Tattoo Removal: 6 & 4 Session Completed -Midwest, USA

Yesterday I completed my first session of laser...

Yesterday I completed my first session of laser removal. In total, Im having three tattoos removed. Two of the tattoos being removed are on my arms, and the third, is on my back.
I must say, I'm a little disappointed after my first session. I know this is going to be a process. And I know that laser surgery isn't something that produces instant results (for most people). I suppose I thought, that maybe, I would have seen a bit more of the ink broken up than I am actually seeing.
About my tats: I HATE my two arm tattoos that I am having removed. I have hated them for as long as I have had them, which has been about 10 years. They were stupid, impulsive, and I should have started the removal process a long time ago. My entire wardrobe has conformed to covering my arms. I wear tank-tops with cardigans all summer... It's a bitch.
I have thought about alternatives to laser treatments. I've considered doing a cover-up on my right arm, maybe something floral. As for my left arm, if this doesn't work (laser surgery), I will resort to surgical skin grafting. I know that there would be a fairly significant scar as a result, but I don't care. And, as for my back, I'm not as worried about the removal process. My only other tattoos are on my back; they don't bother me.
I will post photos after each treatment. My next treatment isn't scheduled until August 15th. I'm thinking I shouldn't have to wait for so long, and I'm getting a second opinion about this. Any thoughts, advice, or constructive criticisms about the process are welcome and greatly appreciated. ~thanks.
Good luck! I have 4 and want 3 of them removed. Actually I wish I never got any of them but the one I can live with. Haven't started treatments yet but I fully intend to. I heard it takes a while for the ink to go away. Be patient and stay positive!
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If you see any fading after your first session it won't be for a few weeks. The bodies immune response of removing the ink is a slow one. As far as having to wait til August goes, that's actually a good thing. My doctor makes me wait 3 months between sessions. He tells me that the longer you wait the better for the removal process and the more you get for your money...good luck
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Congrats on your decision! Hang in there, it is a long process!
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Two weeks Prior to Second Treatment

In two weeks (July 17th) I will go in for my second treatment on my left arm. I will also be getting my first treatment on my right arm, and back. I'm not as excited this time around, as I was prior to having my first treatment. But I think it's because I was upset for various reasons after the first time.
After the first treatment, not only did I wish I had seen better results; but it left me with a knot in my stomach knowing how much I paid, and would be paying for each session to come. I paid about $500.00. Well, I did my homework, and went to another consultation... and as a result, I'm having all three worked on for less than $200.00 (same laser, same treatment type). What a difference in price. I'm still a bit pissed at how much I spent for the first treatment. It's upsetting to know how much I hate my tattoos, and how much money some people seek to make off others' mistakes, such as mine. I can only imagine how many other people get roped into paying in installments, or contracts, and pay SO much more money than necessary. I suppose I should be thankful I looked elsewhere and found better...
I'm adding a few photos, and hoping that I can start tracking some positive results in the near future. In spite of not being excited, I am optimistic. My tattoo on my right arm never scabbed, scared, and it never raises. I don't think the ink is super deep. I have no clue if all this makes a difference or not during the laser treatments, but it's everything that's wrong with my left arm (it's scared, it scabbed and bled after it was done, and it does raise in areas of red ink). So I'm hoping for some positive progress this time around. I'm just so tired of wanting to crawl out of my own skin every time I pass a mirror. It's been ten years...
I didn't see any results after my first session either - but I have after session 2. I am in Australia - we don't have the Picosure here yet, but am certainly hoping 2014 may be the year here! Hang in there.
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Thanks so much for the encouragement :) I'm hoping that after my treatment this Wednesday, and a few weeks thereafter, I will start to see some changes. We don't have the PicoSure laser here either, I suppose it's maybe worth seeing where the nearest one is...
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hi! I am also having several tattoos removed, and I have been doing the standard YAG treatments with little success for about a year. A new tattoo removal laser JUST came out called the Picosure. Find one in your area! I have seen more results with this laser in one session than the other in 9.
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Second Session

Yesterday I had my second treatment on my left arm, first on my right and back. Like the first time, I went in feeling really excited and left feeling depressed. I'm not sure if anyone else has felt a significant mood change after their treatments? I instantly walked out of the office feeling less talkative, less energetic, less motivated, and all around less happy. I also left both times feeling agitated and annoyed. I ended up going home, curling into a ball with my back sitting up, and laying on my couch away from people, with my cats.

Aside from feeling bummed out, this treatment was also far more painful than the first. Maybe it was the fact that I was at a different clinic/shop for my second treatment? I did use lidocaine cream both times. And this time I was also needing squeezing a stress ball, squirming, saying a few choice words (I didn't say anything last time, just sat there), and had to stop mid-session altogether for a few minutes. After all was said and done, Im left wondering how I'm going to be able to tolerate the pain for the following treatments. Like I seriously do not want to experience that again. Physically and emotionally, I left there feeling like s**t.

After my first treatment I was also given Valium, so not to care as much afterwards for about two days. I will be sure to see my PCP next week to have some for next time. It really helped. I was able to go about my day, and didn't retreat home in hiding.

