Hi all, My name is Chad, and I'm a 22-year-old...

Hi all,

My name is Chad, and I'm a 22-year-old from Cardiff, Wales, UK.

I've been going through laser tattoo removal for almost a year now, and I've gotten a lot of comfort from following your stories on here. In return, I now feel it's time to share my own story.

I have two tattoos; one is my daughter's name, Lexie, and the other is a horrendous star tattoo that goes up my right arm. I got these tattoos within two months of each other at the end of 2011.

After having my daughter's name tattooed on me, which I loved, I rushed into getting another tattoo. This time, it was five star outlines that got bigger as you went up my arm. Looking at the photo, I cannot believe how disgusting it actually was, and I can't understand why I wanted something so terrible in the first place (but we all say that of course.) When I got married a few months later and saw photos of myself topless on my honeymoon, it was then I realised how bad the tattoo actually was. It was time to get rid of it!

I contacted a nearby laser clinic who quoted me £65 per session with their Q-switched YAG laser (is that right?). So, since last October I've been going there every 6 weeks. At first, I saw a real difference, but after the third session or so the results became very poor and There was very little difference, even for a black tattoo which supposedly responds best. On one occasion, I even asked them to turn up the 'oomph' as I just wasn't satisfied with the results. The two women who operated the laser seemed to rush and would always chat about other things that were totally irrelevant. Additionally, the laser clinic was actually part of a dentist, so I don't think laser was their speciality. Altogether I had 7 sessions at this clinic.

A few weeks later my wife very honestly told me that she thought I was being ripped off as nothing was happening after each treatment. I agreed straight away. After that, I contacted some other clinics and came across a very reputable one which had been open since 1988 (as opposed to a year or so at the other place!!). I went for a consultation and was quoted £80 per treatment to remove the stars, a little more than I was paying before. Each treatment was 4 weeks apart.

I was REALLY excited about this place - their laser, the Harmony XLI, is the only one here in Wales, and has won the gold aesthetic award for the last three years. Great!

So, I turned up for my first appointment recently and they were so much more professional and friendly compared to the other place. I even got a free cuppa! The faded photo above was how my tattoo looked just before my first treatment here. Unfortunately I haven't been taking photos after each treatment, but I will from now on.

There were even more surprises about this place; turns out, the other clinic were doing almost everything wrong. Firstly, my session at this new clinic was around 20 minutes long, compared to five minutes. Secondly, they would sometimes change the attachment on the end of the laser if they didn't think the light was penetrating enough which I thought was really good. And thirdly, they put a bandage on me (which I'd never had before), and when I asked for the aloe Vera gel they were horrified to hear that I'd been using that stuff. Apparently the tattoo must stay DRY. Yeah, this was a real eye opener.

At the end of the session I also mentioned - and bare with me here - that I want the tattoo of my daughter's name removed too. I know, I know. I can picture your face. It's not because we hate each other or anything, she's only 2-years-old! Basically, the tattoo (photo attached) takes up half my forearm and, well, we recently found out we're having another baby girl, due in January! Of course, I'd have to be fair to the other baby and have her name tattooed on my other arm. BUT, I really don't want that - two bulky black tattoos on each of my arms.

Instead, I've promised my daughter (and wife) that I'll get a much smaller, more sensible tattoo on the inside of my left bicep. That way, it's small and hidden away all the time.

The clinic was kind enough to do a test patch on this tattoo and I was amazed to see the ink completely disappear (photo attached).That's one impressive laser! I can't afford to have treatment on both tattoos at the same time, so I'll definitely be removing this after my stars are gone. I think it will be a much more positive journey that time, as it's not a tattoo I'm ashamed and embarrassed of. Very much excited to start treatment on it!

Apologies for the very lengthy story, but it's so reassuring to read all your stories on here and see frequent updates. I promise to do the same! You guys are all so supportive of each other. Here's to complete removal!

28 Comments

Thank you so much for sharing your story! Your results are looking great! Best of luck to you! B11
  • Reply
Thanks B11! Your results are looking fantastic too - we're both getting there!
aloha Welsh Chad,  Your different treatments sound intriguing.  The clinic I go to uses the trivantage and bandages me up afterwards.  I'm to treat the area like a sunburn with antibiotic ointment for the first few days and then afterwards just regular lotion.  I've heard about not putting anything on it, that's how the olden day tattoos were.  I think it all depends on where you live, how the laser is done and the person.  I've had excellent fading with the R20 technique, have had two sessions of that,  It's the combined treatments in one session with breaks in between.  I didn't realize the fading until I looked at pictures.  I'm hoping for a faded memory within a year or more.  I'm trying to stay patient and positive, I'm not in a rush.  I actually like your stars, but then I have stars on me, behind my ear, love them!  I'm married to an astronomer.  But my ink regret is on my hand/wrist area, it's a cultural tattoo.  It just isn't me.  I think we all have to do what is right for us, not listen to others' opinions.  We are the ones who have to live with it.  Ink regret robs us of our self-esteem but the lasers are giving up hope.  Good luck!  aloha...k
  • Reply

Laser distance from tattoo?

Hi all, hope you're having a great week so far.

So I've been doing some research about the laser I am currently having treatment with (Harmony XL), and I've just stumbled across a video of it in use. In the video, the technician is practically pressing the laser against someone's arm and moving it slowly along.

In my treatments so far, I have always had the laser approx 2-3 cms from my arm.

I wondered if any of you have your laser pressed up against your tattoos and if you think this has any benefit? I'm going to ask my technician about it when I go for my next session in nine days (whose counting?)

Thanks

7 Comments

Hi . Did you check with your doctor about having the treatment with having ulcerative colitis . Ive got to see my doctor for a note as the clinics wont start without one saying its safe and im worried what he he say
  • Reply
Hi welsh! I'm sorry you had to go through a few ineffective treatments but I am glad you switched to a more experienced provider! Surely you will start to see some better fading now! I love your daughters name! My youngest is Alexis and she goes by Lexi a lot of the time. :) it does make sense to have it removed and have it redone in a smaller more inconspicuous place! Congratulations on your 2 yr old and the new addition on the way! Exciting times for you!! I look forward to reading more of your Updates and seeing progress of your removal!
  • Reply
Thanks Michelle! It's a lovely name and so is your daughter's. :) I think two big forearm tattoos will look very tacky so I'd rather have something smaller and less visible. I'm hoping for just a few more treatments on the stars now! The results on your tattoo are incredible by the way!

9th session down

Hi all. Hope you're enjoying the weekend so far. It's raining and cold here so I'm staying inside in the warm today!

So I had my 9th session on Thursday. It wasn't much different to my last, but they seemed sure that the tattoo had faded since my previous session - which is good!

In my last post on here I mentioned that I had seen a video online where a technician is moving the laser along the skin (touching it), so I asked them about this. My technician was very honest; she said it's quite hard to explain, but when someone first starts tattoo removal, they will sometimes start with the laser on the skin. As the tattoo becomes lighter, it actually becomes more effective to move the laser away from the skin as it somehow picks it up better. She showed me what she meant by placing the laser right on my skin. The laser was really quiet and nothing was really happening. So, if your technician is placing the laser right against you and you're not seeing great results, then this may be why.

Oh and apologies to wilks - I promised I would also ask about the brownish colour but forgot! I will remember next time. Honest.

When I came out, I asked if they had heard of picosure and the R20 method. They hadn't heard of either before, so I showed them this website and pointed out a few reviews of people having picosure. Unsurprisingly, they were shocked at the price.

It seems I stirred a bit of a debate about the R20 method; some of them were horrified at the thought of having more than one session within an hour, where as others said they would actually be willing to try it. Turns out, they've contacted their laser company to see if this is something they could do. I would definitely be willing!

Anyway, I've attached some photos since the treatment. I've been told to keep the tattoo DRY for 48 hours so I'm unable to clean it yet, hence why it looks like it could do with a wash!

I'll post another photo when it's looking less red.

Hope you're all doing well with your removals.

22 Comments

Fading looks great!
  • Reply
Thanks! I have my 10th session on Monday so will post photos just before my treatment.
Thank you for the update! Your stars were VERY dark however the fading is incredible! Not long, and the ink will be gone!! I also get the brown tint, and have been told by many that this is temporary and will fade. Keep your chin up and come to this site when you are feeling down. It always helps me. :)
  • Reply

We're getting there.. 10th session on Monday

Hi everyone. Not long til the weekend now! I'm going on a mini holiday this weekend so I thought now was the best time to update the ol' review.

So I've had two treatments with the Harmony XL now and I have my third on Monday (can't wait). All I can say is the results have been just as good as the seven I had with the laser before. I'm really impressed and I'm hoping that it goes (or nearly goes) within the next four sessions - I paid upfront for six.

The tattoo is looking very faded. It should start losing its star shape any time now hopefully! With my second daughter due in just over three months, I'm extremely keen to get started on removing my 'Lexie' tattoo. It's not going to be until after the baby is born, but I hope it's not too long after.

In a previous update, I said that I was considering having a tattoo of both my daughters' names on the inside of my left bicep. I've had a look at some designs and I think I've pretty much settled on one. It's sensible, hidden, small, and something I am confident I will never regret. I will probably end up having it done (if I do) while removing the 'Lexie' tattoo, so the aim then will be to remove the old tattoo so that only the new is left. That's the plan.

With the stars, some areas have now faded beautifully. I've attached some photos (sorry for the poor lighting), and on the second smallest star there is a small freckle that I forgot was even there - because of the ink obviously. The majority of my tattoo is now a light brown colour so if it isn't gone in the next few sessions, it will certainly be almost gone. It's a shame I had to go to such a bad clinic first, as it could be much more faded at this point.

I'll let you all know how the 10th session goes on Monday. Hope your removals are going just as well!

4 Comments

Thanks for the update, love that you keep us posted with updated photos... appreciate it!
  • Reply
Looking good mate! That top star is really looking like it's not gonna need much more. Enjoy your mini holiday!
  • Reply
Cheers mate. Just praying that it's gone (or very nearly) gone within the next four sessions. I'm desperate to get started on the other one. You're having great progress on your removal by the way!

Session 10 done

Hi all. So I just had my 10th session (about an hour ago) and it went really well. It's looking incredibly faded now and I have real faith in the technicians who work there; they are lovely people and they really show an interest in getting this thing off me. For anyone who might be living in my area, the clinic is called Beauty Advance who are based in Whitchurch in Cardiff. They really 'big up' the Harmony XL on their website too.

So they did things slightly different this time. It's hard to tell from the photo, but a different attachment was used on the bottom star. She said it's worth giving it a go to see if it responds any better. I can't remember what the particular attachment was called, but it's apparently very effective at removing red. The bottom star has those white patches, just like you get after your first few treatments. Obviously there is no red ink on my tattoo but it never hurts to try something new.

I'm really hoping it loses its shape soon as it will be so much easier to cope with and I won't be so embarrassed about it. I've booked my next session for five weeks time as I rely on a bonus that I get from work every six months to pay for treatment. I don't want to be getting them too closely together.

Hope you're all feeling positive at the moment. Winter is just around the corner I'm sure your tattoos will all be covered with thick clothing for a while. :)

15 Comments

What's sup stars are looking good I can see the difference super coolin
  • Reply
Thanks!
Hi Chad, basically I'm getting my first laser removal session done next week at a clinic specially for tattoo removal. But at the back of my head I keep thinking its going to be similar to your experience at the first clinic you went too. Apart from what you've said on your review what other key things should I look out for and what questions should I be asking. Thanks andrew
  • Reply

Bottom star is looking red

It's been five days since my 10th session now. The top four stars are continuing to fade, as you'd expect. I had a different laser on the bottom star (still need to find out what it was called), and it's looking very red and patchy at the moment. It almost looks scabby, but it isn't. It hurts to touch more than the others.

I'm really excited to see what happens with this bottom star over the next few weeks. I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I'm sure some of the ink has gone. I can't tell for sure yet though. Will keep you all updated. Have a great weekend.

10 Comments

Oh yes, you can see how it reacted so differently...I am curious to hear what they used, keep us posted!

