My story is very complicated. It chronicles 10 years as I turn 27 in August. My tattoo quest begun at age 16. I spent a couple thousand dollars on professional tattooing over the next three years(that includes having my entire armpit tattooed). When I was 19 I built my own tattoo machine (people in jail refer to them as "boob guns") and then I tattooed my legs which I'm a terrible artist.
I had my brother do his first tattoo ever on my ankle (he is a tattoo artist to this day). but no body's first attempt at tattooing is any good. I quickly started regretting all these home job tattoos I was doing and having done. So I saved up $700 and got one treatment at a clinic in my town when I was 20. When I found out afterwards I would be needing 10 sessions or more due to the depth of ink I have dug the tattoos to (I had the needle go about 4 mm deep which then ink enters into the fat). I decided to buy a 'Q Switched Yag Laser machine' of my own. I then progressed learning everything needed to know and kept lasering my legs/ankle and chest, I also turned this into a business and charged people to remove their tattoos. After 4 sessions on the above mentioned areas I decided to start removing the tattoo on my right forearm. But because of the depth that it was dug (like on my legs)after 2 treatments I wasn't seeing enough progress and wanted to catch it up to the level the rest of my tattoos being removed were at. This is the massive mistake I made which most likely caused keloids (I'm not susceptible to it normally). I held the pulsing laser on my tattoo for far too long which hurt terribly (2nd degree burn). Eventually I stopped feeling any pain at all which I was later advised would have been the 3rd degree burn stage.
My forearm took way too long to heal but did after months. That's when I noticed purple keloid scarring and it raising rather high (keloids is excess collagen production and it can keep growing beyond the skin surface categorising it as a benign tumour). I worked in customer service until 4 months ago. This keloids was present in mid 2012. I got some of it cut out 27 days ago (25th of march 2014). That means I spent over 1 year and a half constantly getting asked about it. A lot of the "emo's" would think I'm into scarification and ask all sorts of intrigued questions, others were straight out puzzled. But I sure got asked plenty. It didn't affect me much (I'm fairly mentally robust). But I sure got sick of it as there was no simple 5 worded answers to what it is and why it happened.
The operation involved local anaesthetic and a scalpel cutting 3 inch long by 1 inch wide of skin and fat and peeling it up like carpet and then stitching the crater together - similar to what they do in a facelift.
In a few months I will have the exact same surgery again to take out the other half of my tattoo and the final result will be one single scar. During the procedure I was allowed to record it. Sadly I have deleted footage by mistake along with photos and footage of my tattoo/keloids before the operation . But I will be certain to get new footage of the second operation which will be the same.
Currently all of my tattoos are still very visible even after 10 treatments per tattoo. The one on my chest is least visible but that was done with a proper tattoo gun and proper ink (by my brother). I also sternly told him to not dig the needle in so deep. Which was to my advantage now in regards to removing it by laser. I'll post photo's and video's showing where I'm at currently. I also have a few videos of my legs being lasered on session 3. Some of the remaining tattoo/keloids is still visible and you can see a fresh scar. Thanks for taking the time to read my unusual story and I'm happy to answer any questions :-)
Appreciate the Wisdom we earn through the mistakes we make.
I don't live in regret, embarrassment or anything reflective of negative emotion. Everything we go through makes us wiser and stronger. I now look before leaping and take the time to think things through with all aspects of my life. If I had my time again with the knowledge I now have, I wouldn't have a single tattoo and I would be happily walking around with unmarked skin (the way we are all born). Like the rest of you fellow bloggers I don't have the luxury of that so I choose to go through any pain or discomfort in removing my terrible home-job tattoo's and I can still appreciate the professional ones I did get, even if they were the choice of a young teenager, and certainly not the fully grown man I am today.
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