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Blue cover up tattoo needs partial removal -Montclair, NJ

Ok first off let me start by saying if you have a...

Ok first off let me start by saying if you have a small tattoo and don't like it, think twice about getting a cover up - this was my mistake. I had a small black tattoo on my ankle that was done very poorly when I was in college, instead of paying a lot of money for laser I figured a cover up wouldn't be so bad, wrong! I went to an artist who I trusted who has won awards for tattoo and he also did a few of my other tattoos which came out fine. However, the cover up he did for my tattoo is terrible, it looks like a HUGE blue blob. I asked for a flower and instead of doing a flower he told me that the only color that would cover black was blue (idiot) so he said he would do a flower with some waves around it. When he drew it on me I did say it was bigger than I wanted but he told me it HAD to be that big for the cover up, since I trusted him and the outline really didn't look that bad I let him go ahead with it - biggest mistake ever. First of all it doesn't look like 'waves' it looks like a blue blob on my ankle, second of all YOU CAN SEE MY OLD TAT UNDER IT. Some cover up right? I did go to another artist who said he could fix it and was very upset that my first guy did a terrible job but I don't want it fixed incase I still don't like it, I'd rather just try laser. Tomorrow I have a consultation with a plastic surgeon in my area who just recently got the Picosure laser, I have read this laser is very good for blues, however I am so skeptical about the whole experience, there are not a lot of pictures showing complete removal. Depending on the cost I may just get the part on my ankle lasered at first to see what results I get, if I cannot get full removed a cover up may have to do. I've been extremely depressed about this, I don't want to wear shorts or skirts anymore and its the summer :( I feel like an idiot and wish I had my small little tattoo back. Any words of wisdom? I will post about my consultation tomorrow, hoping it wont be that must money/time to get this thing off me...

Went for a consultation

So this morning I had my consultation at NJ Plastic Surgery with Dr. Andrea Cacciarelli. She was very nice but didn't seem too hopeful about my removal. I told her that I wanted to start with removing just the wave part on my ankle and see if I can deal with the flower design on my foot. For the wave part on my ankle (which is also the cover up part) she quoted me $250 per session with the Picosure, that is their minimum price. However she told me she doesn't have any experience removing cover up tattoos and that it will probably take a lot more sessions even with the Pico because there are various layers of ink :(

She showed me a booklet of removal pictures that were previously done with the older lasers, they just recently got the Picosure. It was kind of upsetting because I did not see any full removal pictures, the pictures were only progressions of fading. However she did tell me she does achieve full removal but it usually takes at least a year or more. She said since the Pico is so new she does not have any full removal pictures yet and does not see a drastic difference with the Pico vs. the old lasers, which is also a little disconcerting as the Picosure is marketed to be quicker and better.

She wanted to do a test spot to see how my skin would react to the ink, I was very nervous about this and opted out because I have an engagement next week that I will probably be wearing a dress for and I did not want a bandage or blisters on my ankle :(

If I go through with the lasering I will probably wait until it gets a little cooler here in NJ around Sept-October so I am not constantly wearing shorts with bandages on my ankle. I'm nervous about the pain, I've had IPL laser done for brown spots on my face before and she said it is nothing compared to IPL, the pain is apparently 10 times worse and I thought IPL hurt!!

I may try another doctor (the one I went to for IPL) however I do not think she has the Picosure but it doesn't seem to make a difference...

Any thoughts?

Also let me add..

She told me that the foot and hands are the toughest spots to laser because they tend to swell up so she would have to start with a very low level and work up to high intensity. Also they do not offer numbing cream or shots! She would give me a RX to get numbing cream if the test spot was too painful for me.

Need some words of encouragement

My new years resolution was to start on my tattoo removal, however I've been avoiding making the appointment. First of all I'm terrified of the pain and I'm scared it's not going to work. I'm also worried that because its on my ankle I will not be able to go to work for a few days due to swelling and blisters... I can't afford to miss more than a day of work, especially when I will have to pay so much for this treatment. Any advice? Is this first appointment the most difficult? So far I have only had a consultation that wasn't too positive :(

Appointment for Feburary 4th

I finally did it. I made my first appointment with the Picosure for February 4th in two weeks. Not sure if they will do the full treatment that day or just do a test spot. My plan is to get ride of all the blue, especially the part on my ankle (which is the cover up) and then get the part on my foot fixed by a different tattoo artist. I definitely don't want anything on my ankle though so hoping to achieve full removal in that section. I would love to have total removal of the entire tattoo but I'm not sure I can afford it. I guess I will see how much progress happens with the first few treatments. Does anyone know how quickly they will space treatments? I am hoping to get this done or at least not noticeable before July.

