Brand New Tattoo Regret - Denver, CO

Hello everyone. For the past week I've been quite...

Hello everyone. For the past week I've been quite the regular on this website, and first and foremost..thank you everyone for sharing your stories. I feel so much less alone in this situation. So here's my story. For the past couple of years I wanted a larger, colored tattoo. I have two other tattoos that I'm perfectly fine with and I've always liked tattoos when I see them on other people. After waiting this long I figured I wouldn't regret my decision. Well...I was wrong. Since getting it - a week and a day ago - I have obsessively searched for ways to get it removed. It's not an ugly tattoo, it's just the size of it is shocking to me. Maybe by the time it's healed enough to start laser treatment I'll have a change of heart, but right now all I can think about is wanting to rip it off my skin. I've already had two consultations and have one more on Monday, and am gathering the information so that when the time comes that I am actually able to start, I will have had time to mull it over, get educated, compare places that do the procedure, etc. The only problem is there is a chance I could be leaving the country for a year this summer...so basically I'd get two sessions in and then not have access to a treatment until at least a year later. I know it's going to be expensive and painful, but I figure if it upsets me this much, a few years of painful treatments is better than a lifetime of feeling like there is something that doesn't belong on me.

I think the worst part of this is how it has affected me emotionally. I've gone back and forth between having good days and bad days...but sometimes I feel like I just want to crawl up in a hole and not leave until this is resolved...which would be a long time in a hole!

Like I said though, everyone's stories make me feel a little better and less alone. So keep them coming, and I will be sure to update everyone with my situation!

Still thinking this whole thing through...

I keep going back and forth on what to do about my situation. One minute I'm thinking I'll just keep it and forget laser. The next I'm thinking maybe I can just get rid of one part that bothers me the most. Then I think I'll just go for the whole thing. The scariest part of this to me is the fact that there is no guarantee it will be gone, and what if it looks worse after! With the colors in mine (dark purple, kind of a khaki green and darker green, coral, and of course black) and with the size of it..I don't want to end up having a mess. I just don't know what to do. I guess I still have about 4 more weeks till I can even start laser, so hopefully in that time I'll have come up with an answer. :(

My plan (today)

As I said above, I keep going back and forth....but what I am thinking is maybe start removal on the part of the tattoo that is really bothering me ...which is black shading and the coral color....and see how my body does with that. Also have them test a few of the other colors to make sure I don't end up doing those and ending up with a giant black smudge effect on my back! What do you guys think? I know it would drag things out to not just start all at once..but I'm just so scared of making things worse. Ughh. Like I said, I've always liked tattoos, but all I can think about right now is how much I want my skin completely clear of ink! Including the other two small tattoos I have that I LOVED before this happened. I hate this whole thing and can't believe it's happening. I feel like I'm in a bad dream and I'll wake up and it'll all be over..but obviously that's not the case.

Here's my tattoo by the way

Like I said, it's a very well done tattoo. It's just so big and makes me completely self conscious.

If any doctors could give me their opinion on how the purple and the light, khaki colored green in the leaves might do with the laser, I would appreciate it. I was told by one place they could possibly turn grey or black with treatment from oxidation and now I'm terrified of starting something and making a bigger mess.

Soul Searching Through This Situation

Hi everyone. I hope you are all doing ok today. I had a bit of a rough weekend. It's my birthday today and this weekend I just didn't feel like celebrating at all with all of this going on. I've just felt so bad about this whole thing, and haven't told anyone what I am going through because I'm so embarrassed. I think what has upset me most is my reasoning for getting this tattoo. Like I said, I have two others...one I got when I was 18 and one I got just two years ago. I never even think about the one from when I was 18 (it's small, on my foot and fading..has no meaning to me except that I was 18 and who doesn't want a tattoo then!). The one from two years ago does have meaning, and so does this new one...but after getting this one and feeling like it doesn't belong on me. I've really done a lot of soul searching. I've come to realize that none of these really matter to me and I almost feel like I was trying be someone I am not by getting them. Like I said, I've always liked tattoos on other people, and I almost feel now like I was trying to be someone I am not. Which is a tough pill to swallow. I'm 28 right now, and for the past few years have felt like I don't really know where I fit. I have plenty of friends and family, I just have felt very unsure and bit lost with myself...I guess a bit of the quarter life crisis situation going on. I hate that I am figuring things out the hard way, with a large tattoo that will take up to three years probably to get rid of. But I guess that's life. Sometimes you learn things the hard way. And in the grand scheme of things, 3 years of painful, stressful treatments is not THAT long. Is it short period of time? No. Will it be easy? No. But that's the price I have to pay, and it will certainly make me a stronger person. I do truly believe that.

