan an agenda/schedule of appointments. The more time you wait between sessions, the better. This gives your skin more time to heal. I'm thinking of going to one place that use one type of laser, and alternate with the picosure. The clinic where I used to go used the alextrivantage, but the clinic closed. The new choice in Honolulu uses the Quanta Q +C. I think options are wonderful, it gives us hope...but more importantly, results. Good luck. Keep us updated. aloha...k
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~3weeks post T1

so i'm finally almost healed and can see the tattoo without any scabs covering what it's really like.

so far, i see a tiny bit of fading, definitely not as much as i'd like after seeing the amazing results some others have gotten. maybe the ink is just too dense..

i see some breakup in the black where it is just single line, but the solid black areas are as solid as ever.. also the colours don't seem to be going anywhere (the fading in the green is mostly from when my tattoo stuck to my clothes while healing and ink got pulled out).. this upsets me a fair bit but trying not to get too down..

my skin also seems bumpy over the solid black areas, and i'm really worried that this will be the start of horrible raised scarring.. going to try and get some silicone scar sheets over them, but can probably only get them next month when my boyfriend visits and helps me bring some over..
I have lots of dense, black areas in my tattoo as well. It is a little blotchy after the 2nd tx so it may be trying to break up but I think it's going to take some time for us to notice some real fading. Ive started using silicone sheets too as I have some raised areas. I've just started using them so I can't say if they work yet or not. I have been reading though that just massaging the scarred area with any oils or lotions helps to minimize the scarred tissue and it also helps to keep the area hydrated. Im alternating between using coconut oil, bio oil, and silicone gel. I'm trying anything at this point . I'll let you know if I find that something works.
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heya, i've been following your review..the cat's disappearing nostril is so cute (: i'm hoping the black areas are actually breaking up just that i can't see it yet haha.. i'm starting to massage with bio oil and the bumpiness seems to be going down but i can't tell if it's due to the bio oil or just healing over time.. still, doesn't hurt to try!
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It's only been a few weeks since your treatment, and if I recall you bumped it. Be patient, and massage the area with healing cream of your choice. The skin may still be recovering. It all takes time. That's often why good clinic recommend waiting at least 8 weeks between sessions, to give it all time to heal. When you're ready, use the silicone scar sheets. aloha...k
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T1w5

5 weeks after my first treatment. im starting to get down and obsessive again because i'm just not seeing much change as the weeks go by. in this part of the tattoo there is minimal fading, only some in the lines and nothing in the solid areas. i havent posted pictures of the other coloured areas cos there have been absolutely no changes there. i dont know what it is as i've been eating well, exercising daily, taking vitamins and a beta-glucan immune supplement, but still such poor results. i'm starting to wonder if theres something wrong with my body, or if the tattoo was done on such a fleshy part of my body that its just not close enough to the blood supply, and if it is these problems then this thing will never go away. my skin is also still bumpy and i am almost certain this is scarring.
I know how you feel saskamiri! It's been more than 3 weeks since my 1st treatment and haven't seen any significant changes to my tattoo which is bringing me back to this anxious and obsessive state. I'm having my 2nd session in July 18 and hope this one will yield better results. May I know what laser you're being treated with?
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girl, you can do it. it took almost 4 years to remove a tattoo that i got due to depression and anxiety after i lost my best friend and was assaulted. i haven't worn short sleeve shirts for almost 4 years. i think this will finally be the summer i wear them :D stay strong. don't put yourself down too much. you'll start to realize that this will just be an addition to your life story. i have found a lot of peace in myself because of my terrible tattoo mistake. jsut like you, i found ways to distract myself from it. i spent a lot of time on my design work. i like to think of it as, if i never got this tattoo, i wouldn't be the person i am today. going through a journey like this really helps you meditate on who you are. keep your head up :) tattoos or not, we are all people with beautiful stories to tell.
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oh yeah. it took almost 20 treatments to get mine fully removed. stay positive. nothing beats positivity, not even a tattoo-less body :)
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treatment 2

just did my second treatment earlier today. it was more painful than the first! my doctor stopped many times to ask if i would like a lidocaine injection, but i tried my best to avoid it because i'd read that it might increase scarring risk and interact with the ink making it harder to fade. anyway, made it through with much internal screaming.

this time we used an alexandrite laser on the green, instead of a ruby laser like in the first treatment. my doctor said she used a ruby laser at first because from her experience, most patients had better fading with the ruby than alex for green. mine hardly faded from the first session though, so i asked to try the alex and she said my green ink appeared to react well with it. we also used alex instead of ndyag for the purples this time. fingers crossed!

i bled alot during treatment, and the bandages they put on soaked through within an hour. i'm supposed to keep it on for 24 hours though :/ maybe tomorrow when i take them off i'll post a picture to show the amount of blood, but i promise it will be the grossest thing you will see for the day.