  • Reply
I may have to email the clinic on Monday...
Oh, and I have heard that picosure is the best now on the market....and they state that it fades away even stubborn colours and inks
  • Reply

KTP tip

So I just tweeted my technician and she apparently used a KTP tip on my bottom star. Let's hope we see some good results with it. :)

13 Comments

Chad your absolutely right and that is usually the way I look at it, just having a down day I guess which im sure everybody on here will agree they've all had far too often. Ive had 1 session at a tattoo shop which showed pretty good and instant results but they will only treat a small section in one go. Got a test patch booked at SK:N clinic tomorrow ( 27/10/13 ) and they will treat half my forearm with what I can afford to pay. Abryant uses the same clinic and has had great results with a similar red rose to me. I'll start my own post up shortly with photos and hopefully when im a year into it I can help people just like you've helped me :)
  • Reply
We've all had our share of down days, and when you do, the best thing to do is come on here because there is so much support and you know you aren't the only one. It's difficult because there isn't anyone else you can talk to it about except every few weeks when you see your technician. As we will both know our lives are difficult enough already having colitis, so removing a tattoo is just added stress! SK:N are a very reputable clinic and I'm sure you will be well looked after there. When you see really good fading it does get easier, honestly. It won't be on your arm forever and even if the whole thing can't be removed it will probably be unrecognisable what your tattoo actually was. It's easier said than done, but try and embrace it in the meantime I guess. You'll be wearing long sleeves for the next few months anyway as it's getting very chilly now!
Hi Chad thanks for getting back to me. I meant the sound its makes hitting the ink. I've only had 1 session but I was worried how they new they was actually hitting my tattoo so the women showed me by firing the laser onto a plain part of skin and it made no sound ( snap ) obviously throughout the session there was constant snapping which made me wonder if you had snapping everywhere on your stars. The results on your bottom star is amazing. Im in two minds weather to even attempt removing mine as I have a full sleeve im not happy with ,theres way too much ink and even if I have treatment on my forearm which is obviously what I see most it will take at least 3 years cost thousands of pounds then ill still have the upper part . Time machine please
  • Reply

Pink skin

Hi everyone. I'm suddenly a RealFriend! But I'm not sure when this happened?! Really pleased though.

Only a week left until my 11th treatment. This has definitely been the most interesting waiting period yet.

At my last treatment a different tip was used on my bottom star, and the usual tip was used on the others. Within days of the treatment, the bottom star had lots of tiny scabs where the laser had been zapping it, which I have never had before.

When I looked closely behind the scabs, the amount of fading was just incredible. I'm confident that the majority of ink had gone.

The scabs have since fallen off, but I am now left with a pink star which is new, fresh skin. I haven't been able to stop wondering how long this skin will take to revert to its original colour, and I've been frantically searching online with no answers. I'm applying bio-oil twice daily to prevent scarring. Has anyone else had this and how long did it take for the pink to go? I hope it's only a few weeks, and I hope even more that it isn't permanent!

I'm excited but nervous - it could be that there is no ink left and when the pink does go; the star could be completely gone! Or, there could still be ink left and I need another treatment on it. Let's hope it's the first outcome.

Apart from that, the other stars are continuing to fade - slowly. I've put a lot of faith into this new tip, and I'm not sure the usual tip is going to completely remove it. So, GO KTP TIP!!

Hope you're having a great weekend and feeling positive with your removals. :-)

6 Comments

Btw, how long are you waiting in b/w sessions? Seems from your blog that you are getting treated every month...just curious. Just be wary of hyperpigmentation...treatment too soon, esp when nearing the end of removal, could cause discoloration b/c the skin needs time to heal. Fading continues for months after a session. Your results do look promising though...either way, good luck!
  • Reply
Hey onetime. I do average around one session a month but I've always healed after about 2-3 weeks. However, my skin has never turned pink until using this new tip, so I plan to wait about five or six weeks going forward as I definitely don't want any permanent damage. Thanks for the info with the healing time too!
That's cool. I know everyone is different when it comes to removal...seems to be like we all deal w/ our results as they come and then go from there. There's no set regimen. You are doing the right thing though by listening to your body and using your best judgement. Wish you luck, it's def a journey!

11th session tomorrow

Just a quick update - tomorrow is my 11th session. The pinkness on the bottom star is continuing to fade as I'm sure the ink is underneath. I'm really excited to see what it looks like after it's healed fully.

Tomorrow I'll be asking for the same laser tip that was used on the bottom star. I imagine they'll leave the bottom star well alone this time as any injury is sure to cause scarring.

I'd like to add that going forward, I will be waiting 5-6 weeks between sessions. This is because the pinkness takes quite a while to heal, and it takes about two weeks for the actual scabs to fall off. I don't want to do any damage, so I'll wait longer if necessary.

With our second daughter due in just over two months, I'm super keen to get started on removing the 'Lexie' tattoo. It's sad to be doing it, but I really want a new, smaller tattoo with both their names - one I won't ever regret.

I'll probably post my next update in a couple of weeks as my arm is going to be pretty sore for a while. I'll continue to apply bio-oil twice a day. I have quite a bit of browning too, so let's see if this new laser tip makes it disappear.

1 Comments

That pink star sure looks like significantly lighter than the others. Good luck tomorrow bud. Out of curiosity, try and find out what energy they use on you, I'd be keen to know!
  • Reply

It's alive!

Right - I said I wouldn't post an update for a few weeks. However, I had my 11th session about three hours ago and THIS is what my arm looks like. My bandage fell off which is why I was able to take the photo. I have a new one on now.

I've seen a lot of photos with blistering but is this normal? There's no chance of scarring is there? I'll admit I was scared to show this to my wife, lol.

My next session is on the 19th December which is just under six weeks away (it was that or well into January). The technician also said it would be fine to treat the bottom star again, so she did.

I was also told that apparently, someone had walked into the clinic recently saying they had seen my story online, and they went ahead with treatment. As a thank you for this they said they will give me a discount on my other tattoo when we get started on it - yay!

4 Comments

Check out that beauty!! Did they use the KTP tip on them all? Apparently that one causes a lot more superficial damage to the surface of the skin (ie looks a lot worse than it is). When I had a couple of patches done with it, it looked a lot more angry than the 1064nm. I'd say its fine mate, just be sure to take care of it over the next few days. In my honest opinion I think this is what you needed. You've obviously had a good deal of fading so far but I reckon you reached a bit of a plateau. I reckon this treatment will make a big difference for you (my fingers are crossed!). Cool news ok the discount btw!!
  • Reply
I completely agree mate. I am so glad they tried this tip last time as I don't think much more will happen with the standard tip. I reckon it's gonna look completely different six weeks from now, at least I hope. As long as this is normal then I am happy. The KTP tip was used on them all by the way. You're due a treatment soon right? Look forward to your update. :)
Yeah I've no doubt it'll look a lot different! Keep slathering that bio oil on it (once the surface has healed). My appointment is on the 22nd. Not long now. I'm going to make sure she hits every last bit of ink to ensure I get as much fading as possible over Xmas. They had a loaned machine in at my last treatment, which I don't think was as effective - they've got the normal one back now. I'm seeing a lot of breaking up in the dense areas now - I'm hoping for big things at this next treatment (but also keeping my expectations realistic at the same time).

Blisters healing

Apologies for adding three updates in the last week. It definitely wasn't my intention to have severe blistering and I'm not trying to constantly be at the top of the review page, honest!

I'm pleased to say the blisters are finally beginning to calm down, just slightly. They are really sore and they tend to leak quite a lot. Unfortunately I had to burst the huge blister at the top as it became so painful and I was bound to pop it accidentally at some point anyway.

I'm dabbing bio-oil on the blisters using cotton wool to try and speed things up. It's impossible to tell if anything has faded as I can't even see the tattoo at the moment - fading happens over time anyway!

I forgot to add in my last update; when I went in for treatment, the technician said that somebody had come in based on a review they had seen online. Turns out it was my review on here. It was quite a nice feeling to have helped someone decide to go forward with treatment. If you're that person and you're reading this, then I hope I helped, and maybe you could post photos of your own progress here?

I've also been asked to visit the BBC studios near me for an interview about tattoo removal, which will then be played on the radio. I guess this shows that tattoo removal is becoming a huge thing and that a lot of people are regretting their tattoos.

Hope you're all doing well!

14 Comments

Let us know when your interview will be aired. We might be able to hear it online. Happy fading!
  • Reply
Hi! I just came out about half an hour ago. It's prerecorded, so I'll let you know when it's due to be aired. :-)
Awesome, look forward to hearing it! Was it a surreal experience?

Just a quick one..

Had my 11th treatment 11 days ago. I blistered pretty bad, and my whole arm then became scabbed. The scabs have since fallen off and my whole tattoo is bright pink. My next session is just under a month away so hoping the skin would have returned to normal colour then. I'm confident that the fading has been really good!

I also had my interview with the BBC about tattoo removal which was great fun. The interview was prerecorded and should be aired in a few weeks - I'll let you all know when in case you fancy a listen.

5 Comments

Like you say mate, difficult to see what's going on underneath at the moment - really hope it's positive though! Just taking every possibility in to account - if there hasn't been much change after it's all healed over again, it might be worth scoping somewhere out with a Ruby laser (your place might already have one). It operates at a different wavelength than the nd:yag. It's the route I'm going to go down if my technician can't get this brown out. Just a thought. It's almost as if we need to stumble across the magic combination of correct laser combined with correct power settings. The moment we do I bet our residual ink / staining disappears. Unfortunately I think a bit of trial and error is involved first.
  • Reply
Cheers for the feedback dude. I reckon the KTP will remove it but totally willing to try something else if it doesn't. It's impossible to see what's going on at the moment, but before it scabbed everything was so faint. I showed the bottom star to some people in work and they could barely make it out! I'll update again when everything is its normal colour as it will be clear how much it has faded then.
Really hope it does the trick mate. Would be an ideal Christmas present for you to know they are finally on their way out!!

Radio interview

Hi folks. If you're interested, my interview about tattoo removal is on air tomorrow. It's on BBC Radio 1 at 12.45 and again at 5.45 UK time. I believe it can also be listened to in BBC Iplayer. Not sure if you guys in other countries have a way of listening?

I've not heard it myself but I'm sure I will be cringing like mad.

Tattoo - still very pink after last treatment. Treatment 12 is three weeks away so hoping it would have calmed down by then. Very, very eager to see how it has all faded underneath. Fingers crossed!

11 Comments

Very cool, I just read the article :) I'm glad one of the first topics they mention is the vast amount of practitioners who are untrained. Laser in no joke. Good luck healing!
  • Reply
Definitely! It's essential that you do your research before committing to a particular clinic.
Front page of the Newsbeat website!! Awesome! http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/
  • Reply

Treatment 12 on 19th Dec

My skin is still pretty damaged from the last session. My tattoo blistered all over and then it scabbed all over. The scabs left fresh pink skin, and nearly six weeks later, the skin is still quite pink.

I'll be asking for the same wavelength again (but turned up) as it's doing a really good job, but I also don't fancy an arm of blisters again. I'll need to ask if there is anything I can do to prevent it.

The bottom two stars are by far looking the best. I think the tattoo looks darker than it actually is because the pinkness is covering the ink, which I'm sure has faded a lot. I think it's going to take a couple if months for the pink to return to normal colour.

I've said this in one or two posts before but I really hope it starts losing its shape after this treatment. I'll feel much better as soon as the star shapes are gone and it becomes difficult to work out what the tattoo was.

Hope your removals are going well and that you're looking forward to Christmas. I've attached a few photos (two inside the house and three outside - I struggled to get some good light).

9 Comments

I had my 12th treatment last Thursday. The tattoo had healed enough that they were happy to go at it again. They used the KTP tip (532nm) again but did not turn it up due to the blistering last time. To stop the blistering this time, they tried not to go so close with things and left little gaps to allow the heat to escape from the skin. I can safely say that I have not blistered - phew. I can already see great progress and I'm sure it will continue to fade over the next six weeks. In the meantime, I hope you all have an amazing Christmas. Don't spend too much time thinking about your tattoos okay?
  • Reply
Sorry if I missed this, but are you going ahead with another treatment soon? It looks great and I can hardley see ink!!! But, I would wait as long as you can (emotionally:) because the pink, while it leaves easily for some, others seem to have problems ---and it looks a little "scar like". You seem way more knowledgable than me re. all of this and it's your skin but I would imagine/fear that the star shape will remain visible if the skin get's too damaged. Good luck - you're almost there!
  • Reply
Thanks for the advice! I am a little worried about scarring so I'm going to ask the clinic what they think I should do first. I'm happy to wait if necessary! :)

12th session down

I had my 12th treatment last Thursday. The tattoo had healed enough that they were happy to go at it again. They used the KTP tip (532nm) again but did not turn it up due to the blistering last time. To stop the blistering this time, they tried not to go so close with things and left little gaps to allow the heat to escape from the skin. I can safely say that I have not blistered - phew. I can already see great progress and I'm sure it will continue to fade over the next six weeks. In the meantime, I hope you all have an amazing Christmas. Don't spend too much time thinking about your tattoos okay?

PS: Please ignore the fact that I commented this update first. I'm an idiot and I wish I could delete it! lol!

2 Comments

Thanks for the update, happy healing and hope you are enjoying your Christmas too :) 
  • Reply
Awesome stuff! That's looking much better than your previous one. FADE, STARS, FAAADE!
  • Reply

Considering the 1064nm again

While the KTP (532nm) is fading my tattoo quite well, it's doing a lot of damage to my skin. Ever since I was treated this way, my skin has always been red and has looked sore.

If I squeeze my skin to see underneath the redness, the amount of ink left is not much at all! The redness makes the tattoo look so much darker than it probably is.

As such, I'm going to ask to be treated with the 1064nm again at my next session (30th Jan). I'm hoping it will be able to blast away the final bits of ink that are left and will also allow the redness to go away. When I was treated with this before, my skin never turned red, nor did it scab, so when the redness does go away, we should hopefully see just how faint it has become!