I still have a bit of time before I can start..so I will continue thinking about what is right for me. But if I do decide to do it, I am going to do everything in my power to not let it take over my life, to stay positive, and to try and look at the silver lining in all of this. I hope you all who are going through this situation try to do the same. Take care of yourselves and try to stay as positive as possible, because that will certainly help the body do its job in getting rid of ink and help you mentally stay strong. And if anyone needs to vent or needs a pep talk, please don't hesitate to message me. We all need to remember that even though the situation sucks..it won't last forever, and it certainly won't define the rest of our lives.

On a side note, I've been doing some research and the lymphatic system, and some of you may be doing this, but if you google lymphatic massage you can learn how to do this on yourself at home. It may help the body do its work, doesn't cost anything, and is good for the body in a lot of other ways as well. I also something from the health food store that is supposed to stimulate the lymphatic system with red root.

Oh..also considering partial...what do you guys think?

I forgot to say this, I've also been going back and forth between getting partial removal. The part that makes me most self conscious about this tattoo is that bottom half of the compass...with the petal sitting on it. Very pretty in theory, but the placement is making me crazy. When I move my arm AT ALL it that bottom part stretches out and it looks HUGE. When she put the stencil on my I didn't notice that because I either didn't think to move my arm around much or not being filled in it just wasn't noticeable. So my other option is maybe just removing that and having someone touch up the bottom of the compass to make it one that doesn't "flip open". Does that make sense? While this would cut down on money and would be easier because it's mostly shading (except for the petal)...I then wonder if I would just end up going through removal twice. Ughh. I wish there was an easy answer for this. Or a time machine.....wishful thinking :)

Small test area done - question for you guys

Hey everyone. Quick question. I had a small test area done on the large tattoo as well as a tattoo on my left shoulder (about 2 years old). The one on my shoulder is now red and a bit swollen but the one on my back (the newer one) is just swollen but is not red, blistering..anything. I know it's just a small area, but she said she was going to do the test areas pretty aggressively. Do you guys think my lack of reaction is due to it being a small area....or should I be worried since I hear blistering is what leads to greater fading. Thanks everyone....and sorry for the billion updates before I've even started removal!

Any thoughts on oxidation, guys?

Hi everyone! So it's been a little over a week since I had the test spots done on two of my tattoos. Originally I saw fading of the script on my shoulder immediately, but it kind of seems to not be doing anything now :( . The leaf she tested on my back didn't get red or blister at all, but now it has been peeling a bit and seems to have had quite a bit of fading actually. The picture I took this morning doesn't even show the amount of fading compared to the rest of the tattoo. I'm wondering about the color of the leaf now and if it might be oxidation happening. The color in the bottle was kind of yellowish-greenish-brownish color and after having the laser the brownish tint seems more noticeable compared to the same color in leafs that haven't be touched with the laser. I don't know if this is just the actual color showing now that the shading has disappeared or if it is oxidation. Have any of you experienced oxidation with a color, and if so, have you seen it continue to fade with treatments.

Pretty much everyone I've talked to has said if it oxidizes it can still be treated..they would just use the wavelength for black or brown. But one place I went to terrified me by saying they wouldn't suggest treating this color because if it oxidizes they can't do anything to get rid of it (they compared it to flesh tones in cosmetic makeup...they said the same with the purple in my flowers and compared it to cosmetic lipliner).

Any input you guys have would be soooo appreciated :) Thanks!

Ooops...other picture didn't upload

Here is the one that I took this morning

Another question for you guys - scarring from the actual tattoo?