tomorrow i make the long 4 hour bus ride back to my fieldsite...
Safe travels back and I hope you get some encouraging results with this second treatment. All bloodied up and out in the jungle with the monkeys, you're like the realself Rambo of tattoo removal. :)
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girl Rambo, of course.
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Hey! Congrats on your second treatment. From what I've read, the Alexandrite laser operates at the perfect wavelength for greens and purples, so hopefully you should see some fading this time round, especially if you were told it appeared to interact well. I bled a bit for my first couple of treatments. Not everyone does, but apparently pinpoint bleeding does happen for a few people. Keep us posted.
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hope you haven't eaten too much

so here is my horrible bloody mess of a post-treatment tattoo! i can see that some of the blisters are gonna be bigger than after the first session. has anyone had a tattoo look so horrible after lasering? according to my doctor, the power used was already pretty low, but my skin bursts easily, and the black ink is really dense so it reacts strongly with the laser.
aloha saskamiri, well it does look yucky, but blisters can be that way. I'm sure you'll do well, you always seem to bounce back. I like how JfromPA says you're the Rambo of tattoo removal, that about sums it up. Good luck, and I'm sure you'll have amazing fading. aloha...k
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it's all cool man haha
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Thanks for the pic, that stuff doesn't bother us here. Your body is going to be trying to move a serious amount of ink so make sure you drink a lot of water... a lot. All the best.
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might be moving

so i'm thinking of deleting this review and account and starting a new one, because i feel like the amount of detail i've revealed about myself makes me not as anonymous as i would like to be, and people searching for stuff who know me would be able to figure out that this is me.

anyway, just wanted to give everyone a heads up for a few days in case i decide to go through with the move.
I understand your wish to be anonymous. When we make mistakes we don't want the world to know, we want to hide our "foolishness". I thought like that and then Megan (a community manager) encouraged me to post a review. and I am thankful I did, I've met some amazing people (like yourself). You need to do what you feel is right for you, to help you with your healing. Whatever you decide, keep us posted. I for one will wonder how you're doing. aloha...k
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~3weeks post T2

so ive decided to keep posting in this review because realself won't let me delete it even if i start a new one anyway. doing things i can't erase is becoming a recurring theme here.

anyway, almost 3 weeks after treatment 2, and my fully objective self has some positive updates, although the emotional part of me is still frustrated at how slow this whole process is. sorry for the shitty pictures too, i'm finding it almost impossible to photograph because of the tattoo location and the lighting in the house.

so positive update 1: my skin was much less bumpy after the scabs came off than it was after the first treatment scabbed off. this is very comforting to me because i was getting really worried that my skin would just scar more and more. so maybe the first time was just the skin getting used to the laser, and it isnt going to get progressively worse. phew. i might have also cared for it differently this time because after the first treatment i tried to keep it dry and "let it breathe" but after reading about scar prevention i learnt that that is a bunch of bull and you should keep a wound moist and allow for moist healing so i pretty much kept it slathered with petroleum jelly or antibiotic ointment the whole time until the scabs fell off. seems to be the way!

positive update 2: there's definitely been more fading since the first treatment, and i am starting to see some breakup in parts of the solid black, and some of the covered up tattoo starting to show through (this is probably not visible in the shitty pictures). i have little patches of brown ink in my tatt that got darker after the first treatment, but the brown areas are smaller now so its fading.

bad news: blue, green, and purple are still looking fairly unchanged after being treated with alexandrite. again, the fading in the dark green is not due to the laser, my clothes stuck to the tattoo after it was done and pulled out some ink.. i wish i had done that to the whole thing!

alright, cheers everyone, before i upset myself too much!

how much fading in weeks after?

haha i'm not sure if anyone still reads this as i didn't get any responses to my last update about my second treatment, but i have a question and i hope someone will come talk to me!

I always read, and people always say that you should wait longer between treatments to allow for more fading, but I find that fading is most noticeable to me when the scabs come off, as i can see a difference from what it was before. However, in the weeks following that I see no change whatsoever like there isn't any continued fading. What has everyone else's experience been?
Just checking in, hope the fading is going well. Are you having another treatment soon?
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oh Saskamiri, I did not see you August 5th posting, but we were preparing for the hurricane to hit. And I think sometimes my email folder gets overloaded with updates and some go into the spam folder. I am really liking your positive 1: healing after a laser session can be tricky, especially since I recall you bumping your leg while doing field work. I really like the silicone scar sheets, they can help long after healing. I'm still using them to flatten scars. As for positive #2, pulling of the scabs revealing more fading: I am not so sure about that, perhaps the scabs pulled out more ink, but have you been left with scarring afterwards. I've been told that the aftercare is the most crucial aspect of it all, the skin is healing and recovering from the trauma. Now for you question in your recent posting: I see continual fading all the time and I have not had a session in 11 months!! Why? Because now sessions involve flying to another island and I just have not been able to do that and go through the healing process. But I think the longer my body, my immune system can gobble up the lasered ink, the better. Everyone is different. I know from my own experience, that patience is really important and keeping a positive attitude. I know it's hard, but this whole process is a big learning experience. I think you have a wonderful attitude, you make little jokes, and you are at the beginning of the removal journey. I understand that you'd rather be at the end of the journey, we all would. I am sending you good thoughts full of patience and good thoughts for healing. aloha...k
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hey k nice to hear from you again (: just to clarify on pulling out scabs and fading, haha i didn't pull off any scabs after laser! i was referring to after i got the tattoo inked, my clothes stuck to the green part so it pulled out some of the green ink before the tattoo even healed. it didn't leave any scarring so i wish i had pulled out more ink at that early stage! good to hear that you're still seeing fading over 11 months, that's pretty cool. i think i'm still at a stage where there is a lot of ink, and so the laser only manages to hit a bit of it each time and i'm gonna need more sessions before it can start to fade on its own a bit more? don't knoww.
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treatment 3 + 50 lidocaine shots!!