Any opinions or thoughts are welcomed! Oh, and I hope you all had a great Christmas!

8 Comments

Hi, I had 1 session that was comparable to your sessions w/ the 532, only mine was w/ the 1064. It seemed, for me, that the tech just had the settings completely wrong and I was left with basically overworked skin and a scab covering everything like you. I do believe that all lasers have the ability to do their job but the pros need to know for what instances they are required. What I was told, was to unfortunately NOT undergo the laser after that session, as it was overtreated...like to wait a few months (3-4) to let the skin completely heal b/c supposedly the skin targets any kind of contrast, whether it be ink or redness. I am not 100% sure (of course) as I am not the professionals, but basically laser does damage the skin in the process of targeting the ink...so if you go into a session w/ damage already, it's like picking a scab over and over again which could essentially lead to permanent scarring. If I were you, I'd try and wait it out as long as you can to allow for the redness to subside and the skin to heal. Do you have any textural changes in yr skin as well? Massage, oils/lotion/silicone a few times a day....that should hopefully work the skin to heal. I wish you the best of luck.
  • Reply
*laser targets contrast
Hi oneTime, I definitely agree that as well as the type of laser, half of the effectiveness is down to who operates it. I learned this when I finally decided to move to another clinic a few months back. My skin hasn't changed in texture at all but I have been applying aloe vera for the last couple of days to try and prevent the redness from getting any worse. When I attended my last session, the redness had just about healed, so I may need to give it a couple more weeks this time. I'll have to ask when I visit next. I can't wait to see what it actually looks like!

Delaying appointment

I've done some thinking today and I am likely going to delay my next appointment by about two weeks, maybe more if I feel I can. I want to give the redness time to heal until it becomes clear how things are looking underneath.

Also, here is a photo of the second star up when I stretch the skin. Not sure how accurate this is but you can see how faint things are looking.

10 Comments

Hi my arm around were inks fully removed looks the same as yours after 11th 12th removal picture! That stale pink to white ratio! I dont have a clue what this is.? Is this fresh skin ?
  • Reply
Thanks so much for the replay. Yes I'm doing the Pico. My results sent that good right now. I've only had one treatment. Iv told my self give it a year with the Pico and reevaluate my progress and desire if I want a cover up our just get it complete. Ill post pics when I get more progress. Love your results though. Keep trucken
  • Reply
Hi! When did u start your process? And which laser have you seen the most results with. I'm so happy for you and your progress. Pretty amazing actually!
  • Reply

Appointment rescheduled

I finally managed to reschedule my next session, so it is now on the 20th of Feb. This equals nine weeks from my last treatment. I'm hoping that this will be enough time for the redness to disappear. If not, then I'll call again just before and delay it by another three (or even another six) weeks! Yep, I'm willing to do it.

It's taken a while for me to realise but as oneTime2many often says, you should allow as long as possible between treatments. This can admittedly be really tough to do as all we want is our tattoos gone; we're under this impression that treatment after treatment will make our tattoos disappear faster.

My mood has generally been better since delaying my appointment too. I'm very, very excited to see how things are looking after nine weeks. It's been so long since my arm hasn't been red and it will be great to see how much ink is left - not much I hope. Again, if the redness still hasn't gone, I'll delay it again. This is something I never thought I would do. I have never gone beyond six weeks before.

In the meantime, I'm taking a photo every Monday just to remind myself that the redness is fading. Wilks also posted about the importance of photos recently, I can't recommend them enough.

In other news, our baby is due next Sunday (19th). I'd really like to get started on my other tattoo soon so that I can finally get a tidy tattoo with both my kid's names. Almost there!

12 Comments

good call on pushing the treatment back to my birthday. its a good day, so you should be fine by then. ive also heard the more into treatment you get, the longer the healing time is so you should start to space it out more. the ink from my last treatment over a month ago is still glossy looking, the longest its stayed this way, so it could be true.
  • Reply
Hi welsh chad....you def should take plenty of time between sessions and plenty of massage with some kind of organic oil in between (I personally recommend rose hip). Waiting not only let's skin repair, it also means cost it significantly cheaper. I started this process around 2.5 years ago doing it super slow and I have no scarring or textural changes. All the best.
  • Reply
I may have to look into the rose hip oil. If it works I'll try it. :)

Organic shea butter

I ordered some organic shea butter today as I've heard so many great things about it, including its ability to clear redness. I like that this butter is actually an 'unfinished' product, meaning it never had any chemicals or perfumes added to it.

Here's a link it: http://www.amazon.co.uk/250g-Organic-Shea-Butter-Unrefined/dp/B004SMFLAK

I wondered if any of you use/have used this and how you found it? It's apparently absorbed quite deep into the skin, so is there a chance that it could hinder my future treatments?

Oh, I also had to delay my appointment (again). It is now officially on the 27th of Feb which equals 10 weeks since my last session. I'll continue to post photos every few weeks as the redness fades.

Have a great weekend.

3 Comments

Shea butter is great for the skin!! I def don't think it will hinder the laser at all! It should help if anything- it's another great nourishment for skin
  • Reply
That's great to hear, thanks!
Sorry for the delayed reply! I definitely think waiting is a key part of tattoo removal; unfortunately it's taken me a while to realise! Hoping this 10 week wait will be enough to clear the redness. If not, guess I'll have to delay again. :( Happy early birthday too :p

32 days since last session

It's been 32 days (four weeks, four days) since my last treatment. I've been taking a photo every Monday for reassurance that the redness is fading.

I recently bought some shea butter - which comes as what is quite literally - a block of butter. You have to scrape some off and then warm it into your hands. It's yellow and creamy and takes a good while to be absorbed into the skin. I read some great things about it and couldn't resist giving it a try.

I've been applying this once every morning and again at night, along with two layers of bio oil during the day. I feel these have really helped fade the redness so far, particular over the last week when I have been using both products.

Our daughter was born on Wednesday (15th) and she is beautiful. She arrived four days early, and we named her Macey. She has made me even more determined to reach the end of this very difficult path.

I'll update again in two weeks. I'm still following all your stories and they are continuing to give me faith! I'm getting even more excited to see what lies beneath all this redness after 10 weeks.

9 Comments

Congrats Chad with the newborn! Was just wanting to ask you what kind of fading did you experience after 2/3 treatments and how long did it take before you starting noticing a huge change?
  • Reply
Thanks Andrew! Unfortunately I was promised great results after around three treatments (at the rubbish clinic I went to first!) and it wasn't the case. I probably didn't see good results until after about 10, but I had seven poor sessions to begin with. Hard to say really. :(
Congratulations w/ yr new bundle :) The redness looks to be subsiding so keep at it w/ the shea butter, that stuff is great
  • Reply

Will this pinkness/redness/purpleness shift?

Our new bundle of joy has certainly been keeping us occupied these last two weeks. She has done a great job of distracting me from my tattoo, but I still tend to worry and think about the whole process a lot.

It's really frustrating because I know my tattoo looks better than this, but as long as this pink (or whatever colour you think it is) remains, then I can't ever see any progress. I almost feel like I'm not going forward at all.

Has anyone had this after being treated with the 532nm? Is it scarring? How long did it take your skin to return to normal colour? What did you do to speed things up? I am pretty desperate to get rid of the pink.

At my next session I'm going to ask for the 1064nm on full power to really try and pick up any last bits of ink in there. BUT.. I can't do that until the pink is gone. Is it ever going to go? :(

The pink is a lot more obvious when outside, so I took some photos in my back garden this morning. It's been almost six weeks since my last treatment.

5 Comments

hey, I am pretty sure that it is scarring, it will be the same colour as your skin in time soi don't worry, but somehow will be visible, I mean the pattern of these stars... I have the same with my scar under the tattoo ...I was stupid enough to cover such a scar after tattoo removal with another tattoo ;(
  • Reply
Like Wilks said, hang in there man...try and postpone yr treatment for a while longer if you can...judging from yr pics, the redness looks to have subsided from yr previous pics and that is what is most important- slow transition but transition nonetheless. Unfortunately, from my journey, the only thing I have found to aid in the discoloration is time to allow yr body to heal. It sucks but it seems almost necessary- to wait it out and reap the rewards of time. Try and distract yrself w/ work/yr new bundle and just keep in mind that yr doing what you can to heal and get ready for yr next phase..time keeps on going regardless so try and make the most of it by enjoying it and keeping yr recovery on the sidelines (out of mind) for the time being. I find this to have been the hardest thing but it has proven successful to me..
  • Reply
Firstly congratulations on the new born :). Ive had 1 treatment of the 532nm on black but cant see any pinkness as it was done on a part which was a cover up so its just faded the black to show the red ink underneath. Even tho your stars do look pinkish they dont seem to be raised above the skin from what i can see in the photos. Maybe a doctor can shed some light on it or refer you to a dermatologist , you might get some high strength cream on a perscription????
  • Reply

46 days since last treatment

I'm not seeing much progress with the redness/pinkness fading. I'll admit that it's starting to frustrate me a little. Personally I can't see any difference at all, so I suspect I'll need to reschedule my next session for 15 weeks, which will be in April.

I'll update again when I start to see progress. I've stopped using creams and oils; although they are great for healing, my technician has advised that it's also good to let the skin dry out, so I'm going to try that for a while.

8 Comments

hi chad i m french and i have exactly the same problem of you sorry i don t speak nglish very well i start the laser in 2011 8 sessions i thinks and i have a pink skin like you im very disapointed about this young error i have may scars because the technicien dr said me a bas post traitment i think make biafine after session but in few place where are the blister after the skin is white whitout scar i test one session with picosure not difference like other laser i see r20 method i m interested but i don tknow which laser its possible with this method q swicht revlite ...ALL LASER ? can you explain me your post traitemment please exactly when you have blister crust how long time you explose the blister or not i think its vey difficult the big black tattoo at removal erase the first word of the technicien i cant remoove totally a big black tattoo but i hope erase my tattoo like you
  • Reply
Hi frenchguy, I'm really sorry for the delay in getting back to you. It sounds like you've been at this a really long time now. Best thing to do when you blister is let them dry out. Mine only lasted about a week! I've heard that a lot of the ink goes into them and that it is quite normal. I hope this helps.
Have been reading your story I'm living in Ireland and go for my patch test tomorrow on large flower and tribal stomach tatoo Mainly red yellow and black it's a Bad cover up a real mess so nervous the clinic is using the Candela AlexTriVantage Won't post pics hopefully will when it's faded
  • Reply

Session 13

After some thinking I decided to go in for my 13th treatment today. It's been eight weeks since my last treatment.

The original plan was to wait 10-15 weeks and go for a treatment after that. However I've been really keen to use the YAG (1064nm) again.

I stressed that my two main priorities today were, 1) hitting the tattoo as hard as possible to get as deep as possible, and 2) making sure it all reacts perfectly.

We basically used the R20 method; 5mm tip all over and then 3mm tip a short while later. It's quite nice to not be using the KTP (532nm) anymore as it is so brutal to the skin.

I wanted the YAG again as it is supposedly much gentler on the skin and this will hopefully help the dreaded pinkness/redness/purpleness heal.

I never thought I would say this but my next treatment is booked for the 28th May - 15 weeks!! The people on RealSelf who have the most success are the ones who wait, so I'm going to be really patient with this treatment.

I think this could really be a turning point!

3 Comments

Thank you for the update, session 13, wow you have come a long way, look forward to seeing your results!
  • Reply
I hope you see some good results from this one- it is hard to wait it out but judging from yr last pics you barely had any ink left...Btw, did you ever decide to go ahead and get the script on yr forearm treated or are you waiting to laser that after you complete the stars?
  • Reply
Hi onetime. I'm pretty sure that most of the ink is deep down now and that only time will truly get rid of it. Can't wait to see how things look! I haven't started on the forearm tattoo yet as I want to be sure that I can remove my other one first. I'm determined to not let that one ruin my life and I WILL be wearing short sleeves whilst going through removal!

Let's get started on the forearm tattoo!

For the first time in weeks, the sun was shining in Cardiff today. When I was sat near the window and the sun shone through, I was really pleased to see how faint my tattoo looked (and it's still healing from a few days ago). As you can see, it's mostly pink, not ink.

It's clear now that time is needed for this pink to heal and to show just how good things are underneath. Although I've booked an appointment for 15 weeks time, I expect it to take longer.

As it's so difficult waiting long periods - which we all of course already know - I'm going to finally start on my forearm tattoo to keep me busy.

I'd like to stress again that I have a perfect bond with my daughter Lexie. I love her very much but the tattoo is simply too big and I no longer want a tattoo on my forearm (should have thought about it more). I'm going to book an appointment for this week and get started on it. When I had the test patch it completely removed the ink, so it will be interesting to see how things go. I intend to go in at full power with the laser.

I am determined not to stress over this tattoo. It will not ruin my life, and when my stars are gone I will wear short sleeves. After my first treatment I am going to try and wait about 14 weeks, which will take me up to my appointment for the stars. If there's one thing I have learned it's that waiting longer between treatments really pays off.