Test spot.. seeing some fading already!

Hi everyone - So I just got back from my appointment, which was such a process. First off I need to complain a little about the office for any of you in NJ thinking of going there... I went for a consultation in June when they just got the Picosure. I met with a different doctor than I had today, the doc in June told me for the wave section of my tattoo it would be $250 and she wouldn't charge me to do a test spot when I decide to come back, perfect.
Today the doctor told me that it would be $350 per session and they usually charge $100 for a test spot. I only wanted to do a test spot today to see how my skin would react and also I was pretty terrified of the pain, blisters and swelling I've been seeing on this site (If I have any major swelling or pain I probably will be out of work for a day or two which I can't afford) Anyway, after consulting with the doctor I told her I only wanted to do a test spot today. So then I wait about a half hour in the room by myself and a payment consultant lady comes in to tell me that by doing JUST a test spot today would be $450!! I told her I was very confused and wanted to speak to the doctor, she told me there is no negotiation and she kept pushing me to sign up for Care Credit, which I didn't want (she was extremely rude and I'm wondering if they get commission for signing people up for Care Credit?) I then preceded to tell her I just wanted to pay out of pocket for today's treatment and I would like to speak to the doctor about the amount. Finally after waiting 20 more mins and talking with two assistants I finally got to speak to the doctor who told me she will wave the test spot fee if I pay $350 today and come back in 6 weeks for the full treatment, I agreed. I'm very upset about the lack of communication in the office and the different price quotes.

Anyway on to the procedure. I was sweating so bad, she explained that they use cooling air and that most patients find it to be tolerable. It definitely was painful but I would compare it to getting a tattoo maybe a little worse, but quicker, nothing I couldn't handle. I was in a little pain, like a stinging sensation on my drive home but right now (about 3 hours after treatment) I'm in no pain at all! Which is making me wish I did the full treatment today and not just the test, but oh well at least I know what to expect for next time. The good thing is I already see a little fading!! Check out the pictures. As long as it doesn't swell up or blister I have high hopes for my next treatment, scheduled for March 13th. The doctor said with this type of tattoo she is expecting 5-6 treatments spaced about 6 weeks apart for each.

First Full Treatment April 10th

So I pushed back my treatment a few weeks because after the test spot I had some raised scaring, which is now gone. So I had treatment on wave part of my tattoo on April 10th. Honestly the laser painful but tolerable, they use a machine that blows cold air on you during the treatment, not sure if that really makes a difference. Right after the treatment I was fine, no pain or anything, I did blister though a few hours later but not too much pain still for the next few days. However, right now 4 days later I am in pain and a few of my blisters popped last night while I was sleeping. The doctor told me to keep it bandaged for a week and to coat it with a lot of aquaphor and to not pop the blisters... but that was out of my control, they popped on their own. I definitely see a lot of fading, especially with the blue ink, you can see my old tattoo underneath almost perfectly now in some spots. I guess I will see how the fading progresses in the coming weeks.

Does anyone have any advice on aftercare? Because this tattoo is so low on my ankle it's very hard to keep it bandaged during the day with work and wearing shoes and honestly it feels a lot better when I let it breathe and put no bandage on it. Does everyone keep theirs bandaged that long? Should I be using aquaphor? Does anyone recommend anything else? Know of anything that speeds up the healing process? Also is it normal for me to be in pain 4 days later? The area is a little swollen and red but it doesn't look infected or anything like that.

Picture of 4 days after treatment

This is the day after the blisters popped, you can see my old tattoo a lot now. Today has been the most painful so far. Does this seem normal?

