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Tattoo Regret - United Kingdom, GB

This summer I volunteered in an orphanage in south...

This summer I volunteered in an orphanage in south africa. I already have a back tattoo I love so before I even went i'd planned on getting a commemorative tattoo. Anyways when I came back one of my friends who is a tattoo artist (which I havent spoken to since because I dont have the heart to tell him) who works a very good tattoo parlour offered to sketch up some of my ideas. I originally wanted a SMALL foot tattoo. Long stort short now I have a rather large leg tattoo of a south african flower with the xhosa saying hamba kakhule underneath. After seeing my families reaction I started to realise my mistake.
It started with panic attacks when I was asleep, then spending the rest of the night looking up tattoo removal. That's when I found picosure was available in the UK and emailed trueskin about 20 emails to help me. I recently travelled to get a patch test and consultation. They estimated 3-4 treatments but im not so optimistic but at leasr my patch test hasn't shown up any keloids or scars.
My main concerns are include the cost and the pain! I only had a patch test haha but that thing is nasty! Really hope it is gone in 3-4 sessions :(

1st picosure treatment

Hey just a quick update that after a good test patch I went ahead with my 1st treatment. I used EMLA numbing cream wrapped in cling film an hour prior and the treatment really wasn't that bad, was literally over so fast too! Currently its painful like sunburn but I can walk it off, dont know how I'll manage the train back to Newcastle mind. It immediately turned white and after some vaseline and a dressing I was on my way in less than half an hour. I have quit smoking, I eat healthy but ive ordered some vitamins etc for immune support and im going to make more of an effort to get to my gym more often. Hopefully I'll see some results and I'll post an update in a few weeks :)

Terrifying Blister

Woah fell asleep for an hour on the train ddespite holding ice over it I woke up with this mammoth blister around 10x5cm

healing process

Dermacolor Tattoo cover make-up

Sooo seen a lot of you guys post about cover up make-up. Given the fact that my graduation is next July and I am very pessimistic about this large tattoo being gone by then I spoke to a few makeup artists (I have done some freelance work myself but its not my profession) and they recommended DERMACOLOR. I ordered the "Dermacolor Camouflage Creme palette with 6 shades, S". The black ink is much harder to cover up but I am very impressed with this. As you can see in the photo the difference between my kniphofia flower and the script makes the tattoo seem invisible. The downside is you don't get a lot for your money but at least you can be assured it works. For special occasions you could maybes go into a department store and as one of the makeup artists to apply it for you, the ladies at MAC and Bobbi Brown helped me decide what shades worked best. Lightest shade base, a colour that build up towards your skin tone and a blush on top. PS this image has no filters and is in natural sunlight to give you a true picture.

8 days after 1st treatment

Hi, sorry for posting so many updates! I rang up Trueskin to ask about this raw skin which was underneath a blister which went down and she told me to leave it alone and get some air to it. Ive been putting vaseline on the rest of it coz it is so god damn itchy I could rip my leg off sometimes! The flash on the camera has made some of the once red parts look a little brown, is this hyperpigmentation? I live so far away from the clinic I can't go in to ask? Once its healed a bit more will bio oil help and should I wait til its gone before booking my next session?

2 weeks after 1 picosure treatment

I'm thinking of booking my next treatment the end of January/beginning of february so it has 8-10 weeks of fading since my healings a bit slow. The blisters have now scabbed over and I'm alternating between vaseline, aloe vera gel and bio oil.


Hey, I have no idea what these spots are and I cant see any info on them anywhere. Anyway I've been getting these little pimples on my tattoo, really uncomfortable to touch. I have around 5 but as soon as one goes another one turns up? My tattoo is lower leg so I cant say I've ever had spots there before im using aloe vera gel on its own now. I've had some good break up in the thin lines but other than that its slow progress im afraid!

5 weeks after my first treatment

2 month update, en route for my 2nd pico treatment

Its been 8 weeks since my first treatment and although I would like to leave it longer I'm on my way for my second. Due to logistics, my availability and Hollys at Trueskin today was the best option wish there was a picosure laser closer! Anyway I'm going to ask about picoplan before my treatment as its not been mentioned to me before. Can't say I'm overjoyed with the progress I was expecting a bit more but im glad to have seen some improvement. I really doubt this tattoo will be removed in the time frame I was quoted of 4 treatments. I think after that I will try a different laser.


I have signed up for picoplan with trueskin. Because the laser isn't quite giving the amazing results advertised online I have another 3 treatments being paid for in monthly installments over 12 months. If it still hasn't gone by then I get any treatment after that free of charge. The coloured ink in my tattoo isn't repsonding well so we're going to combine it with the revlite laser. Also there is another picosure availble at a clinic just outside of Manchester for anyone in the UK looking, I got a message from someone to let me know this.