8 Comments

your post is encouraging.. Hang on... you can do it.
  • Reply
Thank you gele - soldiering on!
Oh, I was wondering if you would do a side by side once you are all healed up - it's very encouraging!!
  • Reply

First treatment on forearm

It feels weird to have finally gone ahead with treatment on my forearm, and there's no going back at this point either.

I had my first session yesterday and had the YAG (1064nm) on the highest setting there is. It hurt a fair bit as there is so much ink, but it was bearable.

24 hours later it's blistered (but NOTHING LIKE BEFORE!) and some parts have already broken up, especially on the 'L'. I am going to wait 14 weeks before my next treatment - May 28th. As I have mentioned before, I am in no rush to remove this one and I will not let it destroy my life. My appointments will be very spaced out.

If there were an award for 'most appointment reschedules so far in 2014' I would probably win with my star tattoo. I've been changing my appointments like mad, but I've decided to leave the stars for a good few months while the infamous pinkness heals. I'm hoping to wait a minimum of six months (part of the reason why I have decided to start on the forearm).

So far I've tried a lot of things to battle the pinkness: bio oil, aloe vera, shea butter, sudocrem, etc. I've heard a lot of people talk about silicone and how it's great at removing redness/pinkness, but it doesn't come cheap. Seeing as I'm leaving the stars for a good while, I decided to finally have a go with something called dermatix. It cost me £25 (is that about $30 - $40?). I did plenty of research and read lots of reviews, many of which praised its ability to remove redness. It's apparently recommended by surgeons for post-surgery scars too.

This is very sticky stuff so a little does go a long way. The instructions say that it should be used for a minimum of two months before you see results, so I'm going to stick at it I guess.

Hope your removals are all going just as well, have a great weekend.

11 Comments

Hi Welsh, i am from Holland. My Englisch is verry verry bad, but i have read your whole storry and its nice to read a story of someone else sow i can compare something. I start this mond whit my first treadment, but in Holland we go back in 8 to 12 weeks never earlyer! This is because the inkt must go out of the body and the body has need time for it. So patience is the key i think. Did you go to the dockter? What did he tell about de redness en pinkness color? And can he do something whit de scars? Maybe you have a new picture? Thanksr for post al fotos, good luck whit the last treatments. I hope nu englisch is read normaly. Lol
  • Reply
Hi Shenk, thanks for taking the time to read my story. I wish you so much luck with your removal. I went to my doctor a few days ago to chat about the pinkness. He advised using pure aloe vera. I have since ordered some which arrived today; it is a clear see-through gel which is supposedly 99.9% pure. It dries very quickly which is great! I think I am also going to let things heal for a good few months until the pink is gone. I have also learnt the importance of leaving several weeks before treatments. I used to leave 4-6 weeks but have started leaving 10-15 weeks recently. It saves a lot of money too. Hope this helps. :)
aloha Chad, I've looked for dermatix online and see it's on Amazon. It is made by Kinerase and costs about the same as you describe. The reviews are wonderful. I use silicone scar sheets and they work wonderfully plus give the added benefit of coverup. Plus they are re-usable. They also come with the note that it takes 6-8 weeks to see any difference, but they are so worth it. Raised areas in the blasted ink are smooth now. Good luck with waiting between sessions, it takes patience. But I keep saying that I'm worth it and so are you. I hope all is well back there in Wales and you and your family are happy. all the best...aloha...k
  • Reply

The anti-pinkness mission continues..

It's been 10 days since I had the 'Lexie' tattoo treated. I won't post any photos yet as it is still completely scabbed. However, some parts are showing through and it's definitely turned that bluey colour. I'll update on this when the scabs are gone.

Meanwhile, I just didn't get along with the dermatix gel. It was so gloopy and took 74733699 hours to absorb. I had to go everywhere with my sleeve up which is obviously not something I want to do at this time.

So.. -sigh- .. I have bought something else which I have promised myself will be the last thing I buy. When I buy a product to try and fade this pinkness, it has to absorb quickly, not make the tattoo look darker and generally not be a nuisance to apply. I visited my doctor this week who suggested PURE aloe vera, so I picked some up online and it's 99.9% pure. I was surprised to find that the gel has no colour. It also absorbs very quickly which tops my list of priorities.

I'm going to use this once daily for the next few months and see how things go. I just want it to heal so badly so that I can finish my treatments. If removing a tattoo was a massive brick wall, I feel like I was almost through but then the pinkness has given that wall more strength. So, so frustrating but I am determined to finish this.

7 Comments

I recently got an aloe plant. So easy to take care of, and does wonders while I'm healing. nothing like aloe straight from the leaf.
  • Reply
I love aloe and everything about it. :)!!
Hi Chad! I'm booked in for my second session with the YAG and i'm just trying to gauge what kind of level I should aim to be treated at while trying to absolutely maximise my fading. Can I ask what level the YAG was set at in your early treatments when you saw a lot of fade? Your review is really inspiring stuff mate, thanks!
  • Reply

Time to end this...

I am hoping that this will be one of my final posts about my stupid star tattoo. I began laser tattoo removal around October 2012. Ever since, my life has been turned upside down and no matter how hard I try, it is absolutely impossible for me to draw my attention away from it. My daughter Lexie turned three years old today, and I cannot believe how quickly she is growing up. As she grows she is becoming so intelligent, and I'm afraid that if I ask her one day, "Do you remember when Daddy had stars on his arm?", she'll say that she did. This is something I really do not want to happen.

It's been such a long journey, and it's certainly not one I ever wanted to venture. Waking up every morning and seeing five huge stars in the bathroom mirror is becoming too much for me.

I had my first ever - what I believe to have been - an anxiety attack recently. It could have been down to a variety of reasons: applying for a job I wanted so badly, money worries, chronic illness (ulcerative colitis) fatigue, or even a relative jumping over 100ft to take his own life. I'm still shocked.

I couldn't see, I couldn't hear, I felt like I was on fire. It was really scary and I never want to go through it again.

It could be down to coincidence, but I clearly remember glancing at my tattoo before it happened. Whether that's what caused it I'll never know, but I'll bet it contributed.

So.. with all the above in mind, I've decided that enough is enough. It's time to end this nightmare. I want to get out of this dark tunnel and move on with my life. I want to wear short sleeves. I want to go swimming. I don't want to feel embarrassed in front of my own family. I want to enjoy Summer!

There's no easy way to say this, and I've been thinking about it for a while now - I have decided to remove my tattoo by excision.

In a nutshell, excision is when the tattoo is physically cut out of the skin and the skin is then stitched back together. It's a serious procedure and it's something that needs a lot of thought beforehand as it will leave a scar.

It's still early days, but I hope to have this done within the next couple of months, ideally before the warm weather comes. I have contacted several surgeons and I am looking at a cost of around £2000. I have also been told that due to the size of the tattoo, I will probably need a skin graft. This is likely to be taken from underneath my arm as there is naturally a lot of excess skin in this area. There will of course be very mixed opinions about excision (just like q-switched vs picosure), but it is something I have really thought hard about.

People will argue that it leaves a scar, but isn't my tattoo a scar already, just in the shape of stars? A scar is something I have come to accept, and I have decided that I would be very happy with a scar rather than five ridiculous stars. As soon as the procedure is over I will be confident enough to wear short sleeves again. And yes, the scar will show, but I'll be so happy with it!

I spent a lot of time telling myself that there isn't much point having it excised as I have already come so far with laser, but truthfully, I have lost all faith that it is going to disappear completely. The pinkness that I constantly rant about is not shifting and the top two or three stars are just not showing any further signs of progress.

There is very little information about excision on the web, so I hope that my future updates will help give an insight into this method.

While I am relieved to know that I will soon replace my tattoo with a scar that I will be happy with (and will fade over time anyway) I'm quite sad at the same time that I ever regretted a tattoo in the first place. I have an enormous amount of respect for anyone in the world having a tattoo removed - or even considering it. It takes courage to admit that you made a mistake and to then deal with it.

So let's wrap this up.. I have a consultation with a surgeon later this month where they will tell me what exactly is going to happen. I'll then need to arrange a date to have it removed. It's possible that I may need to have a couple of stars removed and then go again a few months later to have the others removed. I'll need to check this. Truthfully though, as long as it's gone in the next few months I'll be thrilled.

Have a great weekend.

12 Comments

Hi there your story was so inspiring to me and helped me learn to have a lot of patience with this process and also made me think that I should just fade my tattoo for a cover up. Keep strong, you can ready my story and my regretted tattoo is my profile pic. Keep us updated! :)
  • Reply
Thank you so much :) I'm so glad I helped you in some way. There's a lot of colour in your tattoo but with some patience and determination you'll be rid of it in no time! Let us know how you get on.
Hey Welsh- I still think the pinkness will fade out, but may just take many many months (as I was told about any changes in pigment)...I'm super sorry to hear about the changes/trauma you have been under and hope yr consults go well. Also, would you ever consider a cover up tatt instead of excision?
  • Reply

Consultation on March 28th

My consultation with a surgeon is booked for next Friday (28th March). I'm really excited and it couldn't come sooner. It's going to cost a hefty £150 though.

I've already been preparing a few questions which I've written below. If you have anything that you'd like me to ask on your behalf then just give me a shout!

Can a skin graft be avoided - They've only seen photos of my arm so far, but they seem to think I will need a skin graft. I will admit that this frightens me a bit, but I will do whatever is necessary. I'm just wondering if there's any alternatives.

Where will the graft be taken from - if I do need a graft then I will hope it is taken from inside my arm. I would be quite comfortable with this so hope that's what they'll do.

How many sessions - due to the size of the tattoo, I suspect they may need to operate two or three times. If so, I will want the bottom two or three stars gone first as they are the ones stopping me from wearing short sleeves. If they can be removed in one go - bring it on!

Can I have two or three smaller scars - I would rather have a few smaller scars (that look like cat scratches) than one giant one which will probably look more nasty. I think several smaller scars will look a lot better.

Healing time - I appreciate this could be well up to two years of constant cream rubbing, but I obviously want to fade the scars as much as I possibly can.

I have some other questions like price, aftercare, soreness etc as well. The main question is can they actually do it, and i'm praying that they can.

I will update after my consultation next Friday. Have a great weekend!

11 Comments

Hey Chad. I've actually been following your review ever since I discovered this site. I think your review was the only one that sort of made sense but at the same time was thorough enough to provide a lot of good information on the procedure. A confession: I have secretly been looking forward to updates of your review ever since I started my own, although this is the first time I've commented. I'm very sorry to read about your struggle with the stars on your arm, and your ultimate decision to go for excision. The mental struggle in tattoo removal is really huge compared to the (often impulsive) decisions of some to get them, such as myself. Truth be told, the moment I saw that particular post you made about the pinkness and I saw the photo, I knew they were scars. I have an enormous amount of admiration for your courage in this struggle, however. Your dedication has shown me that when I start my tattoo removal process (tomorrow), I too must learn to be as patient as you have been. I hope all goes well with your consultation this Friday, and may it bring you some welcome good news. Stay strong!
  • Reply
Oh and a correction to the above: Chad's review was the FIRST one that I thought made sense and provided good information. I have since stumbled upon many others that are equally good on this site, so no disrespect to anyone else here :)
Wow, thanks. I was so happy to read this comment, it really brightened my day. I'm glad you take an interest in my review. I try to make my updates as detailed as I possibly can! I agree with you that the pinkness is probably scarring; I think it happened after the severe blistering and it has been that way ever since. I can't see that laser is going to do any more for me, which is why I am opting for excision. The thought of having a few scars on my arm makes me really happy, as opposed to having a ridiculous tattoo that will knock my confidence forever. I really hope my consultation goes well on Friday and that it is something they can do. Sadly there is little info on the web about excision, so I hope my updates educate the users of realself in some way. I've just had a glance at your review, it's SO detailed and thorough. I have two young daughters so I don't have a lot of time to read reviews, but I plan to read yours sometime this week. I seriously wish you the best of luck with your removal, I'll be here to support you all the way. I too have a huge amount of admiration for anyone going through removal. There isn't really anyone you can talk to (except on realself) so you feel very alone. Each day is a constant struggle to stay positive and the constant 'what ifs..' sometimes become overwhelming. You have good days and bad days. I'm sure you'll do great though. :)

Six weeks post forearm treatment #1

Just a quick update on the forearm tattoo. It's been almost six weeks since my first treatment. I'm not due back for another nine weeks. Some parts are breaking up nicely.

There are little 'craters' which were left behind after the scabs fell off. I wondered if anyone has experienced this and if they 'filled in' with normal skin again?

1 Comments

Be careful Welsh- that looks like scarring to me...I would def use that silicone/bio/aloe from here for the next few weeks and keep it out of the sun as much as possible.
  • Reply

Excision seems to be the option

Today was one big day. I left my old job, and I had a fairly long and tiring journey to Swansea where I had to use a map to find the hospital - in the rain.

