My Journey of Impulse, Regret and Triumph! 19 Year Old Tattoo Removal. - Leicester, GB

Hi everyone, I'm new to this but I'm happy to find...

Hi everyone, I'm new to this but I'm happy to find so many others in the same boat as me. When I turned 18 I was so excited to get my first tattoo and I did exactly that, without much thought or understanding as to what I was doing. It read "viva la vida" under my right breast which I guess is now ironic given my circumstances today! After almost a year, I decided it looked unfinished and wanted to decorate it with some flowers of some sort, again I don't really know what I was thinking. I got some huge roses (beautiful artwork) tattooed down my ribs and instantly hated them to the point of depression. Almost a year on here I am! I convinced my parents to foot the bill whilst I am still studying and have promised to pay them back this summer! I guess parents will do whatever they can to make you happy and I will always be forever grateful for their kindness, support and understanding.
This past year has been a dark one for me as I am living with the guilt and regret of defacing my body in the way that I have. I must learn to forgive myself but I know this will be a long process. I will not allow a silly bit of ink to define me.

The writing on my tattoo actually scarred when I had it done, so I'm not holding out much hope for a successful removal there, but the flowers are apparently all good to go!!

I have chosen sk:n clinics (UK based) for my treatment and have already undergone my first treatment. I have seen spectacular results and I am thrilled. The flowers have broken up extensively, and although the writing hasn't really shifted, it's the flowers that I'm really not keen on so this is good!! The nurses are lovely and have made me feel so positive and at ease so I'm quite relaxed and excited about my next treatments! The pain is not to be underestimated though and I will say to anybody who is thinking of getting a tattoo, think so very long and hard because this process is beyond excrutiating!!

Anyway, I feel I'm finally ready to share my journey with you all and hopefully we can support eachother through these difficult times. Thanks so much everyone.



Rachael
Hello Rach welcome aboard. I had treatments at a sk:n clinic and was really impressed with the service and treatment and they use a good laser. Unfortunately it was too expensive for me even with a 30% off treatments to continue there as im having a full sleeve removed. Do you know what laser they used on you and when have suggested you go back for treatment number 2? Jez
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It's just the normal q-switched I think! And I had my first treatment Sunday and I'm booked in again for April 13th. She suggests 6 weeks which is exciting, I was thinking it would be a lot longer. The nurse said that my age plays a factor, because I am young the healing process is much quicker which I am very thankful for. In a lot of pain at the moment though! Rachael
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Hey, welcome along. Your story sounds very similar to mine! I got some script initially, but felt it looked 'unfinished' and a bit odd just by itself, so I added to it and then a year down the line realised I regretted the whole thing, and that tattoos aren't me. Good luck on your removal, you certainly have a few things in your favour (black ink, you're young etc). When you say your script 'scarred', how do you mean? Is it raised? All the best and keep us posted. You'll get plenty of support here :)
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Just a quick update

Hi guys, not much to report but thought I would update you with a little pic after my removal on Sunday. I'm really lucky to have not experienced any blistering or scabbing, but I have got extensive bruising at the moment which you can see from the pic. I'm already seeing some break up among the flowers which I am so happy about!
I'm finding that this waiting game is very mentally challenging and I just wish I could speed up time. Hopefully this gets a little easier to deal with.




Thanks guys,
Rachael
Welcome to the community :) 

Do you use numbing cream or ice packs during your treatment, I know the area you are treating is very sensitive. 
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No I just grit my teeth and go for it! It's the only area I've ever had lasered so I don't really know any different, it doesn't half hurt though. I actually came away with a huge bruise on my lower lip where I'd been biting it so hard during treatment :P this area does have it's good points as well though, such as I can keep it well hidden during my removal!
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I get terrible bruising on mine around my hip bone too. Can only imagine on the ribs! The roses look pretty light though, hopefully it goes quick!
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Itching!!

