Have Had Removal (15ish Sessions) for Over 2 Years Now- Lesson to Be Learned - Germany, DE

TL;DR- If you find your tattoo has angry, raised,...

TL;DR- If you find your tattoo has angry, raised, bright red marks on it after a laser session, do not continue with it until the marks are completely gone. Find a new doctor if they say it is okay to continue lasering. These marks can become permanent.

I didn't care about my tattoos until one day I became suddenly embarrassed of my chest tattoo and have been wearing strictly high neck shirts/dresses since about 2011. I decided to pursue laser tattoo removal at a clinic in GA, United States. The tattoo in question consists of 6 black symbols across my chest. I also had a touch up on it once because of sun damage. I will post pictures after my next session, but they might be too gory.

Clinic 1- An overpriced beauty spa in the States. Absolutely useless, and the most expensive 6 treatments at 300$ each. After the 6th, there was literally 0 difference in my tattoo. No numbing cream because it was an extra 50$ per session. They also did not ice it. It hurt like crazy.

So I moved on to clinic 2.

Clinic 2- A reputable dermatologist in a small city in Germany. Each session cost 120€ and I had about 5 or 6 sessions with her, numbing cream and icing it were free. I had no idea it wasn't a normal part of tattoo removal to have your skin so burned and damaged from the laser that she kept giving me Second Skins (eng) and cortisol injections (there are so few stories out there- how am I supposed to know what elements of tattoo removal are normal or not?). This laser was so powerful that I was basically crying after each session. Most of the tattoo is gone because of this dermatologist, but it left me with awful scars. Her assistant called me one day to tell me their laser was broken and they weren't going to get a new one.

Clinic 3- The best place I have been to yet. 3 sessions so far for 80€ each. The technician took one look at my tattoo and was shocked by the damage from the previous dermatologist. I apparently had good luck in that her laser was "broken". She might have actually been sued instead, but that is speculation. Many of her former patients are going to this clinic now and all have terrible scarring like me. Both technicians thought my skin was so damaged that 100% removal wouldn't be possible anymore, but my skin has made a great comeback with their cream recommendations and there is about 1 more session to go for full ink removal. The scars are raised and far more visible than any remaining ink. They are going to send me to a doctor to hopefully fix them for good. I am extremely grateful to this clinic for everything. I think my confidence is going to be restored thanks to their efforts.

Bad News

I was sent by my last tattoo removal clinic, following the final appointment, to a doctor friend of the technician. While not a dermatologist, he knows a bit about skin and is familiar with my case, having recommended the technician tell me about certain creams to facilitate the healing process. Well...I went to see him and came back feeling devastated.

I was told that I have 4 options to remove the scarring left by the dermatologist who basically left me a burn victim through laser tattoo removal:

1) Have the scarring site surgically removed, which is expensive and just creates new scars
2) Lay in the sun and hope it helps the scars a bit
3) See another dermatologist, maybe there is something they can do
4) Sue the dermatologist who messed up

He recommended numbers 1 and 4 especially. He called her work an "ärtzlicher Fehler", or a mistake a true professional doctor should not be making.

So while the ink in the tattoo is basically gone, I am now left with raised, multi-colored scarring across my chest. I would still recommend tattoo removal though. If I hadn't gone to that one dermatologist, I would have had my tattoo removed without issue.

1 Month Since the Last Update

I laid in the sun a bit and it seemed to maybe "smooth" it out a bit, but the difference was not so great. I may be moving overseas again within the next few months and will try going to see a doctor there, maybe even a plastic surgeon.

I decided not to sue the dermatologist who left me with the scarring. I have also not had time to really put creams on it because I am busy writing a thesis.

I have pictures posted now of the tattoo in different lighting. With no natural light, the scarring is not as visible as it once was, but it is still definitely there in the photo with natural light.
Tattoolos

Tattoolos DE- Hat mein Selbstvertrauen gerettet. Würde ich 100%ig empfehlen. Die Lasertechniker sind nett, kompetent und sogar besser als viele Hautärtze. Ich bin mit meinen Ergebnissen sehr zufrieden.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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