My surgeon was a great guy, he instantly made me feel comfortable. We spoke for quite some time so I'll briefly list the most important points.

Firstly, we decided that I do NOT want a skin graft. He said a skin graft will never blend with your skin and will always be noticable. They are very unsightly and I would probably prefer the tattoo (and that's saying something).

We then went on to discuss what the scars would look like. He said the bottom three stars would form an 'L' shape, just how they are positioned at the moment. With the top two, he said that he may not be able to remove them completely without a graft, but there may just be a couple of pointy bits left. If this is the case, at least they would be covered by t-shirts and I could gradually remove them with laser.

He said that the scars will be quite noticable, but that they do of course fade over time. I'm expecting them to be horrific for a few months but I plan to be quite patient with it.

I could lose a man card here, but I thought I was going to cry when I walked out. I felt really overwhelmed that I even travelled so far to speak to someone about surgery, all because I made a stupid mistake a few years back.

On my way back to the train station I was thinking "I can't do this, I can't do this. I'll just get a coverup". I even walked past a tattoo parlour and stood there for a while, deciding whether or not to go in. Then I remembered all the realself members who regretted their coverups. You have possibly saved me making a huge mistake, again.

On the train home, I thought hard and realised that I do want this. I keep picturing myself wearing short sleeves again, with just a small 'line' (scar) showing past the sleeve. Being topless on the beach and not being conscious, and just generally feeling like I have overcome the biggest obstacle I have ever faced. I do want this, I really do.

I suffer with a chronic bowel condition called ulcerative colitis. It's similar to Crohn's disease and can take over my life if it isn't under control. It's a rare disease and many sufferers have their whole colons removed because they don't react to the medication. On Twitter recently, these people have been using #GetYourBellyOut, with a photo of their scars. Some of them are huge, but they seem to be really proud of them. These people are quite inspirational when it comes to scars.

I haven't been feeling too good lately so I found it difficult to take in everything the surgeon was saying. So, I'm going to give him a quick call on Monday to just clarify what his plan with the top two stars were. If we're both happy that they can be fully/mostly removed without a graft, I'll make a booking.

The price was surprisingly better than I had expected - £1105, as opposed to the £2000 I was quoted. He did say however, the price bumps up when anaesthetists get involved. This means that if I can undergo the whole thing under local anaesthetic, I'll pay £1105. General anaesthetic will be higher.

I could really feel sympathy from my surgeon and he did make me laugh too. I actually had a free consultation at a different hospital next week, but the surgeon there has totally ignored my emails. Although the appointment is free, I won't be seeing him! It pays to show courtesy, which he hasn't.

Peace and love.

5 Comments

Thank you so much for your updates, I look forward to seeing how your excision turns out and wish you best of luck with your procedure. I know this whole tattoo regret has really been a huge pebble in your shoe, it is important to accept your situation/mistake and not let it get the best of you and feel overwhelmed, your health is more important. Just sum it up to you tried something and it didn't turn out...so what...the good news is you have found a way to resolve your problem and move forward. What I strongly believe is that it is not the mistake that is the big deal it is what we make of our mistakes that matters, what we learn. Everyone experiences troubles, or dark times in their life whether by a decision they made or something out of their control, but not giving up is what makes people grow and become stronger- it's really all about how we respond to our mistake. I wouldn't be so afraid of your daughter finding out about your tattoos, in fact I think it would make for a very valuable conversation. The way I see it now is that you are heading in the right direction and you just need to keep walking forward and let go of the past, it's done. Whenever you start to feel the anxiety kick in just close your eyes and take deep breaths and reassure yourself that you will be ok because you will. 
  • Reply
This is a fantastic comment Eva, thank you so much. I have actually saved this on my phone to read whenever I feel down. I totally agree that we all make mistakes, and my scar will be a reminder and a serious lesson to my children before they consider a tattoo. I can't wait to be rid of it, I'm so excited. :)
You are most welcome, I am glad you are feeling more optimistic ;)

The end is near

There was a lot to take in at my consultation last Friday, so I had no choice but to call my surgeon again today to clarify a few things.

I had some great news - the tattoo can be FULLY removed, but with a little more time. I am absolutely thrilled though.

Due to the size of the top star, the surgeon won't be able to remove it in one go. However, once the skin has regained its elasticity in only 6-12 months, I can go back and have the rest removed! Huge, huge relief and it will be great to have the 'what ifs' and 'whens' out of the equation. It'll be a little frustrating to have some left at first, but I can finally wear short sleeves comfortably again in the meantime!

In terms of scarring, my arm will be covered with silicone sheets for a while. After three months the redness of the scars will clear and things will soften and look better.

I haven't told my parents about this yet, so I hope they will be supportive of my decision. They've also never seen my review so I will show them in the hope that they get an insight into how tough and upsetting this whole thing is. My mum is a natural worrier and I appreciate she may not know much about how horrible it is, but I hope it helps her understand why I'm doing this.

So this is it.. I've been told to expect an appointment letter in the post soon. I will of course let you know the date when I have one.

Please join RealSelf or sign in.

0 Comments

The final stretch!

I have a surgery date! My tattoo will be GONE on the 16th of April.

Isn't that a weird sentence? If only we could all have a date. Life would be so much easier.

There will of course, be a small amount of the top star left (unless it turns out there is enough skin to remove it completely, but I doubt it).

It seems a bit surreal that in less than two weeks my arm will look completely different. I'm a little worried about seeing the result at first, but I'm excited to have a normal looking scar a few months after.

16 Comments

Hey Welsh- best of luck on April 16th, that must be a relief!! Do you know if they are going to remove them all in one excision line or are they going to do a series of excisions on each star? Either way it must be exciting to see the end- you've been a real trooper and deserve to see an end to this madness!!
  • Reply
Hi onetime. I believe there will be two scars; the bottom three stars will form one 'L' shaped scar due to their position and the top two should form a straight line. The remaining bit of the top one will be a little frustrating but I can't wait to wear short sleeves again! Hope you're doing well.
I can totally see the layout of that now...sounds good :) I'm really happy for you, and although it takes major courage to undergo this route, you have exhausted all the other options it seems. This journey is really long and exhausting and it's not even guaranteed- but I agree I'd rather have a clean line scar (or coverup) than a ghost. I'm well, still hanging in there- been just about 3mo since my last laser and parts are still apparent and reddish. Oh well, I could live w/ it b/c of its size but I may get 1 more blast in a few months, and if so, that's it I'm done w/ laser!!! I really hope you fare well in this direction...you really deserve a bit of peace of mind. Take care my friend and keep us posted :)

7 days to go

This time next week my tattoo will be gone, and my arm will most likely be sore.

I received my appointment letter and an inpatient booklet. Getting nervous now!

7 Comments

have you got the mail of dr and or hopital i give you my mail its very important i m very nervous like you about my bad tattoo my mail is ****removed personal email address as not permitted in comments****
  • Reply
can you say me by message or by mail the name of dr and the hospital and have you giot a picture of this result for tattoo removal
  • Reply
hi i have the same problem of you big black tattoo no gone with laser i want see and maybe test your clinic for plastic surgery what is the dr what it is the clinic where is it by
  • Reply

Other options

Hi everyone.

Apologies for not updating my review yesterday. I know a handful of you were keen to find out how my excision went. My head was all over the place.

Unfortunately I didn't go ahead with the surgery. I backed out at the very last minute, or second.

I woke up at 5.30am with every intention of having the excision done. I was ready to see my tattoo gone! My mum arrived at my house and drove me to the hospital in Swansea where I'd be having the excision done.

I checked in and was shown to my room where a nurse double checked my details and put a hospital band around my wrist. I was still fine at this point!

Eventually the surgeon who I had spoken to before walked in and wanted to check that I was happy with everything. Suddenly, he began saying things that really frightened me.

He said that he can GUARANTEE the scar will stretch, up to 1cm wide and possibly bigger on the shoulder where there is a lot of movement. He then also said that the scar could be raised, and there is no guarantee that it will ever flatten completely.

A lot of other things were said but it was these two points that worried me most. I was hesitant but said I would go ahead, and signed the declaration, even though it read 'incomplete removal'. The surgeon left the room and my mum said that I looked like I was panicking. After a quick chat with her (and not knowing when the surgeon would come back), we instantly decided this was a bad idea and that if I ever did want to go ahead, I could always come back. The surgeon was very understanding and agreed that I should not have it done if I am unsure.

I still think excision is a very good option for tattoo removal, and sometimes works out cheaper than laser. However it is much better for smaller tattoos and not those that are similar to the size of mine. Even if you have a small tattoo, you need to be 100% sure you want it and it's critical that you know what to expect with your scar and aftercare.

I was very relieved to get back in the car with my arm intact. If the surgeon hadn't left me alone after signing the declaration and took me straight into surgery then I could have made a terrible mistake.

I am now running out of options, but I can safely say excision was not a good option for me.

My stars are more scar than ink now, so I'm going to look into scar laser removal. If I could fade the purpleness of the scars then the tattoo could become almost invisible.

I have heard though, that this type of laser is expensive. So I have also thought about removing the bottom two stars and having a coverup tattoo over the top three stars (which are under my sleeves).

There is also the option of a chemical peel which is apparently good for discoloured skin.

Clearly I have some more thinking to do.

Have a great Easter!

14 Comments

aloha welshchad, congratulations! You did what many of here wished we had done, and that is listen to our gut. You are amazing! When I read your latest post I wished I had listened to myself way back..."so good one on ya, mate" do I have that right? You are a very resourceful guy, and I'm sure you will be searching for answers to deal with your pink/scar stars. Have you tried the silicone sheets for scarring? I have used them, as I have a few scars and they are really good. Plus you've seen that there are lasers out there for all kinds of treatments. You're are thorough with your research. Good luck and again, congratulations on listening to yourself. I admire that. aloha...k
  • Reply
I respect you following your gut instinct on this Welsh...it's a major decision to undergo and taking time to weigh ALL of your options is a smart move. I support your choice and hope you get some good news for the alternate methods...I hope you are doing well, there is nothing wrong with taking some time :)
  • Reply
Thank you onetime. I'm really glad I backed out now. I know I would have been much worse off! What was I thinking? Hope you're doing well.

Scar removal consultation

It's only been two days since that almost fateful day but I've already been searching around for what to do next (especially as I have no work for a few days)!

It's clear that what I need to do now is somehow blend this scarring with my skin tone. There is little to no ink left, so any fading would make a big difference.

I've started using the Dermatix silicone gel that I bought a while back. I'm trying to use this twice a day. Every little helps.

I've been scouring the internet for anything to do with scar removal, and the options I've come across most is laser, hydroquinone (a bleaching cream), steroid injections and more. It seems there are a good number of ways to fade scarring. However the prices are quite high from what I've seen.

I've already got the ball rolling again and have booked a consultation at a clinic for next week. I'll be speaking to a nurse as we will need to establish which treatment is best for me, and if I were to use hydroquinone, it can only be prescribed by a doctor or nurse.

I'm very hopeful that I can fade this purple colour and blend it with my skin tone. If the stars lost their shape I'd be absolutely thrilled! Just the thought of it makes me so happy.

I'm super glad I didn't go through with the excision, and your comments have made me realise that leaving the hospital was the best thing to do. Thanks everyone.

22 Comments

result in picture just apointment 150 pound and travel since paris its expensive for see result if they are not good have you see good or bad result in picture in this hospital after its natural skin effect color ? can you make a resukt of this dr or link
  • Reply
i want to say the consultant sont show me result of this dr its impossible by mail picture i have to make an apointment 150 pound and travel since paris its expensive just for see if the result is good so my question have you see a good result post op for our case tattoo remooval or scar remoov with excision or skin graft its naturel effect after natural skin or not good result for you have you got picture or link because i cant see the result of this hospital
Hi French are you visiting the same hospital I did? You can call the number on their website and make an appointment.

Sk:n

I had my consultation for scar removal yesterday. I expected to see a nurse who knew very little about tattoo removal, but was amazed to speak to a nurse who was an expert in tattoo removal and worked for a Sk:n clinic in Bristol (in England, about an hour from here).

Sk:n are supposedly one of the UK's best for tattoo removal. They have 34 clinics across the country and I know that a few people on realself visit them.

The nurse told me straight away that there is still quite a bit of ink in the tattoo, which didn't really surprise me. I was also impressed that she mentioned things like spot size and energy etc. This is always a good sign in my opinion.

She asked which laser I use and she had never heard of the Harmony XL. Truthfully, I don't know of any places other than my current clinic that use the Harmony XL, so I think it's time I tried a different laser.

The nurse told me that the laser at Sk:n is very powerful and that it also has a 2mm spot size. I've always been treated with 3mm. The smaller the spot size, the more concentrated the energy and the further down it can penetrate.

She predicted (did not guarantee like many places), that my tattoo would be completely or nearly gone after four sessions spaced 12 weeks apart. It was great that she recommended such long periods in between.

I'll be speaking to a lady called Lynne who has worked there for 13 years and has seen all kinds of tattoos.