Hey guys. Quick question. It's now been a little over 6 weeks since I got this tattoo, so I am technically able to start removal. I am still waiting though to make sure I am 100% sure I'm ready to go through this very long and expensive process (mentally ready, financially ready..and prepared to deal with the whole "unknown" part of this tattoo removal business). So the wait continues. I also feel like at least getting started with the Picosure/Medlite combo would be my best bet due to the purple, greens, and light blue in my tattoo and there isn't a Pico where I live yet. There is one where my family lives in Texas..so I may be able to swing getting treatments during visits.

Anyway...my question for you guys is about scarring from the actual tattoo. I noticed tonight that on certain parts of my tattoo, the outline feels raised. I'm wondering if this is scarring and if it is, how does scarring from the tattoo affect removal? If anyone has any insight on this, I'd appreciate it!
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Hey! How's it been going?
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I am right here with you. I did research, went to a reputable artist & he added in so much green that it looks horrible! I'm depressed, sick to my stomach & am freaking out. My tattoo is also on my back & is bigger than yours (which I do think yours is pretty)... I'm just having to wait 6-8 weeks for it to heal so I can start getting it removed.
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Hi Mancubmama! I'm so so sorry you are feeling this way and have found yourself in this situation, too. I can tell you, the feeling does get better...especially with the help of all of the wonderful people on this forum! I seriously felt like I had fallen into a deep depression that I wouldn't get out of until I got this thing off of me. I couldn't eat, pay attention to anything or anyone else, and pretty much just didn't even want to get out of bed. I am still not all that happy with my tattoo, and am still considering removal options, but I have found a way to be happy and move on with my life as much as possible in the meantime. I also don't want to let this thing get in the way of some other things going on in my life right now - I feel like I will end up beginning treatments at some point but I don't know if right this moment is great timing. So we'll see! Trying to remain positive and keeping yourself busy with what is really important in life is the key to getting through this, I think. Before and during the removal process! One thing I also did that really helped me personally, was during the waiting time before I could even begin removal because the tattoo was so fresh, I went to as many consultations as possible. It really helped me to feel like I was being proactive, getting as educated as possible, and I got a feel for the people in my area who do removal ....because there are a lot of uneducated techs out there and having time to think about who might be working on you with lasers and how their knowledge and experience compares to other people in the area is HUGE, in my opinion. Please stay in touch and don't hesitate to message me if you ever need to talk. It really helps so much. I'm always here for you!
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Hi, I just read your update about scarring. I thought for a long time that my tattoo was scarred, because it is VERY raised, and still VERY raised and has the texture of a scar. I still do think that it is scarring, despite having two dermatologists tell me that it isn't. Sometimes the raised outline can be because it is black ink (I don't know, is it?) which is said to be raised anyway. Or he just went over it a couple of times to make sure the outline looks good (so it can be raised because there is more ink in there). Or it is scarring. I think a good way to tell is this: inspect your other scars (you may have had some surgery somewhere, etc.) and you'll notice that around the raised bit, it is red and puffy, or used to be. If you have photos of a couple of days after your tattoo was done, can you see any redness or puffiness around this outline? I know that sounds a bit obscure, but it's one way that you can check if your tattoo is scarred or not. Also, get an opinion from a dermatologist. Or two. Or three. Now, to answer your question about what it means for tattoo removal - the ink is harder to remove in scarred places as the scar tissue blocks a lot of the laser and the ink is down quite deep. But I'm sure it can be done ...
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Hi there, glad you are doing your research and keeping your options open. The Picosure certainly does work wonders on the greens, blues, and purples! Regarding your question, I have the same thing, areas that are raised from the application of the tattoo, from my understanding (after discussing this with several experienced artists) it usually means the artist was heavy handed, meaning he may have overworked the area or possibly had the incorrect configuration of needles. I am certainly not an expert but every artist that has seen  my tattoo was shocked at how much scarring there was from the application. In fact, as I am getting a cover up, they will only rework the main flower because it is so badly scarred that if I try to cover it, it will just show through. 

With regard to removal of a raised tattoo, here is an FAQ from the Doctors section that speaks to that:

CAN RAISED TATTOO BE REMOVED?

Has your tattoo faded since application, as they are so dark when new? I looked at your picture again, and gotta say your tattoo is beautiful. 