Wowwww the itching has fully set in now! Very sore! I'm having a bit of a bad day today and I'm feeling a bit hopeless. I cannot shift this feeling of blame and I'm so angry at myself that I did this. I also worry that this tattoo will never be gone. I am so young and should be enjoying life like all my friends and I feel stuck in this ridiculous bubble all because a bit of ink. I hope so much this feeling gets better with time :(
aloha rach006, Ink regret is a b*tch isn't it?! Yup, I've been there. I had a tattoo on my hand that was beautiful, I loved it but it felt unfinished. Went back to the same artist years later and had an add on...oh, what a mistake. I felt betrayed, violated, and so depressed. I cried for weeks and weeks. Then I found this forum and received wonderful support from so many. I had a consultation and started working on removal. Ten sessions later, it's a soft grey and so harsh, but don't get me wrong it's still going out the door. We can all say "enjoy life, you're young," blah...blah....blah....but it's you that needs to come to terms with it. I use ARnica for the bruising, I've had it. I guess it's because of bone. But you've taken that first step and you're doing fantastic. Keep us updated, good luck. I focus on staying positive, patient and persistent...it's what gets me through the days. Good luck...aloha...k
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Hey, sorry to hear you're having a rough day. It can take a while to adapt to this process... I'm almost ten months in and I still feel down about it a lot of the time, but you find ways to adapt and cope. Remember, every day that passes from now on is a day further away from when you started this process and a day closer to finishing. Be thankful that your tattoo can be easily covered in regular clothes! It's a long old slog but your chances of full removal are very good - you just need to exercise patience like never before, take good care of your body and occupy yourself wherever possible. Also, try not to dwell on the bad; focus on all the positive things you have going on - after all, it's only a tattoo, things could be a hell of a lot worse :)
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Thanks for your help. I do sometimes have to shake myself and realise I am living with a very first world problem. I am so lucky that this is all I have to live with and thanks for reminding me of that. Today has been a much better day :)
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Itching becoming unbearable

Has anybody got any advice to combat this itching? It's been waking me up in the middle of the night and it's constant. It's absolutely killing me please help anyone!
The itching can be horrible for sure! Like Andrew said, stay hydrated, and try to keep it moisturized. I take an antihistamine to combat the itching, and I slap the skin, as opposed to scratching. The good news is, your tattoo is all black, so you should have nice fading. Staying on here will help you fight those feeling of self hatred and depression from what you've done. I always say to myself, "why did I do this, if I could just go back to that day". The truth is, it doesn't help at all, but being on here with others who feel the same way is such a help. This forum has kept me going. Hang in there, and keep us updated!
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Hi Rach the itching's a nightmare at times, it helps drinking as much water as possible to keep your skin hydrated (2-3 litres a day) and use plenty aloe vera or coconut oil. I also take an omega 3 cod liver oil supplement as I heard it helps fight against irritated skin. Don't scratch the skin either, gently rub or slap the area. Don't worry about your tattoo, have plenty patience and you'll have success, you've got the advantage of being young and healthy, the tattoos all black which helps plus its near the heart. It looks like your 1st treatment has got rid of most of the light shading which bodes well for your future treatments. Good luck! Look forward to seeing your results.
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I hear ya, itching is insane...here is a forum I found that may help you:

http://www.realself.com/forum/post-laser-tattoo-removal-tching
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Coming up for 3 weeks post 1st treatment

Hi everyone, just a quick update. Itching subsided about a week ago which was a relief!! I found that lots of moisturiser and lots of water helped me massively through that almost unbearable period!! Peeling has started so I'm putting lots of bio oil on at the moment. Seeing so much break up among the flowers which is exciting!! Not so much the script but I'm not too fussed about that.
Hey there, just checking in for an update - how are you doing, have you had anymore treatments?
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Treatment day no.2 has arrived!!