With the above in mind I am really hoping that this is a turning point. I say this a lot but if the stars lost their shape I'd be much happier and may even be comfortable enough to wear short sleeves.

My consultation is Friday 2nd May. I suspect they will only do a test patch this time but I'm seriously looking forward to the full treatment and hope that Sk:n are as good as they say!

10 Comments

Hey Welsh- do you know what laser Sk:n will be using on you and did they say anything in regards to scar treatments (as in, can they treat the scarring during removal)?
  • Reply
Hey dude! How are you? I emailed them yesterday asking about the laser but haven't heard back yet. I'll let you know as soon as I do, otherwise I'll be finding out Friday. I'll need to ask about the scarring too. Hopefully the pinkness won't hinder anything too much. The person I spoke to last week said I need to get the remaining ink out before I deal with the scarring, so I guess it's possible. Will keep you updated.
Hey buddy. Just found out that Sk:n use the MedLite C6. Isn't that the same laser you use? I'm getting really excited to try it out. Hope to God that this is a turning point. Roll on Friday!

Forearm update

It's been just over two months since I had the first treatment on my forearm. Quite obviously, we went in too hard and I've scarred pretty bad, particularly on the 'E', where the scar feels lower than the skin. The only letter which doesn't seem to have scarred is the 'L'.

Truthfully I'm not all that bothered about the scarring. Considering I almost had full surgery on my arm, a little scar or two isn't going to upset me much. I've been at this for so long now that I'm not expecting to come out looking perfect. I'm applying silicone several times a day to heal the scarring as much as I can.

As mentioned in my last update, I have a consultation at Sk:n this Friday. They use the MedLite C6 laser by Cynosure, supposedly one of the top lasers out there. Needless to say I am very (very!) excited to see the results, especially as the laser I'm using now isn't that well known.

Due to the long distance I have to travel, I'm going to have both tattoos treated at each visit. These sessions will be 12 weeks apart (minimum).

4 Comments

Thanks for the update, it's great that you keep your review current, so helpful for others!!  Sure do see some great fading, I think the silicon sheets will help with the scarring. I wonder if this stuff I use would help - it's called Tepezcohuite  I use it for almost everything - acne breakouts, scars, anti aging, dry skin, sun burn (it worked amazing on a severe sun burn by the way). There is some information here on the site as well, but I encourage you to further your research on it and see if it may be a fit for you. I am not an expert, but it is a very natural product form a shrub/tree native to Mexico and Brazil.
  • Reply
Thanks Eva. I'll have a look into that as I'm sure there is always going to be a better product out there!
Hey man :) that makes sense- to try and rid the ink b/f heading into the route of scar removal- I just wasn't sure if both treatments could be done concurrently...but then again I have no idea what laser scar removal entails. I'm glad you found a reputable place! The Medlite is top notch, and yeah it's what I am getting treated with. They just have to be aware of your situation as not to overly treat and create any more damage, which I'm sure they are aware of. Sounds like you have a game plan now :) that's great news!! I do hope things go great Friday and you see some great results...but like most times w/ this process, we usually see the bad and the ugly b/f we see the good...happy for you though! You are being cautious and that is good- no need to rush anything, just gauge the results and go from there. Good luck :)

Back from Bristol

I had my consultation at Sk:n in Bristol today. The whole journey there and back took about five hours.

When I arrived I had to fill in the oh so familiar forms and declarations, and I was taken into a treatment room by a nurse. As soon as I walked in I spotted the MedLite and prayed that I would be able to use it. In the end I didn't, not even for a test patch.

The nurse basically said that my stars are still healing and she won't touch them without first contacting a consultant. The same also went for my forearm tattoo due to the scarring. The nurse seemed very knowledgeable and the clinic looked very professional, but I could soon tell that I was not going to be treated today.

If I continued treatment at this clinic, I would have to go back in a few weeks for a test patch and then go again for the actual treatment. The train tickets aren't cheap and this is obviously a lot of time spent off work.

I didn't go away empty handed; I was offered a cream which is apparently a 'miracle worker' on damaged skin. I had to pay £35 for this which is pricey. To be fair, the tube and box look a lot different to any other product packaging I have seen before. You get a real 'clinical' feel from it. I have already applied it to both tattoos. It's extremely thick and you really have to squeeze the stuff out.

It's likely that I won't be returning to Sk:n, but I will use this cream several times a day.

Some months ago I came across a clinic in Cardiff which uses the RevLite laser. I think this is the newer model of the MedLite? I'm going to book a consultation at this place to see what they can do. This is only 10 minutes from my home.

2 Comments

I'm so sorry you were unable to be treated. It sounds like they were doing what is best for you though. Those long trips are horrible enough, but its got to be words knowing you didn't even get treated. At least you gave it a go! I hope the cream works well for you. Don't give up hope! This will all be over one day! I'm glad you found a place close to your home....that's what I ended up doing and paid a lot less for my treatment. You are in my thoughts. :)
  • Reply
Thanks so much. I'm just going to try and forget about it tonight and maybe contact the nearer clinic tomorrow. Hope you have a great weekend. :-)

Have you thought about makeup?

This could be a really interesting update for those over-obsessive worriers like me, especially if you have some cash to spare.

I've been giving makeup a go recently, and it's a lot more difficult to apply than I had expected. It's a little disheartening when you can't cover everything completely, especially as tattoo makeup does not come cheap. If you can master it though, this can be a great mood booster and give you that bit of confidence back.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to cover my tattoo completely as it is slightly raised. I did however nearly make it invisible!

If the skin is uneven, Dermacolor sell a product called 'skin plastic'. I ordered this and tried again, and the result didn't turn out so well. The skin plastic is extremely hard and you have to use a spoon to scoop it out the tub - imagine scooping ice cream fresh out the freezer without letting it melt a little!

While makeup is a fantastic way to cover your tattoo during removal, I'm not sure it's something I'm comfortable using. When you apply the 'fixing powder' you also have to wait 10-15 minutes for it to set. I live quite a fast paced life so this isn't great for me.

I have - yet another - consultation booked. It's a clinic near me who use the RevLite laser and the owner of the clinic has 20+ years experience, and trained in the University Hospital of Wales where my children were born.

The nurse at Sk:n yesterday refused to do anything to the tattoo as she didn't think it had healed completely. While she was very informative, she wasn't too sympathetic and half the conversation was based on a script, I could tell.

I personally feel like I am ready for another treatment, but if this doctor also thinks I should wait then I reluctantly will.

10 Comments

Glad to see you found something that can help cover your tattoo temporarily! The makeup you chose looks like it did a pretty good job! I tried my dermablend and it worked pretty good but like with your my tattoo was raised some I'm guessing from my treatments being so recent. Thanks for the update it really helped!
  • Reply
Hey! :) wow! I am also thinking about buying some make-up and that's really useful to read about it! I was thinking that applying it might be a bit difficult, but it might be cool to use it from time to time for special occasions. I really hope that you will have an encouraging consultation at new place and don't be sad that they didn't treat you at other clinic. Everything is happening for a reason. Maybe you just have to wait for a while more and not to get into something right now. Hope everything will work out this time! Take care :)
  • Reply
Hi Anna. How has your weekend been? The makeup is a great solution if you have the patience and skill. With your tattoo being so small I think you'd do great with it. Despite what the nurse said on Friday I still think I am ready for treatment, but I guess I'll wait and see what the other clinic say on Saturday. Thanks for taking the time to send your support. :-)

Finally some good news!

I was absolutely blown away at my consultation today and it couldn't have possibly gone better.

Of all the tattoo removal 'experts' I have met on my journey, Dr Maria Gonzalez is the most amazing person and definitely IS an expert.

It was really strange going to the clinic. It's in the same building where we went for a private scan with Lexie over three years ago. The nostalgia was crazy.

Anyway, I was so pleased to meet Dr Gonzalez face to face. She is the first person who has so far given me a handshake.

There is no way I can describe her expertise in words. She knew about all kinds of lasers, she OWNED several kinds of lasers, works for the NHS (national health service here in the UK) knew lots about picosure, knew about the R20 method, and so much more. The last person I met who was this experienced was the surgeon back in Swansea.

She was appalled at the state of my tattoos and what procedures had been done on them before; using the 532nm on black ink, and using the highest settings on a fresh tattoo.

The one thing that really surprised me - and I found it difficult to believe at first - was that you shouldn't ever use the 2mm spot size on tattoos. In fact, she apparently never uses the 3mm either.

She said that she will always use a 6mm spot size, and that the 2mm tip has a high chance of causing scarring. She seemed confident that the bigger the spot size, the further down it penetrates as well.

I imagine that some of you guys will be unsure about this, as was I. However I've looked around on the net and actually it does seem that this is the way to go. I didn't even know a 6mm spot size existed! I guess there will be mixed views among you guys on this, but only time will tell.

She agreed that there was no need for a test patch as I'd already had two before. She was happy to start treatment on both tattoos.

So.. I have an appointment on Thursday where both tattoos will be blasted. She refuses to treat tattoos on the day of consultation as she insists that people have time to think. She will leave no less than 10 weeks between treatments.

She was disappointed to hear that I had been told to keep a tattoo dry after treatment. She said that you must religiously apply aloe vera, Vaseline, e45 or diprobase afterwards. Moist skin heals better.

She also said that on the second treatment she would be keen to use the r20 method. However numbing cream/anaesthetic will be used. During the whole consultation I could feel that she was so concerned for my safety, and she definitely was not interested in my money.

I left the clinic in a great state of mind. Could this actually be a huge turning point for me now? A Dr with 20 years plus experience in the NHS, the Revlite laser, and a spot size twice as big? I am very very excited!

I kind of wish that we were able to amend our realself posts. It's a little embarrassing reading my older posts where I'm shouting "this is great!" when actually my arms are now pretty messed up.

I guess I'll get back to you all on Thursday! Bring on the RevLite!

P.S. I had a letter from Sk:n this week inviting me to go back to see their medical director at an appointment almost two months away. I had a really poor experience with these guys and won't be going back, although the cream I bought has really helped fill in the scars.

Please join RealSelf or sign in.

0 Comments

Just to say...

I've just re-read my update and it kind of sounds like I'm saying "don't ever use the 3mm and 2mm spot sizes".

Sorry if I came across like this. What I meant to say was that the 2mm poses a higher chance of scarring and Dr Maria personally chooses not to use the 3mm. It's down to their preference I guess. There's nothing wrong with either.

18 Comments

Awesome news, your doctor sounds incredible and I am actually really glad you spoke about the spot size as one of our newest members ( SASKAMIRI ) to the community had some questions about it, I will link her to your review so she can have a read. 

I really am so happy for you, it's so wonderful that you always take time to document your 'real' experience, and it shows that things and information change throughout the journey, so don't worry about wishing you could edit, it's actually a good thing to watch the progress unfold and how situations and feelings can change -this will help so many people! You're a very generous person to offer such a detailed review and to be so dedicated to sharing your experience with us, so thank you again!!
  • Reply
thanks for linking me to this Eva, and Chad for your update (: i'd read some articles that said larger spot sizes were better as it mean that most of the laser will hit the ink at full power (since the laser diffuses towards the outside of the spot), but i never knew what a size was a small/large spot size. my doctor used a 4mm spot size for most of my tattoo but a 3mm spot size on some areas. she said she'd used a low power because my skin blistered easily where the ink was very dense but i'm still pretty blistery! will ask next time i go about why she chose those spot sizes and if a larger spot size will be better..
You're welcome Eva, it's my pleasure to help as many people get through this as best as possible! It's the most distressing thing I've ever had to live through, so it's good to know what works and what doesn't. :-)

Treatment 14 & 2

Well Dr Gonzalez once again amazed me. She is so knowledgable and lovely.

The RevLite is definitely different to the other lasers I have tried. I couldn't see anything though as Dr Gonzalez completely covered my eyes with those little goggles you use on a sunbed.

With the Harmony laser, I couldn't really feel any kind of pain on the stars. Today though, that snapping sensation came back and it reacted well - good news.

As for the forearm tattoo, this was officially my most painful treatment ever. It was on a fairly low setting compared to the highest Harmony setting that made me scar, but it hurt so much more. My palms were sweating the whole time.

Dr Gonzalez was kind enough to also go over my scars as it is the 1064nm that is used for scar removal.

I just can't believe how different everything is done here in comparison to the last clinic. So far I feel that I am in much safer hands.

My next session is scheduled for 10 weeks away, 25th July. I'm so excited to see what happens.

It was also a month ago today that I woke up ready to have surgery. Well am I glad I didn't?! I don't know what I was thinking. The thought of that place makes me feel sick. I can't believe I was less than ten or even five minutes away from having such a huge procedure done. I signed the declaration and everything.

Please, please think carefully about excision. I think my mistake was that I expected two nice tidy scars, when actually they would have been stretched, raised, unsightly and would have required at least six months of constant maintenance. That place will haunt me forever!

.. but I am grateful that I didn't go ahead and that I am currently in the hands of a fantastic lady. No stopping now!

