We're All in This Together! - Columbus, OH

Hi everyone! I recently got a tattoo that I...

Hi everyone!

I recently got a tattoo that I regret and can't explain how much this site has helped me. Reading other people's stories and feeling like I can connect with someone is such a great feeling.

I've been going to a dermatologist for years now who I've always gotten along with and felt she was very knowledgeable. About a month after I was tattooed I went in for a consultation and was really disappointed. She was very condescending and I felt like she didn't know what she was talking about. I had done SO much research on my own and most of what she told me was the opposite of what I've read on here and on other blogs/websites. (I know you can't believe everything you read on the internet, but in this case, there isn't much to it.) It's a very simple tattoo. The words "Free Yourself" that was supposed to look like the hard written note I had from my grandmother. It is seriously so simple. If you laid down an iPhone, traced it, and wrote "Free Yourself" inside it, you would have my tattoo. There is no shading, no color, and it is poorly done. Some of the lines are so thin that it seems I can see under them. It's a hard thing to describe. I'm just not happy with it and from what I've read, it should be pretty easy to remove. She quoted me OVER TEN sessions for $300. I just can't wrap my head around that. 

I wasn't satisfied with this visit so I went to another dermatologist in my area that I had heard good things about and I really liked him. I felt very comfortable in the office and the staff was great. I asked so many questions and felt he was being honest with me.
I was quoted between 4-6 sessions at $275.
I scheduled my first treatment for May 31st

I have a few questions for anyone out there who may have had similar experiences....
How many offices did you visit before you made your decision?
Did you feel like the technician was quoting you for more treatments just to extend treatment time (in turn - more money?)
Have you felt regret after starting treatments?
Have you felt like you were being judged more for having the tattoo removed than for having the tattoo itself?

I hadn't planned on writing something so long, but I just wanted to express my thanks to everyone who was written about their experiences. You all have truly helped me and I'm sure many others.


Taking advice

After reading your comments and realizing that the prices I was quoted were too high, I decided to cancel and keep looking around for another office. I did look online at some office's websites and a lot of them charge for the consultation which kinda turns me off. I guess I'll just have to deal!

Thanks everyone for the feedback!


Needed to vent a little. It's been exactly two months since I got the tattoo and I'm having so many mixed emotions about it all.
My mom (and you all) are the only people that know I want to have the tattoo removed. I don't really want to let others in on my personal decisions when I know they will just be judgmental and won't understand.
My boyfriend doesn't know. We've been together for about a year and he has always been very respectful and supportive of me but I'm just so nervous to tell him. He knows I don't like it but he does like it, and we have really bumped heads over this. He just thinks I'm being dramatic, that "it's just a tattoo!" I know I shouldn't worry about what he thinks but of course it bothers me when he doesn't understand.

Any of you out there in relationships have these issues? What do they think of your decision to remove your ink? This has definitely taken a toll on the relationships in my life and that's the worst part of it all.
I have an appointment coming up on June 5th and hopefully they'll quote me a much lower price.

Hope all of you are staying positive and having success!

An update

Hi all

I wanted to give an update since it's been so long.
I decided that I should wait a year before I start the removal process. My views change weekly it seems. Sometimes I hate it, other times I can tolerate it. It's a huge decision to make. I thought that if I waited I would start to feel better about it and it might grow on me. Unfortunately that isn't what happened. I see all of your updates and see the amazing progress and I want that. I just wish I could know what it will look like afterwards. It's the unknown that is so unsettling. I've seen all the blisters and the healing process, but I am just so scared that it will look worse after I try to make it better.

I came across a blog that had posted about tattooing a saline solution into the tattoo, that brought the ink to the surface and would just scab and fall off. Has anyone else heard about this? Seen any photos? It seems too good to be true.

