Ankle Tattoo Removal

I started tattoo removal on 1/31/13 in attempt to...

I started tattoo removal on 1/31/13 in attempt to erase an impulsive decision I made 15 years ago. I never really thought about what I wanted to I ended up with a red scorpion that everyone thinks is a lobster. I hate it and have wanted it gone for about 14.5 years!

My first treatment was fine, no blisters or redness and I noticed very a teeny change. This last treatment was very different. I had immediate blood blisters and itching that drove me crazy! One night I scratched so hard that I now think I'm going to have a keloid scar. Let me know what you think and how your removals at going. My next treatment is at the end of April but I may push it off if I think I have more healing to do.

It's been about 3.5 weeks since my second...

It's been about 3.5 weeks since my second treatment and I'm pretty sure I'm gonna scar. Stupid itch!! Any tips for trying to limit scarring?? I wonder, if the next treatment causes a blister, would the scar return once the blistered skin is gone? I'm getting my removal done at a dermatologist so I'm hopeful that if there is noticeable scarring, they can help. I also think going to wait till 8 weeks post for my third treatment and not 6. The skin is actually still red and healing in some areas. The good news is I notice HUGE fading!! So that's something positive!

Today was the third session and although I put the...

Today was the third session and although I put the numbing cream on an hour and a half beforehand, it still hurt like a bitch!!

He treated the black first and there was very little skin change, I wondered if it was working. Then we finally treated the red for the first time and whoa... it immediately got that ash-like appearance. It's throbbing a lot now, just 3 hours later.

I didn't scar from my last session as I feared and he said I'm having amazing results. Next time we are going to turn the laser all the way up. Nervous but so excited!!

I took a video today to show some of the folks who are still in the consultation phase what it looks like. As you can see, the black wavelength had minimal change and the red wavelength set off a light show! The pic is from Monday so about 6.5 weeks post treatment.

Can't believe I'm on the third session already!

3 weeks post 3rd treatment

So I'm about three weeks after my third session and I definitely don't have the crazy itch I did after the second one. After a week the blood blister sort of disintegrated after a shower and left shiny red skin. Every day it looks better and I'm excited for my 4th treatment which will be around June 12th or 19th.

4 treatments, 8.5 months later...

I haven't updated in a while. Been in the whole cycle of treatment, healing, treatment, healing. When I look at my before picture I can see how far I've come but when I look at my ankle I still feel so far from having nothing there. I've been waiting longer between treatments and I think that has helped a lot with healing. My doc is very happy with how it's progressing. I dunno, I guess I just wish it was over already. I'm glad cooler weather is coming so I don't have to explain the bandages. On a positive note, I feel less embarrassed by my tattoo overall. I guess since its faded so much, it's not as noticeable.

Anyone find that healing speeds up over time? Not sure if the laser wasn't turned up enough last time but the skin was completely healed after two weeks when the first two treatments took at least 6 weeks to heal.
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Your progress is looking really good, thank you for coming back and sharing with us.
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Thanks for your update, you're making great progress! How long are you waiting between sessions?

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At least 10 weeks. My first two sessions were after 6 weeks and I don't think the skin was fully healed so now I wait a lot longer.
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I think it's a good idea to wait longer, it's lots of trauma to the skin and it's best not to rush. Keep us posted!
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Hi kokow. I have def. noticed that with each session the recovery time is quicker. I am up to treatment 11 on my tattoos and the are pretty much healed in about 7 days. I also don't get as much blistering. It seems to be a pretty common story that healing time speeds up over the life of the process. Don't get disheartened keep going. By the look of that tattoo you will get good results when you get to about session 10. One thing that you learn in this process is that it takes much longer than you think! I started treatments in November 2011 and I am still going!! I probably need another 4-5 on remaining tattoos. Plus another year for maximum fading.....patience is a virtue and once permanent tattoos take their sweet time to go!
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Hello! I am on my 6th session ...I am having an arm band removed off my upper are...similar to what Pam Anderson has! It has been a year and it looks like another 6 months for me.i am having it done here in my home town at a Plastic Surgery facility..they are very good and thorough...it takes maybe 10-12 minutes and I'm done! Feels like an elastic band snapping on your skin.. only it's x 100% more painful! Yikes! But so worth it! I tried the numbing creambut it didn't work for me...I feel pretty tender for the first day and then the pain fades! Never had the itching as bad as you are experiencing though...it does itch..but not that much for me! Good luck to you!
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Wow! Quite the light show!
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Haha, I know! That was the first time it did that, guess it was for the red ink. I have a huge blister right now and I'm so excited for 2 weeks from now when it comes off and I can see the change underneath!!
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The fading is incredible!
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Baby Benadryl is what my tattoo removal guy tells be to take for itching, I still itch but not as bad. I am on my 4th session and he turned up the juice on the laser this last time boy did it hurt and my tat was one giant blister (24x6) it was very painful for about three weeks with the added laser power, hopefully I get much better results this time as much pain as I've gone through.