Hi guys, I just had my 3rd treatment yesterday about 11 weeks after my second treatment. A different doctor worked on me this time as my usual doctor was not available on the only date that I could travel for treatment. I'll post pictures soon, but for now I just want to talk about the experience and about the differences I've noticed from the first two treatments experience wise (can't tell results yet).

#1 LIDOCAINE SHOTS
this time i opted for lidocaine injections because my previous treatment was almost unbearably painful! turns out getting lidocained is quite the experience in itself. i was under the impression that it would be a single injection, or maybe just a few but i received 50!!!! injections all over the tattoo area. each shot was quite painful, so it felt like i was receiving a first pass of the laser. the doctor then started lasering the black almost immediately after all the shots were administered, and it still hurt! but maybe this was because it hadn't fully kicked in yet, because when the other parts of the tattoo were being lasered later on, i could hardly feel it. i think i will probably opt for lidocaine again, and request that the doctor wait a bit before starting the laser.

#2 LESS BLEEDING AND BLISTERING
compared to my first two treatments, this time there was much less bleeding. usually my blood soaks through the dressing within a couple hours after treatment, but this time after 24 hours the bandage still looks fairly white. upon removing the dressing, there is also a fair bit less blistering, still a couple of big ones, but nothing compared to what i usually get. also, on day 2 i don't feel any pain, usually i'm in severe discomfort for about 4 days after the treatment.

this was strange to me because the doctor said she had turned up the power of the laser since this is my 3rd treatment, so i expected there would be more bleeding and blistering. so i'm not sure if the difference this time is due to the ink being less dense than before, or that this doctor is more skilled at working the laser.

i'm not sure (and slightly worried) about what this means for how effective the treatment was because i've heard both that blistering is good and shows that the laser has reacted, and that blistering is a bad side effect that should be avoided. i did sneak a few peeks at the tattoo before it got dressed up and i did see frosting, so i think the laser did react with the ink still. so now we wait... i really hope to be able to see more results this time as i'm not sure when i can next receive treatment. i will be heading back to my home country at the end of the year, and i don't know how i can get a treatment without my parents noticing so i might have to wait till they go on vacation or till i go on vacation somewhere there is laser :/ i know some of you guys think i should share with my parents but we're not like that, and i'm definitely not ready.
aloha S, good to see you again. My last treatment was my last treatment with lidocaine. Yes, lots of shots with the lidocaine to cover the entire placement. But the doctor waits about 1/2 hour and I don't feel anything. I felt numb for hours afterwards. Yes, very little blistering with the lidocaine, but I did not feel it was worth it. I have my next session in December and I'm going to try without it and see how it goes. Recovery may be longer, but I always feel sluggish with the lidocaine. As for the blistering, my professional told me that blisters are the reaction of the ink, trapped air, and the laser. Blisters are not always our friends, but again everyone is different. Everyone heals in their own way. Wait and see how it goes for you. As for increased intensity, each session I had, the intensity was increased. I did not see much results in the beginning, but definitely see fading as each session was done. I continue to see fading even a year later. As for telling your parents, or not: that is up to you, we can all give advice but you are living this and you know your family, your culture. Good luck with healing and fading, I'm sure in a few weeks when you compare photos you'll be seeing something happening. aloha...k
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hey k! i had my first two treatments without lidocaine, and the second one was really really painful, so i decided to finally take up the doctor's offer of lidocaine. it doesn't make me feel sluggish, and recovery seems to be going much more pleasantly, so i kinda like it although administering the lidocaine was literally quite a pain. crossing my fingers for more fading this time..it's only my 3rd treatment so i don't know how much it will go but trying to be optimistic..
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oh also i wasn't charged any extra for the lidocaine so nothing really to lose by getting it (:
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Dr Tippaporn

doctor was nice, patiently answered all my questions, and constantly checked in with me to see if i was okay.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
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