11 Comments

Thanks for taking the time to write all this, it helps a lot :-)
  • Reply
You're welcome PEMAN. Hope it's useful in some way!
Good to hear you are doing good, looking forward to see the pics!
  • Reply

Picosure

Yesterday (Saturday) was really nice. The weather has been a total scorcher here recently so we took the kids to a farm with my parents. It was really busy and looking round I noticed there were only a small minority of people in long sleeves. As soon as I stepped out the car I was so hot. It was a great day but also very frustrating at the same time.

I'm pleased to say that I can already see a small difference in my tattoo since being treated on Thursday. It isn't much different, but I appreciate all the magic happens over the weeks after.

One thing that I've learned is important through all this is that it's good to plan ahead. If a year down the line you're not where you expect to be, what would you do next?

I'm obviously going to give the RevLite time to work (somewhere between 6-10 weeks), and if it hasn't changed as much as I'd hoped, I think I may give Picosure a try.

Picosure is that laser that everyone seems to debate about. Personally I've always just thought "No way, too expensive" and stopped thinking about it straight away. However lastnight I decided to have a trawl through the Picosure section of realself and some of the results on there were just incredible. One thing I did notice though is that Picosure is very good for removing colours and shading but dense black lines can be tricky. I've noticed this with Jake's tattoo as well (the awesome guy having the angel sleeve removed). My stars have been zapped 14 times now, so I would hope that they aren't as 'resistant' to the laser as a fresh black tattoo, if that makes sense? Many photos show the tattoos completely losing their shape after one treatment, and for me, that would make a world of difference.

I've come to the point now where money is no longer important and I am willing to try anything to remove these tattoos.

My nearest Picosure laser is in London which will take me a whole day to get there and back from. It's at the trueskin clinic on Harley Street.

I've already emailed them with my story and I've asked if we could begin treatment without a test patch - that is a seriously long way to go just for a test patch. Not willing to do that.

It's the stars that really bother me so I'm not sure whether I would just have those treated or both tattoos.

If Picosure doesn't live up to its name and I don't see the fantastic fading and breaking up that they claim, then I would very happily go back to Dr Gonzalez and her RevLite.

Just to be clear - I'm waiting a good few weeks before deciding whether or not to try Picosure. I'm giving the RevLite time to work first. Again, it's good to plan ahead.

I'd like to try Picosure once to see how big a difference it really makes.

Do you guys think I should try it? Would it be effective at this point?

26 Comments

I think Chad and I have gotten each other needing to seek out the Picosure.
  • Reply
We have indeed! :D
So you and JLN319 has got a fire under my bottom to look, research, and find a Picosure...LOL
  • Reply

Picosure booked

Probably way too early to be posting this update, but you know me - keen to keep everyone up to speed!

I've booked a Picosure treatment for the 5th July, but only provisionally. By this I mean that if I'm really pleased with what the RevLite has done then I may change my mind.

I decided not to go with trueskin; their reply to my email seemed very cut-and-paste and they weren't willing to treat me without first doing a test patch. It'll take me a whole day to get to and from London so I'm not really willing to do that. Oh, and their prices are higher.

Instead I'm going somewhere nearby to see a guy called Wayne. His place is called the ResetRoom. He has been fantastic when answering my emails and you can tell he has great sympathy for all his clients. There's a video of him on his website and you get a good feeling about him even just from that.

The treatment won't be cheap. It's costing five times what I can get with a q-switched laser, but if it makes a big difference and clears some areas then it's worth every penny. Money is of no concern to me anymore, my happiness is more important and I am just desperate to go back to how I was before. I will focus hard on paying the money back when I'm done with this!

I'm going to email Dr Gonzalez to basically say that I want to give Picosure a go. If it doesn't meet my expectations then I'll go straight back to her clinic. She was 'bigging up' Picosure a lot during my treatment so I'm sure she'll be pleased for me and keen to see how it goes.

I hope Picosure is worth the time and money. The results are going to have to be excellent to make me go there a second time.

20 Comments

Mate, you are the wisest of the two of us on this topic, but if you want my two cents, i would say wait with the picosure till you have waited a little more time to see the revlite effects :-) Your very far in your process and still young! Then if you haven't experienced enough fading after a months time or two, def. give the pico a try. Whatever you decide to do, i wish you the best of luck!
  • Reply
Thanks for the support. :-) My appointment will be about 7 weeks after my treatment with the RevLite. If by then I've seen a lot of fading I'll cancel Picosure. Will keep you updated!
See healed right now from my May 7 treatment and I don't think that's right. But today i notice a scab that had fallen off and looks like it may scar. So I'm off the Qswitch that was just the nail in the coffin. It looks like it may scar down. I will post some pics later on tonight. Im more the anxious to have the Pico done. But I will not be able to do that until mid June

Soldiering on

It's been 12 days since my RevLite session. I can't say I've seen much difference but I'm obviously not expecting anything for a few weeks yet.

This has already officially been my toughest 'in between' stage as I am super eager to see what Picosure can do for me.

The reason why I'm actually using Picosure now is because even after 14 treatments, the stars are still solid stars. There is no sign of them breaking up so I'm willing to pay the price to do this.

I've been trawling through the Picosure section of realself and the difference is often very clear.

I've also been questioning some members about the spot sizes they've been using, and the answer is usually a very small/smallest spot size. My soon-to-be technician Wayne also thinks a small spot size is the way to go. Let's hope that targets the deep ink.

Some great news - the purpleness that I've been stuck with for so long is finally subsiding. Having looked at some older photos on my review I'm quite shocked just how purple things were. Lesson learned: don't use the 532nm on black ink (and that was the technician's idea would you believe?). Sometimes when I look at the tattoo it is black/grey which is great, but there is occasionally still some purpleness lingering, depending on the temperature/what I'm doing/ how hydrated I am, etc. What's reassuring though is that where there is little ink left, there isn't really any purple. Basically - there's a good chance that the purpleness will disappear as the ink does. It's more apparent where there is more ink.

With the above in mind, I'm hoping (and praying) that a good amount of ink disappears after my first session. GO AWAY STARS.

As I become more excited about trying the Picosure, each day becomes more difficult. As you can see from the photo attached, I am definitely NOT keeping track of how many days are left or anything. ;-)

I'm trying to think of the long journey to London as a day out and not just a trip to use the Picosure laser. I guess that's another reason why I'm so excited.

9 Comments

Thank you for sharing, looking at your pics I'm gaining hope. Maybe one day my tattoo will fade as much as yours. Lol I'm so happy for you, keep up your good work and please keep sharing!
  • Reply
I'm excited for you, looking forward to see what the pico can do. Do you mind me asking you a question since you seem to know a lot about setting on the laser? Is it the same setting for black/outline as it is for shadow grey/black?
  • Reply
Hey buddy. I will definitely keep you updated. The only wavelength you should really use on black and grey is the 1064nm (although Picosure uses 755nm)? This will be used from start to finish and is still effective when the tattoo fades and becomes a greyish colour. Any other wavelengths will probably have very little effect, or worse cause your skin serious damage which happened to me (with the 532nm). Your technician should always know what is best for you though. Hope this helps!

Picosure - speed of clearance?

This will be my last my update before my Picosure treatment in July.

Since my RevLite session I have definitely seen fading, but I really want to speed things up as much as possible now as I have noticed that I am 'arm obsessing' again. The more I do this the more it brings me down. I am so excited for my Picosure treatment but it feels like an age away.

Something I have been wondering, is with tattoos that have shading, the shading is often cleared in one treatment by Picosure. There are loads of reviews that prove this. However the denser areas of a tattoo always stay for longer.

This makes me wonder how my tattoo will react, as I have had 14 q-switch treatments already. While my black tattoo has no shading, it has taken a real battering and I wondered if this would make things considerably easier for the Picosure to clear? Would the ink be less resistant and shatter much more effectively? I'm going to insist on a setting that is both powerful and can penetrate deeply.

It would be great to hear your thoughts on this, especially from anyone who has gone from q-switch to Picosure. It's a long journey to this place so I would hope that it can be cleared in no more than three sessions. Many areas of the tattoo are now a lightish brown colour which means the skin is coming through! Could the stars lose their shape after one session?

I've also used the 'ask a doctor' section of the site so it would be interesting to see any replies (the question is currently pending).

What do you guys think? Feel free to post links to Picosure reviews.

22 Comments

Hi! I just recently posted my pictures of my excision 7 days post surgery. The picture might look bad but in person you can see that the scar, once healed, is going to be so thin... My husband has a scar on his arm from a cut and it is way bigger than what mine will be. I am very happy. I actually find scars to be somewhat sexy so having a scar I knew would not bother me like my tattoo did. On that note, your fading looks great... But have you thought about just getting one of the stars excised to see how you feel?? You definitely would not need to go under. I felt nothing with just the local numbing. Just a thought:) I'm a strong believer now that if you are consumed and sad with your tattoo and you're a candidate for excision do it! It has been so nice feeling like me again and my mind thinking of other things than a tattoo gone wrong. Good luck!
  • Reply
Hi, just signed up to say thank you for sharing your journey. Like you, my husband has had a change of heart about tattoos in general and is also in the process of removing his daughters name. After 8 q-switch and 4 ruby lasers the process has become resistant so he's hoping that his first picosure session next week will live up to all the hype. We're also travelling to the reset room to see Wayne so I'll let you know how it goes. Good luck :)
  • Reply
Hi there. :) i really know how your husband feels, it's the longest and most mentally draining process in the world. Really interesting to hear that he's also moving from q-switched to Picosure. Would you mind letting me know how it goes with Wayne next week? I'm worrying so much so (but also excited!), so I would really appreciate to hear how it went. Would be great to hear what Wayne is like in person too. Also thank you for taking the time to sign up and then comment on my review. Do you think you'll upload some photos after the pico session? I've had people tell me that the difference will be significant and I'm sure it will, but it's hard to ignore that tiny 'what if?', which I'm sure your husband will agree with! Thanks again :-)

Gradually feeling better

I didn't plan on updating my review until after my Picosure treatment next month (5th July), but I thought now would be a good time to show some progress photos and tell you how I've been getting on this past month.

Well, I took a big step today, which was walking to work in just a t-shirt (and pants etc of course). Now that my stars are so faded I don't feel like they're as obvious as they used to be, and only the bottom two show through my sleeve anyway. I'm not embarrassed of the forearm tattoo at all so it's of no concern to me whether it's covered or not.

Of all the waiting in between sessions, I still think this has been the toughest. While I think the Picosure is going to really change things, I can't hide from the fact that it might not. I'm staying optimistic until my treatment though and I'm trying my best to get through each day without worrying too much. I still have the occasional day where I feel fatigued about the whole thing.

Anyway, here's how things are looking. The stars: so faint, but still recognisable as stars. They're often a very light grey colour (unless I'm warm and they go slightly red), and the skin tone looks like it's dying to push through. I'm feeling somewhat better about them now but still hate them like crazy. They're proving to be very resistant but I'm determined not to give up. Picosure is supposedly good for tattoos that have stopped reacting so I hope this is the case for me.

The forearm: very obvious scarring which doesn't bother me much. If you look past the scars you can see that the fading has been amazing so far. I try to imagine what my arm will look like with just the scars once the tattoo has gone. I'm wondering whether or not to do anything about them afterwards or whether I should just keep them as a reminder of the hell I went through and how I finally succeeded in removing my tattoos. Chances are they'll get lighter over time anyway, and as I'm a pale lad they should blend in fine with the skin tone.

Hope you're all doing well. I'll probably update again a few days after my Picosure treatment when the bandage comes off.

Please join RealSelf or sign in.

0 Comments

Side by side

Forgot to add this photo. What an improvement, but I still can't wait to be done with this!

11 Comments

The end is in sight for you. Looking forward to hearing how your appointment at the Reset room goes!
  • Reply
Thanks! I will update as soon as I've been treated :-)
You have had a lot of fading. That's great. I am on my 6th session and no change. I did my second tx with PicoSure today, fingers crossed. I saw no change with the first tx. I see that your skin gets really irritated. Try wrapping your arm with instant cold wrap right after that tx, usually put it in the freezer for 1 hour prior to tx and as soon as is done wrap it around for about 1 hour. And keep repairing that for the next 24 hours. Also drink pineapple juice it helps you heal (enzymes). Keep us posted with your progress and good luck!!!
  • Reply

Pre-Pico photo

This is my tattoo before my Pico session this Saturday. I'm excited but have no idea what to expect in terms of results. This is my 'before' photo.

The stars are still very prominent so I at least hope that they will begin to clear in some areas. This will make me much happier.

29 Comments

How did it go man?
  • Reply
Best of luck! Can't wait to see your results!
  • Reply
Good luck tomorrow!!! :) praying to laser gods :)
  • Reply

First treatment with Picosure

Firstly, thank you for your comments wishing me good luck yesterday. It was a great day but also a really long one. I woke up at 6am and didn't get home until 10pm!

