Large, Black, Dense Lizard on Upper Arm Removal with Picosure - Melbourne, AU

Hi all. I'm Katie, I'm 38 and have a 10 year old...

Hi all. I'm Katie, I'm 38 and have a 10 year old professionally done lizard on my left upper arm. I used to love my gecko but as I became a mother I just thought, wow, you idiot! I am in a completely different place in life and what I once loved is now covered up whenever I'm in public, even during the Australian summer.

So I've been travelling toward removal for around 2 years, and I have put it off a couple of times wanting to enjoy the sun and other lame excuses. Then I heard about Picosure and was so glad I waited, I'm sure it's meant to be.

I had my first treatment on Tuesday 28/01/14 at Laser Dermatology in Box Hill in Melbourne. I had local injections all over the site on the recommendation of the technician and RN, Jude. Thank God cos it bloody we'll hurt even with the lidocaine! There were bits it really hurt around the back of my arm and the top of my shoulder, around the bone OUCH!!

So Tuesday arvo and evening were painful, I'd describe the feeling like someone had taken a blowtorch to it. I slept ok, but I'd taken some codeine/ibuprofen before bed. I took the dressing off on Wednesday morning and was greeted by swelling, big blisters and some bruising. But I also saw some lovely bits of shattered lines!! On the points of the gecko feet and around the tail there were sharp lines and sharp points, these are gone!!

Two days post I have a few more blisters, still swollen and bruised but something exciting when I went to change dressing. I peeled off the bandage and it was stained with greenie coloured ink, not heaps but enough to make me feel happy and positive.

My next treatment is on March 25th, two months between as they recommend. Will keep you all posted as to my healing progress. I am very positive that I will be ink free in the not TOO distant future. Thank-you all for your posts and progress reports, it is lovely to read of all of your journeys.

9 days post, I see fading!!!

So it's been 9 days since my first removal with the picosure laser. It took around 4 days for the swelling and blisters to subside. I think the swelling is the worst part, it makes your arm feel like it's going to drop off. Well it's now completely calmed down, the swelling is gone and the blisters have drained. When the blisters dry out a really charming scab forms on the tattoo which makes it look really dark, that is now flaking and peeling off. Now the exciting part is that I can see the ink showing through and it is faded!! Yahoo!!! I'm really looking forward to the rest of the scab flaking off so I can see just how much it's faded. It's still a little bit sore, just to touch and obviously very itchy. Trying not to scratch can be an exercise in mind over matter, I just keep slathering on the cream. Anyway I'll attach some photos and you can see for yourselves how it's coming along.

Seeing great fading

Just a quick one. It's 10 days post first picosure treatment and I'm peeling as I posted yesterday. Just wanted to say that heaps more skin has flaked off lastnight and I'm seeing amazing fading!!! Here's a photo. I hope you're all going well with your treatments and healing. Stay positive :) K

Second treatment yesterday

Hi everyone, I've been quiet lately as life goes on and there's not always anything to write. I have continued to see some nice fading but only in spots. My husband thinks it's coming along a treat, although I am sceptical.

Anyway, yesterday the 25th of March was my scheduled 2nd treatment. I was of course nervous about it because now I know the drill and the healing time and the blisters!! I was interested to hear that the Picosure is already having an upgrade, due in April sometime. Apparently it's going to make it even more effective on black, blue and green ink. Jude my nurse says they are seeing amazing results on green tatts, so maybe worth considering if you have one. Another interesting thing- they have started trialling a different approach. Basically they hit black tattoos with the Yag and then hit it with the Pico. The plastic surgeon who owns the clinic came in for a consult and said that I was a good candidate as my ink is so dense. Apparently the Yag breaks it up into big pieces and the pico then shatters that into tiny pieces? I don't know but I thought why not? They chose the left hand bottom leg of the lizard to trial, she blasted it which took about 3 seconds then she began with the pico at the top of the tail. By the time she got to the yag treated area it was ready to be blasted again. Basically they're saying that if we see some great fading on the left lizard foot, better fading than the rest of the tatt, that's the approach they'll use all over- Yag then Pico.