Concerned!! Skin Peeling

Today I had a sock on all day during work and when I took it off a lot of the ski came off with it... the skin is almost the same color as my tattoo... now it looks pretty bad like a deep wound almost i'm very nervous is this a normal occurrence? I have put neosporin and bandaged it

Does this look normal? Freaking out

So I'm not in a lot of pain anymore but it's very itchy. My skin just keeps peeling off the parts where the blisters where! Is this normal? I'm not touching it, I have it bandaged and it keeps coming off with the bandage. I am going to call the doctor tomorrow. Any thoughts? Looks like I may have scaring. I hope I can still eventually continue treatment :( very upset today
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I think the way your at ankle looks is normal for the healing process. My arm looked like that for a while after my 5th laser treatment though did calm down and it was after having the bad reaction that I started seeing some significant fading. The itching is a good sign, it means you're healing! Try applying a rich moisturizer (make sure it's not medicated and fragrance free) to help with the itching.
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aloha marley126, I can sense that you are worried and upset. I'm glad that you have plans to contact the doctor. Your doctor will be able to hopefully answer your concerns about scarring. Perhaps it's too early to tell, the healing process can be lengthy especially with ankles. Peeling has always been the part of my removal process and it can be frightening. Are you using surgical gauze with the bandaging? The kind that doesn't stick to wounds. I have always applied the antibiotic ointment gently with a gauze, then wrap. As for the itch, I have always depended on antihistamines, they were recommended to me by a poster here and I found them to be very helpful. If you can, rest as much as possible today. It could help your body and your mind relax. Stress doesn't do any of us any good. We're all hoping for the best, keep us updated after talking/visiting with the doctor. Good luck! aloha...k
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You always provide such excellent advice Kahelelani, I always learn something whenever I read your posts!
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Thanks K! I guess I didn't realize how much it would peel... a lot of people on here don't seem to have that I guess everyone is different. I have been keeping it covered with a non stick bandaged and wrapped. Do you know what the deal is with swimming? I am going to Florida on Friday and I would like to be able to go the pool/ocean.
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aloha marley126, everyone's experience with removal will be different. We are unique, are immune systems are different, and our aftercare is different. As for the swimming, I can only imagine that swimming of any kind is out of the question with an open, healing wound. I'm going back to my days as a lifeguard and First Aid on this one. Please check with your doctor. My after care sheet says to bathe and shower gently, blisters show skin damage and being aggressive with water can be additional damage. But check with your doctor. I hope you can enjoy Florida, I hope it's a relaxation time, not work time for you. aloha...k
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thanks starbgone, I am only sharing my experience. I've been very lucky with my removal process, had a wonderful technician who has shared years of experience with me. Each of us experiences a different healing process, we are unique, so checking with our own professionals is best. But I'll share whatever I have learned from the doctors as well as the posters here. We are all here to support each other. That's the best part of being here.
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Thanks. I wish my doctor was more clear with aftercare instructions. I didn't get a sheet or anything. The technician who wrapped up my ankle said to keep it bandaged for a week with aquaphor, no further instructions.
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aloha marley126, yes I was given an aftercare sheet with detailed instructions. A&D ointment was applied, bandaged, and I was told to rest for the remainder of the day. No physical activity for two days, no heavy activity if there were blisters. The doctor wants them to release on their own, not by accident/bumping. I have also "googled" aftercare instructions and found that they are pretty standard. So after a laser session, I go through a lot of gauze, bandage wrap and bacitracin ointment. Aftercare is the most important part to promote healing. The only thing that I'd like to see is more money in my wallet, that would definitely help the healing process along for me. :)
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aloha marley126, if you're nervous and think something is wrong, I would definitely call your doctor. Ankles are always moving, even when we try to keep them still. Healing can take a bit longer because of this. Good luck...aloha...k
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Whoa, the blue is almost completely gone! I have no idea how much is normal when it comes to skin peeling, but mine peeled like a really bad sun burn. Now it's scabbed over. I'm having a hard time not picking at the scabs. I just keep slathering on a ton of aquaphor. My doctor told me it wouldn't scar, so I just have to hope he's right I guess. Considering how many times I've gotten a bad scrape or a cut, and how few scars I actually have, I'm not too worried.
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Awesome fading of the blue! Are you getting the entire tattoo removed? Are you going for full removal or a cover? For healing, my doc says to keep it moisturized with Aquaphor or something similar. I know that staying very hydrated helps with healing. Working out is great too, but with a sore ankle, that's probably difficult. Good luck with healing!