Hi guys!! So almost 11 weeks after my 1st treatment, I am heading for treatment 2. The reason for the long delay is because I'm getting treated in Leicester where I go to University and I've been at home in Hertfordshire for a while so it gave me a chance to let it heal further. I feel so much better about my journey. The significant fading has left me feeling so optimistic! I am feeling very nervous about today as the pain and the itching afterwards was enough to last me a lifetime! My timing isn't great as I've got exams over the next few weeks and so I'm going to be itching like a dog throughout them! Here's a pic of my tattoo I just took now.
Hey! Nice fading! Good luck on your exams! Keep us posted!
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Hey! Fading looks good! 11 weeks is a really good amount of time to allow for healing and for the body to work at removing the ink. After my next treatment I'll be spacing mine out to 12 weekly. Good luck for number 2 - let us know how you get on! :)
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2nd treatment done!

Just had my 2nd treatment. Pain was much more bearable than last time and she switched it up to 3.5. Nurse was different this time but I didn't mind as she was so kind and comforting. Let me do whatever I wanted i.e listen to my music. I actually found when I watch the laser go round it's much easier to bear, I guess different things work for everyone! Last time the treatment took 40 mins due to stopping and starting with pain, but this time only took 20 so I was obviously coping much better! The nurse said she's very happy with my fading, and advised me to dose up on anti-histamines should the itching persist. Bandages are on at the moment but I will upload a picture tonight when I take them off to clean it.
Thanks so much for taking the time to update us!! Glad everything went well for you and your session wasn't so long!! I remember during my treatments the length and aggressiveness of the treatment was always different. Good luck on your exams and happy healing!!

Let us know how things look over the next few weeks - fingers crossed for lots of fading!
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Quick picture

Alright! Congrats on round two! Looking forward to see some fading :) Cheers!
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Hi Rachael...yeah it seems it's fading pretty well
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Ouch!!

Blistering has appeared today for the first time :(
I feel quite poorly and run down today, almost feverish. Has anyone else experienced this during this process before?
Blistering certainly can be a normal part of the process, I've experienced it and so have many others on here. Protect them the best you can, only drain if really necessary and try to keep the skin intact until it naturally sheds, as it will keep the new skin covered underneath. With regards to how you're feeling, I guess it could be linked. I think I read about a few other people on here who have experienced something similar, so I'm sure they might be able to offer some advice. Essentially you're body has just experienced a trauma, you're immune system is waging a war now on the afflicted skin, as it works to heal it. The whole thing can be quite taxing for a few days! The best thing to do is rest up as much as poss and drink plenty of water. Take care of yourself, but if things do get worse maybe consider seeking some medical advice. Hope you feel better soon.
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9 weeks post 2nd treatment!!

Hi everyone, just a quick update with pics. 2nd treatment was very very successful and I'm so happy with the fading. The script has started breaking up too (yippee!). I am now 20 and growing physically and mentally with my journey. I am really throwing myself into everything and in a really good place at the moment. 3rd treatment takes place around mid July so will let you know how that goes. I'm off on holiday next week so will be a new challenge to spend my week in a one piece whilst all my friends are wearing bikinis, it's not something I've experienced yet so I'm anxious to see how I'll feel. But I've made my bed and I'm now lying in it, if I want the process to be successful I do have to sacrifice certain things such as sunbathing in a bikini!
Nice fading! :) lines are breaking up! Enjoy your summer :)
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So proud of you! It's wonderful to hear that you are embracing this and growing from this experience, as in the end it's not what happens to you that matters, it's how you handle it. 

Your fading looks great! Keep us posted :)
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Thanks Eva! I'm such a crucial transition stage in my life I would hate something so trivial to impact on any decisions I might make. At the end of the day it is just ink and I won't let it define me any longer. The significant fading has definitely helped me stay positive! I'm really holding out hope for full removal!
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Nurse Clare Love

Very professional but so lovely at the same time. Made me feel so welcome and didn't judge me at all. She's only interested in helping me as best she can and even when I was writhing in pain she made me feel good!

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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