Well that little leg was very red and raised yesterday evening and very sore today. I have the usual bruising, raising and redness all over but interestingly no blistering. Now when I was speaking to the Doc he said that they're not really sure whether the blistering is a blessing or a curse. I was quick to point out that the areas of my tatt that had blistered were a lot more faded than the areas that hadn't. They seem to be of the view that the blistering can be the difference between scarring or not...hmmm...I'm wondering why I blistered the first time and not now? Maybe Jude is getting better at it? She increased the spot size but also amped up the wattage by .25%. I'm just unsure.

Anyway, I'll add some photos later when I change the dressing. I hope you're all going along ok and remaining positive on your journeys.


4 days post, no blisters no scabs??

Hi guys, I'm 4 days post second Pico now and this time no blisters or scabs. It's still bloody sore and tender although it didn't swell anything like the first time. I've just started feeling a bit itchy this arvo. I haven't had to dress it past day 2 as there seems to be no reason to. I have continued with the lanolin based ointment mostly because it feels so soothing just to gently smooth it on! I'll put up some photos now too as promised but the quality isn't great as I can't figure out the right light to show the fading. I hope you're all doing well :) Katie

Photos post 2nd treatment

Jude at Laser Dermatology

Jude was awesome, a registered nurse with almost 20 years experience with the laser. A lovely lady with a great manner and sense of humour.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 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
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Hi Katie wowh the second pics look brill great results ! I'm still waiting for laser to be fixed 4 cancelled apt now and supposed to be back this week was thinking moving clinics and laser but don't want to sign a disclaimer as only had one treatment done on half of mine so annoyed ned this gone
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Katie, are you going for full removal? I'm very interested in following your journey as I also have a black upper-arm tattoo. I wish you the best...amazing results so far!
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Hi Luzoscura, thanks for reading my story. Yes I am going for full removal. I am so over my tatt, we've had 11 good years but now it's time for nude skin. I am seriously sold on pico, it is giving remarkable fading after 2 sessions. The spot I had yag plus pico is sooo faded compared to the rest so I am positive I'll have complete removal in tops 2 years. Are you going for complete removal? Would love to read your story :) K
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I also have more ink removal in the spots where there were little blisters.
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My two treatments were worlds different. No pain after the first but lots of scabbing. Lots of pain after the second but absolutely zero blistering or scabbing. It also took a really long time to see fading after my second treatment.
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Hi there JuliusX Thanks for your comment. I'm really in that same space although I must say that after the first treatment I was in a world of pain for about 3 days with the huge blisters you can see in my photos. This time I'm sure I'm not going to blister now as it's been 4 days, however the entire site is bloody sore although it's just this afternoon starting to get that inkling of an itch. Funny though as there is no scabbing at all?? I think I see more areas of fading though. I'll put up some photos in a tic, although I'm struggling with the right lighting to show the results. I suppose though after only 2 treatments the results are fairly good. I remain positive :) how many treatments have you had?
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That's so interesting to hear about updates already being made on the picosure and new techniques for quicker removal being used. Hopefully you will see some good results on the test area! Keep us updated and best of luck!
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Hi ap1191, I'm just unsure if I'm seeing results this time or not, it's been a different experience. Have you heard or read anything about the Pico upgrade? I must say I haven't researched it yet so I only know what my tech and doc told me. I will get on to it though and see what I can find. Thankyou for reading my review though, it's great to have support from so many :)
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I wonder if they went with a lower setting this time? Maybe you could ask your doctor if they did something different this time. I haven't read anything about upgrades. I do know the place that first did the testing on Picosure has another clinical trial out to focus on the issue with Pico not affecting reds well. And thanks for sharing your story :)
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Apparently she turned the power up by just .25 but she also increased the spot size. I was having a close look at the double treated foot last night (yag and pico) and I am seeing a distinct colour change there, almost dark grey. My doctor was saying that the upgrade will help it to target red but also be more effective faster on black. I say woohoo!! Thanks for the reply, so few people using Pico as yet it was great to find someone else who is. I read your review and certainly see some good fade out in your side by side photos :)