Anyway, I finally met Wayne and his Picosure laser. Felt kind of strange actually seeing a Picosure for real. It looks sexy!

As I expected, Wayne was unbelievably friendly and even though he said that I was a 'veteran' with all this, I actually felt like the technician knew more about removal than I did for once. I picked up a few really handy tips from him, I can't recommend this guy enough. His answers to my questions were very thorough and you could tell that he genuinely wanted these tattoos off me. He also showed me the spot where he had been having laser himself and you could easily tell the difference between the q-switched and Picosure treatments.

Before treatment Wayne shaved the areas which was new to me. We went in at a smaller spot size between 2mm-3mm and there was a good snapping sound with each hit. I would say Picosure was a little more painful than my last treatment with the RevLite.

I asked the golden question of "how many sessions do you think we will need, though I know you can't guarantee this?", and he estimated two for each tattoo. He stressed that he couldn't guarantee it, and I'm not sure if he meant two additional sessions or one session after this. Either way I'm happy.

He checked the tattoo all over to make sure every spot had been hit and went over any bits we had missed. He also mentioned the laser gods, lol.

I was even more impressed with the aftercare. He spent a good 10-15 mins dressing the tattoos and the aftercare is pretty complicated compared to what I've had before. He's given me LOADS of different things and he talked me through how to do redress the tattoo.

The tattoos are looking red today, and the forearm has blistered which he said would likely happen. He said that they will be pink for some time and not to freak out about it. He also said that I need to wait a minimum of 12 weeks before going back, which I did plan to do.

So now we wait!

44 Comments

congrats on finally getting to pico Chad (: every time i see your posts i'm like man this guy has such awesome fading i wish i had that too!
  • Reply
Thanks so much. They're very faded but still so prominent and that's what bothers me most. I still have a good 12 weeks (minimum) until my next session so I'm praying for a miracle in the meantime that it will REALLY fade this time because of Pico. How are you getting on yourself? When's your next session again? :-)
my next session is in 4 days, on the 17th of July. i really haven't seen much fading since the first session, and am already seeing the start of scarring so i'm really apprehensive about the whole thing, and whether or not my skin will be able to tolerate enough treatments for the ink to be removed..

I'm taking a break

It's been just over a week since my Picosure treatment. Things are still looking red and the forearm tattoo is still scabby. If you look past these scabs you can see that the fading has been pretty good so far. The scarring still doesn't bother me much.

With the star tattoo though, there is just so much redness that I can't say if there has been a difference yet.

My plan was to go back to London after 12 weeks for a second Picosure treatment, but my thoughts have changed a lot over the weekend.

I am taking a break - instead of waiting 12 weeks, I am going to wait 20 weeks. This will take me up to the end of November. For someone as impatient as me, this is a really long time.

Why? Well, ever since I was wrongly treated with the 532nm, my stars have had a 'red tinge' which only starts to clear by the time my next treatment comes round. This tinge has frustrated me for some time now, so I'm going to give my skin the much needed rest it needs to let this redness disappear and HOPEFULLY reveal a very faint, grey tattoo.

While I am reluctant to wait 20 whole weeks, it is definitely the right thing to do and I hope that the results will be worth the wait.

I've also been thinking about which laser I'll use next. If at the end of my break the fading has been excellent, then I'll probably go back for another Picosure treatment. If not, I'm going to go back to Dr Maria Gonzalez who lives a few streets away from me. Her RevLite laser did show good results and was obviously way cheaper than Picosure. So unless the Picosure does something amazing, I'm probably going to go back to Dr Maria.

In the meantime: plenty of water (with a squeezed lemon as this promotes collagen growth, and is actually very refreshing), exercise where possible, more water, rubbing pure aloe vera every day, and more water.

I've also noticed that I can update my review quite a lot (going to get a wrist injury scrolling down my review at some point!), so going forward I'm going to hold off for as long as possible and only update with useful, relevant stuff. I've also come to disagree with many things in my earlier posts, such as not using aloe vera after a treatment. Aloe vera is amazing stuff, so I was stupid to say that. The 'crap clinic' told me it was bad, and I didn't know a lot about removal at that point.

So yes, I hope this wait is worth it and that the redness finally subsides to reveal an almost-gone tattoo. I have days where the whole thing really affects me but on other days I do really well. Regardless of my feelings I am determined to have this break and wait the full 20 weeks, and I will use the two attached photos to reassure me that things are happening.

20 Comments

Hey Chad, how's your tattoo looking 2 weeks after picosure? I had my first picosure on May.30.14. It's been 7 weeks since my first treatment and I've only seen a little bit of fading. I thought I'd see more removed since majority of my tattoo is shading. I'm going for my second treatment in 1 week, hopefully this time I'll get the technician to increase the spot size.
  • Reply
Hey! I've not see much change on my stars yet, but I'm giving that one a whole load of patience and am trying to ignore it for the next 18 weeks until I go for another treatment. That tattoo has been red for so long due to other treatments that it's hard to see what's going on. I'm hoping it will be faint after 20 weeks and that the redness would have cleared. The forearm one is fading quite well, the scabs are finally coming off and are leaving bluey coloured skin which obviously needs to heal. Interesting that your tattoo isn't fading well as shading is usually obliterated by Picosure. Mind me asking me what colour the ink is and where the tattoo is located? Try and be patient, it WILL fade! :-)
My tattoo is a half sleeve of an angel which is black and grey. I didn't ask the technician last time what setting were being used, so on my next treatment hopefully the setting will be increased. I hear that the setting go from 6.0 - 1.0. 6.0 being low and 1.0 the highest.

R20 method, supplements and extended break

I've pretty much decided on my next move in terms of when and how I'm being treated.

I am not using Picosure again. It's still too early to say whether or not it's had a great effect (at least, that's how I'm seeing things), but I've decided that paying £600 a session and an extra £50 to travel to London just isn't worth it.

So it's official; I am going back to Dr Gonzalez and her RevLite. BUT, this time, I'll be trying the R20 method. I'm aware what this is (four passes spaced 20 minutes apart), but it isn't something I've tried yet which gives me hope as I like trying new things. I've already been in contact with Dr Gonzalez who being as sympathetic as she is, has agreed to treat both tattoos four times each for £200 - a third of the price of one pass with Picosure. Seems like a no brainer.

So, I wondered if any of you guys have been treated this way yet, and if so, did you notice a difference compared to one treatment? I can't wait to try this, though I imagine it's going to be my most painful session yet.

My R20 session is still a good while away. In fact, I have decided to extend my break even further to 30 weeks. I still believe that the ink on the stars is very faint but until the reddy-purply skin clears up then it won't look any better.

However, as my forearm tattoo is quite far behind in terms of progress, I'm going to treat this at 15 weeks, and then again with the stars another 15 weeks later (30 weeks after Picosure). The 30 weeks is going to kill me, but I feel it's important to leave the stars alone so that they can 'heal and reveal'. And, treating the forearm with the R20 method sooner will give me a good idea of how effective it is.

Finally, as we all know, a strong immune system means an easier removal, so I've been buying a couple of supplements to help me along.

I've attached a photo which includes my 6 Asacol tablets (to control my ulcerative colitis, these won't help with tattoo removal), multivitamins, zinc, and aloe vera capsules. After reading reviews about the aloe vera capsules, many of them were actually from other Crohn's and colitis sufferers who said that these really helped with their symptoms, so this was a 2-in-1 benefit for me! I am also still applying my pure aloe vera gel twice a day to both tattoos.

I hope that the above supplements will help speed up the healing process and get my skin back to normal ASAP! If you have any other handy tips then I'd love to hear them.

I also hope you like my tattoo removal break countdown. I find it helpful to cross off the weeks as I go along. :-)

Happy healing to you all.

50 Comments

Hi I am amazed by your updates, well done you've been huge help to most of the tat-regreters here. I personally don't have any ( thank God the artist was busy at that time I went to get one and I was too lazy to wait to get it done but now I am so happy I didn't do it as I would've regret it definitely) but somebody close to me has a life regretting tats... And going through the same journey of removal like you. I am very interested to see the start now after some time, I really believe they will blend with the skin tone over time, you just need to give it a good rest like a good few months (6-8) without any treatments. Looking forward to see any new update and photos from you especially the stars as they had some rest by now. Good luck to the final results and please keep updating
  • Reply
Thanks Amy for this awesome comment! I'm glad you were able to dodge having a tattoo, lucky thing. I also think that it will be disappear eventually, but it is definitely going to take more time. I'm hoping that it loses its shape soon and becomes unrecognisable. I'll feel much better! Hoping to update again soon. Thanks again for the comment.
wow! so much information thank you! i am just about to start getting a tattoo removed, i had no idea there are so many lasers and so much misinformation given out at clinics, i stupidly assumed that as they are medical professionals they couldn't/wouldn't bs you. in your opinion can a tattoo be completely removed with out surgery? my tattoo is just small black script about 9cm x2cm and ive had it about 2-3 years. im really worried about going to the wrong clinic for information and starting wrong process. i was looking at the cellite clinic in cardiff, it uses a Q-Switch Nd-Tag laser, have you head of it at all? if you had known what you did at the beginning what process would you have wanted to go ahead with? any help would be amazing thank you :)
  • Reply

Introducing the Picoway

It has now been almost 15 weeks since my Picosure treatment, and this month marks two years since I began removal.

These last two years have been hard. Tattoo removal is a rollercoaster, and that becomes clear when you read anyone's review. Their attitude constantly changes toward removal; one minute they're really optimistic and the next they're not coping well. I would hope that at some point, a much quicker option becomes available for removing a tattoo.

This is why I'm updating today. It's been over three months since I was treated with the Picosure, and sadly there doesn't seem to be much difference, especially on the stars. I believe this is because the Picosure operates at the 755nm wavelength which is not ideal for black (though it is still effective to a certain extent).

But was the Picosure worth it? In my personal case, I don't think it was. It was overpriced and showed little results. Not to mention the long journey. Picosure was definitely meant for coloured tattoos I think.

Anyway, I have some great news. I have been introduced to a new laser that has literally (as of Friday last week), just hit the UK market. The laser is called the Picoway, and is manufactured by Syneron-Candela who made the Alexandrite laser. It operates using picosecond technology, just like the Picosure, but the Picoway uses both the 1064nm and 532nm wavelengths. I believe the Picoway is the first laser of its kind.

This laser could have the power to completely change the tattoo removal industry. Black tattoos are very common, and hopefully now they can be removed much more quickly, causing much less mental stress to anyone undergoing removal. Only time and people's results will tell.

Currently, the laser is not commercially available to clinics so I am keeping my eyes peeled for when one does become available. I am holding off an R20 treatment just in case the laser does become available somewhere soon. If one does, I'll be there straight away - so watch this space!

If you look at the attached photos, you can see that since I began treatment two years ago, the fading has been incredible, but the stars are still stars. However, in the close-up photo you can see that some areas are just barely hanging there.

I'm hoping that I can remove my stars within the next 12 months. The forearm tattoo causes me no upset, so once the stars are gone it'll almost feel like my removal journey is complete.

I will continue to look for a Picoway device. As soon as I find one I'll let you all know.

17 Comments

It seems that Revlite has been the best choice for you so far. It also seems to me that your forearm tattoo is coming off so quick, such great results only after 3 treatments! But you weren't too thrilled with the picosure results right? Is it hard to tell which treatment has done more, regular or picosure? I'm just looking at your results and I'm simply blown away. I've had 1 regular treatment and 1 R0 (two passes) and the black is as dense as ever. It's getting more gray now and the browns are turning more red since we've been treating the black ink only so far. I contacted Wayne myself about the picosure treatment and he told me that as my tattoo is brown (close to red) he might not be able provide anything better than what I've already found to make it worth the trip. But then again another place with picosure was more than willing to take me in. So I'm definitely looking up for this Picoway to make an appearance!
  • Reply
Thank you for the update. I was really looking forward to seeing your stars and it looks amazing. What an achivement on your removal journey if you compare the original tat with your last photo! So, the rednes/pinkish/purplish colour has all gone? It looks like it's gone from what I can see on this fresh photo? How long did it take for redish colour to disappear? To be honest I think there is no or only very little ink left in your stars and if I am you I wouldn't go for any treatments again. I suggest you leave it to blend in with your skin tone (to avoid any damage to the skin from more laser) and if any ink left, it will disappear on its own over time and the skin should come back to normal colour over the next 2 years.(I know it is a long way ahead but patience is the key on this journey). And you can always go back to laser if you are not happy after 2 years. However it is your decision and I wish you only the best results and final satisfaction with your results. Please keep updating, I found your review the best and described very well to detail. And thank you very much for that.
  • Reply
Hi Amy. The redness is still there unfortunately. It tends to come and go whenever it wants. There was minimal redness in the photos on this update so it does look pretty good. When the redness disappears the tattoo is a faint grey and I believe that is the true appearance of the tattoo. There isn't much ink so I am *hoping* that another few sessions will really tear it apart. Glad my review was of some help to you. :)
Was this review helpful? 22 others found this helpful