Good luck to all of you!
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If your scared of scarring than do not do tatt2away. There is a extremely high chance of scaring. I've never seen anyone get laser scar that takes care of it properly
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This is the link to the medi spa that I go to....It talks about the sollution method about halfway down the page http://www.bodybeautifullasermedi-spa.com/Tattoo.htm
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My medi spa does the saline solution method. My laser tech said it's kind of a pain in the ass when it's healing but the only person she knows who has 100% tattoo removal has done a mixture of the saline and laser. It's not just a one and done process, it's like laser removal and must be done in sessions.
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Hi there! I looked into the saline solution tattooing. I didn't see much on how successful it was. It would be great if it were, and probably much less expensive! I'm definitely no professional, but I feel as thin as your outline is, that you might not experience much blistering. I think most of the blistering comes from dense areas of ink. I wish you the best of luck, and hope you can start your journey soon! :)
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Thanks for the update, glad you made a decision you are comfortable with - that is important:)

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Hi True, I just saw yr blog. I think you are being really wise taking yr time to research yr options first, and even grow to like the tatt (if you choose). I understand yr journey of trying to seek out a reputable and affordable place...you should read my review. I can sympathize w/ what you are going through and, although smaller than yrs, I am getting an all outline black tattoo removed. I am heading into session 9 in a few weeks/months. So, need less to say, you really need to 1) research not only the clinic/doctor/technician to make sure they are more concerned about yr healing/fading than the money and are qualified and 2) you need seek out the laser that works best for you. Being that yrs is black ink, I think yr laser options are wide open there. Anyways, your story and questions reminded me of my journey...so pls read my story and feel free to email/ask me anything...we both have the black "minimal" tattoos, but in all reality, I have realized that outlines are tough to remove, and yes...they may require up to 10 sessions or more. There are many variables tho, so it's hard to know for sure...anyways good luck and I'm happy to hear that you are not rushing into any instant decisions.
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Hey there, just checking in, would love to have an update from you. Have you started removal? 