4 days after 2nd treatment

Having one of those, "will my tattoo ever disapear moments" :(
Should've thought a bit more about timing I'm at a Killswitch Engage/Trivium concert tomorrow and its very painful to touch!

covering the tattoo

So tonight I'm going on a night out and braved buying a short dress. Its been just over a week since my 2nd treatment and as you can see in the photo its just about healed with a few scabs. I asked Holly and she said I could fake tan around the tattoo does anyone know if this is ok? I have to avoid tanning including fake tanning to avoid pigmentation issues? I'm going to try some cover make up over it!

comparison so far

I like everyones side by side photo's so I thought I'd do one myself. Its made me really happy with my progress so far and all my scabs from my 2nd treatment are just about gone. It's much easier to cover with dermacolor and im not dreading summer/graduation/21st anymore! I can easily fit 2 more treatments in before all these events if I wait 8 weeks between. The lines are so thick but they're much fainter.

3rd treatment next week!

So I'm booked for my 3rd treatment on wednesday approximately 6 weeks after my last. I would like to wait more but I haven't seen that much fading and im very aware im on a bit of a timescale with this picoplan. I've paid for 3 (not including the session I had last time as I signed up then) and then get 4 free if needed but they all need to be taken within 12 months. Then I get some free but need to be taken 6 months after that. So I have 18 months in total which they're confident I definitely wont need.
In other news I've been REALLY naughty and after breaking my e-cigarette I may have had a few real cigarettes this week. New e cig and charger are in the post, tbh I barely use it now pretty much quit but I panicked when it broke :( I've got an awful lot of deadlines at uni and really couldn't afford to be as distracted as I was without any nicotine! Anyways that is the LAST packet ever, I've also really cut down my caffiene intake and replaced it with lots more water. For lent I've decided to go vegan which means I HAVE to give up smoking and take my diet seriously.
I've also decided with all the trips down to trueskin medispa I want to do my PGCE in greater london. I hadn't considered it before I went so in a way its a bonus I finally figured out what im going to do after graduating and taking a year out to raise some money for relocating down south. Anyways sorry for the huge update I spend so much time on this site I feel the need to tell you all my life story!

Trueskin at Bluewater

I know a lot of people are recommending new places for picosure here and I'm glad its getting spread further but i will admit even the closer it gets to Newcastle I'm glad I travel down to Kent for my treatment. I love the clinic and the staff always remember me, take pictures and ask about my journey. The receptionist has a THICK BLACK tattoo on her foot (notoriously hard place for tattoo removal) and she showed me the tattoo she has had 3 treatments on and there all but a faint line of it left! Fair enough she went on holiday and skipped a few sessions so waited from august to january and honestly it turns out patience really is key to removal. I'm going to wait at least 3 months for my next treatment and 2 of my closest friends have decided we should make a big deal of it and make it an overnight stay in London.

Also in not so good news EMLA numbing cream is now under new licensing laws in the UK, is no longer being stocked in small pharmacies and boots wont sell it for any other reason that if you say its for an injection as there is a chance it reacts with the ink used in tattoos. So today i just gritted my teeth and curled up into a ball until the laser was over! Think you can still buy it online but the best thing to do really is to just deal with the pain!

2 weeks after 3rd treatment

Still healing, a few scabs present but just to show you guys what healing is like. The colours do not seem to be making a move. Im hoping that in a few months the black will have faded significantly as it isn't moving as fast as I hoped it would. I really want to wear a knee length dress for graduation but at the moment its too dark to successfully hide with makeup.

5 weeks after 3rd treatment

Getting bored of this now was really hoping to see more of this tattoo gone in 3 treatments! I suppose its only been 5 months since I began and it has come a long way but picosure isn't living up to my expectations at the moment. Its just so obvious and i'm starting to panic with summer approaching, im not having my next treatment until june giving myself 3 months between my treatments but I really was expecting more from this machine by now!
trueskin medispa

So far the staff have been very reassuring and optimistic.