Hey there, it's been awhile since your last update, how are things coming along? I understand you struggle a bit with emotions after treatment, more-so after your 2nd treatment, that is so normal, it happens to me as well. Best thing to do is refocus your mind on other things, read, watch a really inspirational movie, go out with friends and best of all get out in nature, that is my medicine for everything! I found it interesting you were given a Valium after your 1st treatment, I have never heard that before. Look forward to hearing from you and seeing how far you have progressed, would love to see photos :) 

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Sorry it took me awhile to respond. Thanks for the "check-in", it's appreciated. Yeah, the first time I had my tat removal done, the doctor (it was an MD who preformed the treatment) gave me Valium. It didn't help much afterwards (it was okay- but not worth the grogginess it caused). I tried taking it prior to my third treatment, but it was kinda useless since I'm in pain, not having panic. But I have since been seeing my PCP through-out this process. It's not that I don't feel comfortable with where I'm going, I just feel better knowing a medical doctor is tracking my progress. She does provide something for the pain for a few days afterwards, and it's a lifesaver for me. I'm pretty tolerant to pain, but I have such sensitive skin to began with. I'd rather have all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed over and over again than go through this each time. In any case, it does make this process manageable for me... And I wouldn't recommend the Valium. I will be adding a series of photos shortly :)
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I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one in pain (not that I want anyone in pain though). I thought it was just me. I go to a dermatologist at a hospital and he hasn't prescribed anything for me :/
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5th Session

Hey All-
I haven't posted in awhile, and I have no idea what happened to my photos. I also wanted to quickly say that I don't know anyone else who is doing this, has gone through this, or is even considering it. So when it comes to having someone to relate to- this site is all I know, to not feel like I'm the only person dealing with this.
So here's where I'm at. I had my 5th session on one arm today, and my 3rd session on my other arm and my back. I feel like crap. My arms are swollen, red, stinging, and staring to develop baby blisters. My last session wasn't actually so bad. But this time seems to hurt so much more, like my second session. I leave the office saying, "I'm never coming back", as usual... But I keep on. My commitment to getting these damn things removed is far greater than the commitment I could have ever foreseen when I had them put on.
My PCP is really empathetic. She gives me a few Percocet to deal with the pain for a few days afterwards. I don't know how I would get through without them. My left arm is a band of flames, consisting of red, orange, and yellow ink. And for about three days post treatment, it swells about a third of the size that my arm naturally is. I look like I lift weights with only one arm. The red ink is fading well the orange is basically gone, the yellow is being stubborn as hell, and the black lines are breaking up, but very slowly; they will be there long after the color. I anticipate several more treatments. My other two tattoos (on my other arm and my back, the ones that have had three sessions) are coming along much better than the arm band. So that's good. Though my right arm is ridiculously red this time, and has me a bit freaked out at the moment.
On a positive note, I heal well. In spite of all the pain, swelling, scabbing, and itching thereafter - my skin looks great within 3-4 weeks and I'm not scarring. So that's obviously a really good thing. I also don't leave feeling too depressed anymore, I'm just not in a very good mood.
I will add some photos again tomorrow. It's been a long day for me- this whole process is a two day event for me. And I'm simply tired. As always, any thought, comments, feedback, and/or constructive criticisms are always appreciated.

Some photos...

Updated Photos

Sessions 4 through 6

I had my 6th and 4th sessions on my arms yesterday. As always, the treatments hurt like hell. That said- I'm in a lot less pain this time around, compared to last. I didn't swell as much, even though I'm considerably more red. The tech did turn the laser up a bit. I'm hoping that when the redness disappears, my right arm will reveal considerably less ink from before. I guess I will keep taking photos and tracking my progress...
Same her like Eva G. My 1st treatment was a bitch the itching was horrific for a couple of weeks. But healed in about 3 weeks. The 2nd treatment was awful in differnt ways. Swelling for a week, nasty raw looking places no blisters or itching. 2nd treatment i physical felt bad I had no energy for days.
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Sorry to hear you are in more pain this time around. Each treatment for me differed, sometimes I got more blisters and more pain, and sometimes less. 

Just keep an eye out for any extreme discomfort or reaction and then consult with your clinic. 

Happy healing 
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Coming along...

I just had another session. It went pretty well. I've learned not to drive myself, and to spend the rest of the day doing nothing- it helps. It least for me it does, knowing that I don't have any responsibility for the day because I simply feel like crap and both of my arms feel like they are on fire for about 24 hours afterwards.
Like my last session, I bruised a lot during this session. Not sure what the difference is. Maybe it's because the laser is slowly being turned up as the sessions progress?? I was also told that we used a different tip at the end of the laser today. That the tip of the laser we used focuses the light differently. In short, it condenses it, strengthening the light, so that it's more efficient in breaking up the ink, now that the tattoos have faded; and because the ink isn't as concentrated as it was during the first few sessions. This was something I'd never read about before... not sure if anyone else has had the same experience??
Anyways- I guess all went well. I'm still satisfied with my technician, where I'm going for my tattoo removal, and I feel I'm being charged a reasonable price. It's nice to see my own pics on this site and know that I'm coming along. This process feels SO slow. It's been well over a year now. I just can't wait until it's all over.
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