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I'm starting with the part on my my ankle first... I'd love to achieve full removal but this healing process is pretty brutal so I may just have to deal with a cover up. I will see how fading goes on my ankle in the coming weeks and then decide. Starting to get a little concerned about scaring.
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Have you looked into the tattoo sleeves, they might be perfect for your ankle with healing. The ankle is such a difficult area to keep still and protected with the healing process. You can find tattoo sleeves on ebay, and probably online. Many military and uniformed officers need to wear them for work. After I have a laser session, I keep the bandage on for 48 hours. The technician applys A&D ointment and advises me to keep it covered for at least a week, apply antibiotic ointment. I also use antihistamines for the itch. I think you're having a good treatment success. Happy fading. aloha...k
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Thanks i'll have to check that out! I'm feeling a lot better today, pain is finally starting to go away, you're right the ankle is really a tough spot! Probably going to wait a few months for my next treatment see how the fading progresses.
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I think your tattoo is ok, i guess you dont know what is a crappy tattoo, if u dont like that, so called blu blob, u can always let him use little bit white or craft it to make it lil bit more realistic. I think your tattoo is beautiful but i understand what u feel to
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im sorry but this is a terribly executed tatoo, its hard to beleive that this was done in a shop! Your comment goes to show people have no idea what a good tattoo is thats how these scratchers stay in business because people like you think this is a beautiful tattoo. I dont want to be harsh but you should continue with a few sessions of laser than get a beautiful cover up from a top artist. read my review to see what a good tattoo should look like, i will give you artist recommendations depending where you live!!! good luck cant wait to see results
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Thanks. I know. It was done by an award winning artist believe it or not... Christian Masot from Silk City Tattoo in Hawthorne NJ check him out. His work is great but apparently he had no idea how to cover up my tattoo and he shouldn't have agreed to something he couldn't do. I'm home laser does work and I will DEFINITELY go to another artist for my next cover up!!!
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**hoping not home lol
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just checked him out, some of his work is pretty good, but some is just rubbish.. and a artist is only as good as his worst tattoo!! Check out Dmitry Vision Instagram -Dmitryvision ,Kris Busching..instagram-buschingtattoo. And John Barrett ,, instagrm - Yogi_barret .. there a few in driving range of a few hours from you, Dmitry and john are my 2 artist doing my leg sleeve..john guest spots at empire ink in Clemnton NJ every 8 weeks so that would work for you. there top notch artist in the country
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I think you'll be surprised at what the picosure will do to the blue shading. Quite a few people on hear have had some amazing results so far on colours such as blue and black. The docs usually recommend at least 6-8 weeks between treatments but you can wait alsong as you wish. This will help save money as your tattoo is still fading for months afterwards. Gd luck
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Thanks!
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Hi, I relate to the fear of pain and it is pretty bad- but, it is over soooo quickly, especially if you only do half of your tattoo at a time or even all of of your waves- since it is actually decently small (I know it feels huge:( Also, I got used to the pain- as a new normal. At first I was surprised and then I just accepted that I'd be in pain for the treatment and you find a way to get through such a short period of time. You should start with a small section of blue for a test with the picosure- it may work wonders and if it did then that may be the inspiration you need to move foward. Re. missing work. You must have regular weekends or 2 days in a row off occasionally- that's all you need- the first 2-3 days are the worst but you can bandage it, put a pair of nice cotton socks over it and be just fine. But to be safe, start with a smaller section to see how your body responds since there is a range of swelling that can occur and I've seen some suprising blisters/swelling on here:( I don't think anyone on here is missing a week of work or anything like that- just suffering through some uncomfortable days--- but then the fading begins:)!!! Good luck!
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the first treatment was the easiest for me pain wise. this is because the tech was going easy on me to see how id respond. but conversely, I also swelled the most. don't sweat it, to be terrified is normal. I was, everytime I went I was. then when I was getting treated id think to myself its never as bad as I make it out to be in my head. then when its all over im super psyched about it. it hurts, but its bearable, or else nobody would be doing it. and the type of pain is different, for me atleast. it would hurt for a split second when the spot is hit, meaning it didn't linger, like getting hurt in other ways does, if that makes sense.
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Hey there just checking in to see how you are making out, have you started treatment?


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Did you go to a different doctor? I'm asking because I am in NJ as well, not too far from Montclair and i would love to be recommended to somewhere good. I have a tattoo that needs to be partially removed in order for me to sign up for the military and i cant seem to find reviews for anyone out here :(
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