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Comments (125)

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Hey, I definitely feel your frustration. I really believed this machine would produce much better results than I've seen so far. I don't understand how they can charge, I saw absolutely no fading from my 1st treatment and my 2nd was almost as bad. They said I would only need 4 treatments for complete removal, but in just over a week I have my 3rd session and its still as bold as anything. Super frustrating!
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the black is fading very nice! i think for the other colors you NEED the revile laser. just my opinion... all the thin outlines are fading or are already gone. "just" be patient.
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Its fading but not enough for me if I'm honest, I'm eating healthy, working out, quit smoking and waiting in between treatments. I just thought it would be showing signs of disappearing soon :(
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I have similar feelings all the time. Can you post a side by side pic? It will really help compare. I definitely see fading in the black, and it certainly was thick and dense to start with. The pink and yellow don't look faded much, though Pico is probably not the best laser for those colors (ask your doc).
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Same here :( ugh why do they charge so much for this! I didnt get any reaction with my second treatment. I think the laser needs to be turned up a lot more.
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The lines within the flower are fading but the outline and colours are not. And some of the writing is fading but not as much as you would expect for 3 picosure treatments spaced apart its still too heavy to cover successfully with professional makeup.
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How was walking after the 2nd and 3rd treatments. I can't even remember how it was since it has been 4 months since I had treatment (on my knee) and I am wondering if I will be ok getting lasered on a Monday when I have to work all week, hmm..
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Oops sorry for that. Our tattoos have a lot in common, like thick outlines and some colors and lower leg. I think your fading is good for three treatments- especially the black! I hear you on wanting to be able to show bare legs.
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How are you feeling about the process? We started treatment at the same time but I slacked and am only going for my 2nd treatment on April 7th. Can't believe you are on 3 already! Having any luck with fading?
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I waited 2 months before my 2nd but only 6 before my 3rd. Not getting my next one until June. Its definitely fading but not as much as I'd liked. Not enough to quit smoking for haha its KILLING me but I suppose its a blessing!
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You have a lot of black lines breaking up it looks like (some disappearing already!) That's exciting! I know the colors may be tough. Do they have another laser like a Q-switched that can work on those?
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They're doing trails with revlite as they use it for cosmetic purposes but wont use it on customers until its been approved so once that's done I will try it. Im not going back til June so hopefully it will be sorted by then.
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Patience is indeed your friend. I have been getting treatments for over a year and my back tattoo (see when two tribals go) is being stubborn. I will give your removal folks a call and see if they can finish the job off properly for me, wishing you success with your removal :)
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Just had a quick flick through the photos on your review and that ankle one is super faded! The picosure is awfully expensive but if it removes my tattoo im all for it!
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I also have a brand new tattoo that I'm going to get removed with Picosure. I have a consultation on Friday and it will mark the third week to the day that I got the tattoo. I've heard mixed things about new tattoo removal.. some say the newer the ink the easier to remove and others say the older the better. Regardless, I am going to wait until after summer until I begin treatment unless the doctor says the fresher the easier which in that case I will get started ASAP. Do you think your tattoo has faded more with more healing time? I'm planning on giving mine a couple of months healing time in between treatments.
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It definitely fades more the longer you leave it! Heals better too. And I waited 3 months after getting the tattoo before any treatment.
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Are you feeling that it is worth it? I'm distraught on what to do next.
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I'm going to give it 3 months before my next treatment as I have my dissertation and final exams to think about so will reassess then. I'll admit I have had MUCH better results after 2 than my friend has had from a q switched laser. Still dreading the summer though I was hoping it would be much fainter than now. I'm genuinley trying to think about my future and really struggling to get a 2:1 so whether my tattoo is here or not has taken a backseat.
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Shes had 6 sessions with q switched on a small black tattoo too
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Everyone seems to be told about 3 sessions at Trueskin, Esher! I'm due to have my 5th session next month and am going to try (hard) to insist they do it for free given the amount of money I've already spent with disappointing results. I'm worried I'll end up with 2 massive ink splodges on my stomach and back with half gone tattoos! They do seem very caring at Trueskin and take photos to map progress so I think they'll have to agree it's taken a LOT longer than anticipated. I was also told about someone called Wayne in Soho, Central London who is meant to be excellent..... I'm considering trying him in the future if I'm still not getting the results I want. I'm sure we'll be tattoo free soon. I really wanted to enjoy the summer with them gone but fear it wont' be until next summer as reckon I've another 4 sessions to go..
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That is disappointing and i've heard about Wayne and somewhere in Boldon near Manchester, both of which I wish I'd heard about before I booked up at Trueskin! But I was so desperate to get started. So glad I'm covered with the picoplan I was reluctant to book my 2nd treatment until they released that plan!
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Amy93...thank you for sharing your experience...Im greatly encouraged by your journey and to know that your tech has had such favorable results on a thick black tattoo as that's the kind of I'm I'm looking to remove. You're results are amazing...can't wait for updates. Good luck!
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Thanks and if you ever decide to visit trueskin in bluewater ask to see michelles foot tattoo its amazing. I look at my tattoo everyday so don't really see the changes like other people do!
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