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Hang in there friend! My husband didn't think I should have my ankle tat lasered, but he supported my decision to go with it, since it is my body. Your boyfriend sounds sweet, hopefully he'll respect your choice. My treatments are done in here in Florida, and I pay $199/3 treatments. I feel I'm getting a pretty fair price. My tats tiny, so price could be w little less, but it works with my budget, so I'm not too worried. I had my 7th treatment two days ago, which was actually more than I was quoted (told 6 treatments max, but was warned ankle is hard to remove). I have had NO regrets with my treatment. But I have a tiny tat that is low on my ankle. It is black ink, so as of recent, it just looks like small grease smudges, harely noticable and I am please with the results. I have had many people judge me when it was a more visible tat, since everybody thought it was something different than what it was, and that sucked. But I have had way more people judge me for removal. I just tell them with a smile I wanted to give it a try, I don't mind being among the first in this generation to break the waves. We are trend setters. ;) Anywho, your tat looks simple enough, I'm NO pro, but it's only black ink so your success should be really great. Keep your head up n good luck!
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Im getting ready to have two arm tattoos removed, and some script on my back. My first session is next Thursday. I was quoted 6K for 'unlimited sessions', but oped for single session prices at $570.00. The unlimited session cost, assumes all my tattoos will take more than 10 sessions to remove. Honestly, I think the $6000 is a little high. So yes, I felt as if I was being sold as many treatments as possible. These treatments, are ultimately offered as services, and tattoo removal is a business, it would be foolish to assume they weren't trying to make money... I do think it's worth shopping around if you are not comfortable with the cost. As for the way you feel about the tattoo, I have hated mine for as long as I've had them (10+ years). I have tried to accept them. All this has done, is prolonged the pain, by trying to avoid the inevitable. In my opinion, if you dislike the tattoo, have it removed ASAP.
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-How many offices did you visit before you made your decision?  I went to the first office that I visited. She was great and really helpful but I have been to two other places since and found a much better price elsewhere. In the long run I would have saved a few hundred dollars if I would have looked around first. -Did you feel like the technician was quoting you for more treatments just to extend treatment time (in turn - more money?) No technician would quote me a treatment number, they all said it depends on your skin and the ink that was used.  -Have you felt regret after starting treatments? I haven't regretted any treatments. I would rather explain why my tattoo is half there then why I have a dumb tattoo fully there in the first place  -Have you felt like you were being judged more for having the tattoo removed than for having the tattoo itself? I haven't felt judged at all anywhere I went, which is great. I am also a super carefree girl so I don't really care what other people think
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Hi there! Just looked at your tattoo pic! I think you would have very successful fading since you only have an outline and words. I too received two totally different estimates on my consultations. I had two consultations, they both said 10 to 12 treatments, maybe less. I haven't felt the tiniest regret after starting treatments. The only problem is a bit of depression a few days after each treatment. I definitely felt I was being judged for removing a one month old tattoo. I was more embarrassed at how hideous the tattoo is. Hang in there, it's tough at times. When I start feeling depressed again (like today), I look on here and know that I'm not alone. Keep us posted on your progress!
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Hi! Do you think you've had so much success with fading since your tattoo was so new? I've heard that newer tattoos are easier to remove but on some websites it says the exact opposite. That the older the tattoo - the less ink there is to remove. Huh!!
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It's hard to judge TrueBlush, as you've discovered some websites say older=easier to remove while others say newer is, it hasn't had a chance to settle into the skin.  It also depends on the technician's experience, the equipment, the ink and the depth it's placed and where it's placed (I've heard ink on ankles are harder to remove)....in general it's a crap shoot.  I hate to say it but it is.  YUCK!!  But I think my happiness is worth the gamble, and yours is also.  It's important to stay 1) positive [I read another poster saying this, he's had fifteen sessions over the course of the last two years]  2) be persistent, it will eventually be removed, and 3) patient, all of this will take time. I slather the ointment on the lasered ink and think "out you go, yes out you go".  Good Luck!  aloha...k 
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aloha TrueBlush,  It is baffling why you receive two different estimates but I do know that everyone reacts differently to lasering and this makes it difficult to judge how many sessions you need.  At my consultation I was told that I would need ten, then at the first laser session I was told 15, then at the next session I was told it really depends and the final number of sessions may depend on how much fading I want.  I would look around some more, look on the internet and see what services are out there (and I'm sure you've thought of that).  I don't feel judged at all by anyone but I live in Hawai'i and tattoos are seen as symbols of our life journey, it's odd not to have a tattoo.  I don't tell many people that I'm having it removed, I simply don't want to get into my personal choice with strangers but I know that others here on the forum understand.  Ink regret unites us and if you don't have ink regret you may not understand.  I also know that following the laser sessions I feel very down on myself, often sad and wonder why I did this, but it's only a passing feeling and after a week and voicing my feelings on the forum I feel better.  I know that removing the offending ink is the answer for me.  So share your feelings when it's safe, you don't have to tell people you're having the ink removed it's your business and know that if anyone judges you on this decision that reflects on them not you.  It's perfectly fine to have ink regret, there are many of us out there, it's just a mistake that we have made and we are in the midst of correcting it, which in my opinion is a good thing, we're human we're entitled to a few mistakes.  Good Luck!  And know that we're here for you. aloha...k
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Right now I'm really trying to focus on what you said, that if anyone judges me on this decision that reflects onto them and not me. That's sometimes hard to realize in the moment when you are feeling put down but it's so true. Thank you so much for your reply!
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aloha TrueBlush,  I understand that it's hard to feel up when you are feeling put down.  Others' judgment of ourselves is important, often it validates our self-worth.  I am so inspired by Ruiz' 2nd agreement: we are the centre of our story, others are the centre of their own story.  Words that come out of their mouth are a reflection of them, not of us.  And so with that, when people/acquaintances/strangers ask me about my very visible offending ink I simply say "it's a mistake, we're all entitled to make a few mistakes" then I pause for brief moment, breathe and say "that's a lovely t-shirt/necklace/bracelet/purse you have" and the focus is back on them but more importantly it's a positive focus leaving both of us happy.  I've tried this many times and can only recall once it not working and I simply walked away from that person.  I do know that we live differently here in Hawai'i, it's all about living pono/right and with good intentions/aloha...it does take some work the first time, but then it gets easy.  And it leaves the conversation in a positive frame of mind which is essential to healing.  Good Luck! aloha...k
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wonderful words of encouragement Kahelelani!
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I am very shocked at both costs, your tattoo is so simple, I am paying less than you and my tattoo is bold and huge! I would honestly say to do more research before you commit.... sorry it didn't work out for you.
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I am going to a place called Tat2Undo in Fort Collins. He charges about 100 per treatment. It really depends on the size of the tat. Yours would be so simple. Maybe you should keep shopping. I was quoted around 12 treatments. Honestly the first one worked so well I think that I will need 5 at most. I have also seen on those groupon websites where they offer discounts to new customers. Just keep looking for a good technician around you. Good luck!
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I am also paying less. Originally I was paying $300, but my new place only charges me $150. 
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