Take care!
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Thanks so much Eva. Did you notice how those areas on your tattoo reacted to laser treatments? I'm really only noticing it on the outline of a few parts, so I don't think it would be a huge problem...maybe just make removal a little tougher in those areas. But who knows! So have you decided to for sure go with a cover up and stop laser treatments? If so, I'm sure you will find an amazing artist to create a design you can love forever! :)
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Oh and thank you :) It really is very well done and pretty. I think it's really the placement that bothers me, and I don't know what as soon as I got it missed my bare back. But it has been growing on me and sometimes I find myself even enjoying it a bit. So who knows..maybe a few more months of thinking things through and I'll want to keep it. I never thought I would regret this so this whole thing has just been so confusing!
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Oh sorry, yes of course - I should have mentioned that! The ink responded well - no issues :)

Yes, I am most confident that a cover up is my best option - in fact going to see my artist today!

Have a wonderful day!!
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If you are feeling that way, I definately think you need to wait, because I regret lasering my flowers now...should have left them as they looked fine and that was my gut feeling but at the time I was so distraught I just wanted the whole thing off!
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That's exciting! Good luck!
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Hey there! Welcome to this awesome community! I understand those feelings of not knowing where you belong, or where you fit in. I'm 32 years old, and still don't know exactly who I am. I love tattoos, and I want to have them. On the other hand, I just want clean ink-free skin. Feeling lost is so hard. I like being tattooed, but I worry about the judgement coming from others. So, it's a hard situation. I hope you come to a decision that you are completely happy with. I love your tattoo! In fact, my first one that turned into a cover was a compass with flowers! It was just executed horribly. I say try to look into Picosure, it may work wonders for you. I've been doing it for a while now, but haven't had much success unfortunately. I've seen others here that are using Pico, and have had incredible fading. I do hear that red is hard to remove, but with other lasers being used, I think it's pretty achievable! Good luck dear, and keep us updated!
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Thanks so much for this comment :) It's so tough isn't it!? I feel like I go back and forth every day. I still love tattoos on other people. I see them and think "wow that looks so great" but when it comes to this one on me, even though it is beautiful and very well done, it just feels like it doesn't belong on me. I get really sad on warm days when everyone is out and about and and tank tops and I see bare backs everywhere. I want mine back :( But I'm also so scared to start this process and possibly end up having to get a cover up (although seeing everyones progress on this site gives me hope). And, yes, I would at least like to start with the Picosure to really blast the purple and greens and the light blue in the center, and there isn't one near me right now so I don't know if I want to start yet with the lasers that are available. Still mulling things over. It looks like you have had some really great fading. I'm sure this whole thing is wearing on you after going through it for quite a while now, but you're doing great! I saw your recent update that said you are thinking full removal now?
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Also I can very much relate to going back and forth on partial or full removal. I was constantly obsessing over whether it was just the leaves that I disliked and I would cover them with make up to see how it looked. But in the end I didnt want to just accept it as less of a tattoo and I am hoping FULL REMOVAL PLEASE!
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Yeah, I think I've pretty much ruled out a partial removal. If I'm going through the pain of removal, I might as well go for the whole thing. I've done the same thing with makeup and I just don't think I'd be content with just part of it removed. Ugghhhh....this whole thing SUCKS! Oh well, nothing we can do now but move forward!
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That is lucky actually, if you look at my leaves they turned yellow as soon as the laser hit them. I would rather have yellow than the leaves but the Dr. said he could treat it as well. I dont think you have much to worry about with the leaves. I would say that the red would be more of a concern. Best of luck I just had session 2 yesterday on my BIG knee tattoo and session one on older tattoos all black.
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That's good that he said he can still treat the yellow! That's what is so scary about getting started with this whole thing...there's so many unknowns! I'm actually not too worried about the red (except for the fact that it blisters the worst apparently)...everyone I've talked to said that can actually go the fastest. But who knows. I can't wait to see how your fading goes with your second treatment!
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Also, I just found out there is a place with a Picosure AND a Medlite (for the reds) in Houston, TX where my family lives. I'm looking into what they would charge because if I could treatments on visits home until one ends up closer to me that gives me a little hope. Maybe even getting started with the Pico and doing some cheaper yag treatments in between where I live. Too much to think about.