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I'm definitely going to take your advice this time and use benedryl when the itch comes! Funny, my 4th session is next and my doc said that's the one he's going to turn the laser all the way up!
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aloha kokowillis, Thanks for updating and yes, waiting some extra time might be helpful for fading.   I don't see any scars in the pictures.  I've heard that kelocote (it's available online and in stores, just google it) is good as well as Mederma scar therapy (my daughter used that after mole removal that left scars).  Personally I'd rather have a scar than the ink but I understand you may feel differently.  Vitamin E is also a good treatment, I used that on my son when he fell off his bike and we thought he'd scar, but he didn't. I just opened the capsule and slathered it on.  Good luck and thanks for updating, your fading is amazing!  aloha...k
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Thanks Kahelani, I'm feeling better about it today. I've stopped picking at it and am just applying Neopsporin during the day and Mederma at night. I wish I had started this process a year ago! I hate how long it's going to take! How has your fading been going since your last treatment?
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aloha kokowillis,  a very wise person said to me "time will pass no matter what you do, it all depends on what you do with that time".  If you started a year ago that would have been great, but perhaps you weren't ready.  Each day it's a new adventure for me and my fading.  I see progress and I'm hopeful.  The finger is amazing though, most of the lines are broken up, I'm very happy with it.  I am now post thirteen days since session 3 the R20 session and I'm looking forward to the next session  at the end of May.  I am looking at my wrist right now as I type this and I'm wearing a favourite silver bracelet, I'm gonna live my life nomatterwhat!  I'm not going to hide any more, I'm not going to spend the next year and a half in hiding.  Thanks for the update, you'll do just terrific!  aloha...k
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My post http://www.realself.com/review/sg3-tattoo-removal-when-two-tribals. Need to work out how to post photos. My sessions are 4 weeks apart. She takes about half hour to laser 2 tattoos. We will get our results xx
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aloha kokowillis, I see that you are going through laser tattoo removal. I have had two single sessions and this past week I had the new R20 technique (multiple passes in one session separated by a 30 minute break). The first session left me itching but not the other times. I use hydrocortisone for the itch and I do keep it bandaged for the first week. There are some fabulous bandages, called Duoderm I think available on Amazon and maybe even your local drug store. and they are waterproof and last for days. Slather your lasered area with ointment, slap on a duoderm and maybe that will help. As for the keloid, you could use kelo-cote ointment, it's available online through Amazon also. Antihistamines like Benadryl pills/syrup also help. These are all things I've used, tried and it has helped me. all the best with your laser removal and keep us posted. aloha...k
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Wow, it seems like you had a lot of fading for just 2 treatments! Do you happen to know what kind of laser they were using on you?

As for the possibility of a keloid scar, here is some info that might prove helpful:

Keloid Prone & Want to Remove Tattoo. Best Option?

Have Keloid Scarring After Laser Tattoo Removal, What Should I Do?

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I'm pretty sure it's a Q-switched Nd:YAG: 1064 nm. I know it had YAG in the name. My thing is I keep picking at it, trying to get it to heal faster which is dumb since now I think I'm making it worse. I need to just let it be and let it heal... so hard!
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Yeah, it can be really hard not to pick at stuff. Are you allowed to cover it with a bandage? If so, maybe that would help to keep you from picking at it?

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Interesting to see your progress. My ankle tattoo is black red orange & yellow. It's fading very slowly. (When two tribals go). My third session really caused a lot of itching. I ended up going to the doctor to get steroid cream. But the thing that helped most was an antihistamine tablet. Once you start scratching it is hard to stop. But it is possible. :)
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JannV, I would love to see pics of your progress. I have notice a huge difference since using a cortisone creme prescribe for a different skin issue. Not only does it help with itching, it's reduced the scarring. Hi kahelelani! I've seen your progress and we are about the same in out treatments! I tried the duoderm but I'm so obsessed that I was only able to leave it on one day without changing it!! My next session is scheduled for April 24th but I may push it off if I don't think my skin is ready for another blast!2
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aloha kokowillis, your fading of the black is amazing! And after only two sessions of single laser pass. I've had five passes of the laser (two single and one R20 session of three passes). I might be in it for the long haul. I really like the hydrocortisone and if it helps then that's great. As for postponing your next session, as long as it's six to eight weeks between sessions you should be okay. You don't have to decide right now do you? The technician can always adjust the settings, that's what mine does. He blasts on one area and waits to see how the skin reacts and that adjusts accordingly. Maybe that's why I'm there for two hours! Good luck and thanks for updating. We ink regret siblings gotta keep together and support each other. Happy fading! aloha...k
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I've posted some pics :)
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