I wanted to share my experience to help others...
I wanted to share my experience to help others that might be in the same situation, with a huge regret and considering laser tat removal. Six months ago, I went & got a tattoo that was supposed to be a dedication of my love for my grandfather, the man who raised me and taught me everything I know today. It was an impulsive act, one without prior consideration. I must add I have 3 other tattoos, which I don't regret, for which of course, I took 4 longs years in between (each) to consider, what I was getting, where and basically weighting all the options. Anyways, the moment I stood up from the chair and the tat was done it became the biggest regret of my life. So from that moment on I was on quest to find a place to get this black thing erased. I checked several laser places, but they sounded all too good to be true. Then my PCP referred me to a dermatologist office that specializes on tat removal. After the initial consultation they told me I needed to wait at least 6 months to start the process, that way some of the ink gets absorbed and the skin properly heals. At first, I was disappointed, but I have come to realized that it was the best thing. It gave me enough time to get used to it (some how), and also to reconsider my initial reaction towards the tat (what if maybe after all I could like it).
With all that been said, I made my first appointment for the removal on 4/24. I put ice on the tat for 30 min before the procedure (everyone's experience I read in these 6 months recommended to put ice before and after, so I decided to give it try), the technician was pleased with that, she explained that the ice helped alleviate the discomfort of the procedure. The procedure didn't hurt one bit (at least this one or not at least like I was expecting it to), she used the minimum that could be used (2), it honestly felt like getting a tattoo. As soon as she was done I wrapped my arm in ice and kept it like that for about an hour. Needles to say, I did not get a blister (thank god, I think I looked at too many pics & that's one thing that terrified me the most, some people get really bad reactions). So far, there has been no change. I know the process of the body removing the ink starts 2 weeks after the procedure (according to all the literature I have read on the subject), but the technician told me I might not see much difference in the first tx and that's ok. I feel very optimistic and good now that I started the process, because to be quite honest I was terrified, I guess I read way too many things on the internet. I must add that I am glad I found this site. not only did I find some many others in the same situation but their experiences really helps me, gives me hope and motivation to do this.
I hope my experience as well as the others helps anyone out there that's going through the same situation.
29 Jun 2013
2 months post
I went for my second tx on 6/11. This time she did a double pass. The first pass hurts a little more than last time, I had put ice before for about 10mins, I put it again for about 5 when she was done with the first pass & wrapped my arm on ice when she was done for about 1-2 hours. The second pass did not hurt as much, I guess because the area was kinda numb from the 1st one. I have did not blister. Neither have I noticed any change. What I do notice is little tiny areas that might flake off (kinda like when u get a sunburn). They are gradually incresing it, to minimize skin damage she did tell me that I will start to see the results by the 3rd tx which I have scheduled for 7/31. I'm waiting 7-8 weeks in between txs.
22 Sep 2013
5 months post
No drastic change has happened since I last updated my progress, although I do notice it grayish it not as black as it used to be. The laser is getting intense and more painful but still tolerable. I do take anything or put anything except for ice before and after. The itch is somewhat torelable and I only peel, like when you get a sunburn. I'm currently doing the tx every 6-8 weeks.
I have not updated my progress in a while, because quite frankly there has been no progress. I completed 4 tx - double pass, and no change. So for a few months I decided I was going to live with my regret and accept it. But then I came accross an advertisment for the new tattoo removal laser machine - PicoSure- and I decided to give it one last try. So I payed for 6sessions, the will be 6-8 weeks apart. I had my first session on Mother's day weekend. I will provide an update before my next tx which is schedule for 6/21.
2nd Session with PicoSure
It's been 6 weeks since my first Tx with PicoSure, there have been no change at all. Today they increased the energy and did a double pass. We'll see if this time there are any changes. I will keep you posted on my progress.
3rd Tx with PicoSure
Today was my 3rd treatment using PicoSure Laser. So far there have been NO fading. With this session I have completed a total of 10 and the tattoo is as black as it was the first day. They increased the energy level to see if hopefully this time there is some change. I have added a new photo taken before Tx this morning and about 3 hours after. I am accepting the fact that it might not be erased. Maybe is combination of the ink used, how deep it was done and that is fairly new. I still have 3 more sessions left with PicoSure. There are spaced 8 weeks apart so I'll be updating if I see any change between here and Oct 25th (my next appt).