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Hey! Seems like you tattoo is reacting good on removal. If you ask me what would I do, I would go for removal as I think sooner or later you will come to this decision anyway. That's why I am removing mine. Whatever you decide to leave it or start removing it is a long way in one case accepting and in another waiting. Whatever you decide will be a brave decision! Really! Good luck to you!
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THanks, Marisska! I agree with you...I guess I'm just scared of starting this and then having to end up getting a cover up if it won't go away. A faint hint of the old tattoo would be fine with me. So I just want to be 100% ok with my decision before I start. I'm glad you are on your way though and staying so positive. That will help you a lot throughout this whole thing :)
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Thank you! :) I do have my ups and downs, but time is flying and it is getting better and easier and I kind of accept the situation! :) Life is amazing and this is what really matters! Positive attitute will take you far far away :)
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I'm in exactly the same situation as yours. Identifies with every word ... I feel terrible about my tattoo, even though it is well made, and I thought it was a well thought decision. It received me confidence. Unfortunately, my relatives think I'm exaggerating, and when I read Your post made ​​me feel better that not only did I have such a problem, however, and apparently I'm not crazy. Costs of removing in Poland are huge and the worst part is that while I have to live with it ... However, I keep fingers crossed for you. It seems to me that even if you'll like your tattoo over time, this dark thought of removal will come back to you. If you have the time and money, delete. Since the time you thought about it, the strength does not fall in love with this tattoo, even though it is nice. Regards! :)
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Hi Nataalia0707. I'm so sorry that you are feeling the same way. I know it's not a good feeling to have :( and you are definitely not crazy! The thing is, we are all human. And as thought out as our decision to get a tattoo may have been, it's different once it's actually on you. It's easy to sit here and beat ourselves up over it and think "How on earth could I have done this to myself," but that's the thing..sometimes we make mistakes and that is only natural as human beings. Unfortunately this is a tough one to get rid of, and even if you can't get it taken off now, maybe one day you will be able to. Until then, maybe you will grow to love it! I am hoping that may end up being the case with me. Even if I can love it for a while, maybe in a few years technology will be even better...a girl can hope, right! No matter what happens though, as many have said on this site, don't ever let the ink or the decision you made to get it define you. I'm sure yours is beautiful, too, and even if it does not feel right on you, at least it is not a badly done tattoo...it could always be worse, right? Please let me know if you ever need to talk things out. I'm always here :) Can I ask how old your tattoo is?
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Thank you for your response Ap1191 :) My tattoo is about 3 months. Yes, I console myself that someday technology will be better and tattoo removal less problematic and perhaps cheaper. I'm starting to like this tattoo a little bit, though sometimes I have a crisis again. And how about you? Did you like your tattoo a little bit or you made the some concrete steps to remove it?
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That's good that you are feeling at least somewhat better about it. I am the same way. I do not love it by any means and if I could snap my fingers and make it disappear..I would an instant! But I do feel more at peace with it and I am not letting it get to me as much as it was before. I have better days when I feel like I kind of even like it, and then bad days when I just think, "why did I put this thing on my body!" As of now, I am still weighing my options with removal, so I haven't made any definite decision. I think I will end up going for removal at some point, I just don't know if timing is right at the moment. But still mulling things over :) I'm glad you are feeling better though, and just try to keep positive thoughts. No matter what happens, we all have to make the best of this situation or it'll just drive us insane!
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Just like you said " I have better days when I feel like I kind of even like it , and then bad days when I just think , " Why did I put this thing on my body! " - I have exactly the same ! Problem remains in me is that before I ran a healthy lifestyle, practiced sports and exercise. When I fell into this string with the tattoo , I gained weight and I can not bring myself to return. Holidays are coming, so the fact that I have a tattoo on the ribs comes with a flat belly. One thing led to the other and I cant bring myself to exercise, even though it once loved. And it makes it even more I ask myself - what was I thinking ? Unfortunately, my relatives did not understand and still do not understand that it bothers me . On many forums I met with the opinion " Why do a tattoo as soon as you want to go remove ? "I think that people who havent survived it , will not understand and doesnt make sense to force this explanation. The more I'm glad I found people who understand me . Wish you all the best , I hope that the situation will resolve and improve :)
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