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Oh I haven't even started. Still deciding. YOu may have been looking someone else's. But that's promising to the distinct color change on the foot!
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Yep I was looking at JuliusX review duh!!! It was 6 am when I wrote that, sorry!! Are you thinking of starting soon?
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No worries! Yes I am thinking of starting, but still weighing my options. My tattoo is new and I immediately regretted it. The artist talked me into going a bit bigger than I planned and the overall look is just not what I expected. But because it is on the larger side and has color, I don't really know what to do yet as far as going through with removal. I'd probably be looking at 2.5 to 3 yrs.
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It's a big commitment isn't it? Whereabouts is your tatt? Easily covered up or not? I've been wearing sleeves in public for about 3 years now even in Australian 40 degree summers, so I'm over it and willing to take the time.
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It is easily covered's on my back, right shoulder blade area. It's just giving me so much anxiety. I can't stop thinking about it. So I may be in the same mindset - a few years of taking time to do this may be better than a lifetime of feeling this way :(
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The new upgrade is called 'Boost' and being rolled out by Cynosure. I'll be looking forward to seeing the results from the upgrade as I found Picosure's effectiveness on black so-so compared to Q-switched
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Thanks for the info PeterKim. I just did a search on that and the Cynosure website says the upgrade is now it'll be interesting to see how it goes as doctors using Picosure begin using the upgrade. Unfortunately I can't really find much else about it :(
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Hi PeterKim, How would you compare your results? Obviously it depends on the age of the ink etc. but I'm paying $600 Australian a treatment for Pico and starting to wonder whether yag would be better and cheaper? Thanks for your reply :)
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Interesting, look forward to hearing more about Boost
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Compared to regular Q-switched (of which I've tried the Medlite C6 & Fotona) and the Picosure treatment has been different but not necessary '2x' better on the black ink on my tattoo. The noticeable differences so far have been major blistering on the entire tattoo (compared to just several spots on Q-switched lasers), and a mix of both hyperpigmentation (which largely subsided) and hypopigmentation (which is still evident 2 months later). This was to be expected though as I have Asian skin that tans. Your results seem to be promising as you seem to be the ideal candidate (white skin). I would stick to Picosure even at that price. Decent Q-switched practices would set you back $250-300 normally and looks like you would require more treatments. With the upcoming Boost it might even be more better value.
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Thanks PeterKim, I appreciate your honesty. The blisters are a little terrifying but thankfully none this time as I've said. The price is the thing that is pisses me off. For new, really untested technology I wish they'd do some kind of deal. But I am seeing results and my next session will be with the boost upgrade so I guess I'll be the guinea pig and tell you guys if it's worth it!
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Your experience sounds promising. I've been told that blisters are not my friend, it means skin damage. I have had blisters, very tiny ones, but can't remember if it's that area that is more faded. The picosure update sounds wonderful. Looking forward to those new photos. I'm so excited for you. aloha...k
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Hi K, how are you doing? I was looking at your most recent photos and it's looking fantastic. Your body continues to do the work even though you haven't had a treatment in awhile. It really looks faded! Have you had a Pico consult yet? I'm about to put up some photos, they're not that great but they certainly show the difference between first and second treatments. Take care and keep shining lovely lady :)
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aloha Katie_s, I went to O'ahu for a conference and thought I'd pop in to the piocsure doctor for a consultation, but he was away with his kiddies for school break. I didn't make an appointment before I flew inter-island. It just means I'll have to go back to lovely O'ahu for shopping and treatment :) I am hoping that fading will continue, somedays it's great, other days not so much. It all depends on the lighting. I am very happy to keep on the journey of ink removal until I'm clear or at least close to it. I used to be in a panic but now not so much, it will all work out in the end. I've been studying Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in Counseling Psychology Graduate School, it is so awesome and calming. I highly recommend it. I look forward to your pictures and am confident that you'll have excellent fading, as we all will. This whole process takes time, effort to stay positive and some cash...but all of it is worth it. Good luck....aloha...k
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Hey there, just checking in to see how things are coming along?
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