Massive Dark Tattoo = Depressed - Newcastle Upon Tyne, GB

Hi guys, Well from reading many people's stories...

Hi guys,
Well from reading many people's stories on here I guess I am in the right place. Basically a couple of months ago I decided to get the start of a sleeve tattoo. I was lucky enough to get in with a great artist and I thought I had the design all planned out so I would love it. A few sessions in the chair and I am sitting here absolutely racked with regret and suffering terrible depression.
The tattoo is way darker and bigger than I imagined and I just think it looks awful on me. The artist has done a great job but I just don't want it on me.
I wake up every day hoping that it was all a bad dream and then spend all day in a deep depression about it. I used to be proud of my physique and arms but now I feel like I have ruined it all in one stupid decision. I look at photos before I got the tattoo and want to cry with frustration at myself. I am single and I think I have made myself so unattractive that nobody would find me desirable at all.The tattoo is all black ink which I hear is a positive for removal but the sheer darkness and size of it makes me doubt whether removal is even a possibility.
I am as low as I have ever been and don't feel like there is any way out of this. I have read about the Picosure system but I even that seems like a hit and miss procedure.
If only I could turn back time.

Another pic

Just another pic to see the tattoo now it has the background

Thank you all

Firstly may I thank you all for your lovely supportive comments. As I'm sure you all know only too well, being in this position is extremely hard, possibly the hardest period I have ever been through. The fact that I am single and don't really have any support in the real world means that this means all the more to me. I apologise for not replying sooner but I have been in such a bad place that I couldn't even bring myself to pick up my phone or computer never mind try to communicate.
I have a free consultation with Laserase in my home town on Saturday ( just to see what they have to say. I don't hold much hope though because I have seen and read so many stories of people struggling for years and spending thousands to get rid of tattoos a lot smaller and lighter than mine. I don't think I've seen a case study where a large and dark tattoo has actually been removed fully either. I am currently thinking I am stuck with it and should try to learn to love it. I used to be proud to show off my physique but now I just want to wear long sleeves and hide. I am not ashamed to say I also have an appointment booked next week with a therapist to try to help my depression.
Also - As I mentioned on the first post, my tattoo goes round on to the inside of my bicep, I have attached a photo of that part too. As I said the artist is a genius but why did I get this on my skin?
I currently feel as low as I think I could, surely it can only get better?

Day before laserase consultation

Well my first ever removal consultation is tomorrow morning. I still feel as regretful and depressed about the tattoo as I did when I posted this originally. I don't have high hopes for tomorrow and kind of expect to just see a nurse or something rather than a real expert. I am not making any decisions tomorrow at all, I just want to see what they say. I've been wondering if it would be more realistic to think about getting part of the tattoo removed rather than all of it. But then the part I want gone the most is the biggest part (the icarus).
I've attached another photo of the whole thing. I like the chest one and wish I had stopped after that. When I look at it now I just think it all looks a mess and ugly.
So depressed. Sorry if this was a rant more than update. Thank you all for your support, it's so appreciated.

Consultation as I expected

Firstly thanks again for your support guys. It is always good to know I can log on here and find such a great group of people who understand what I am going through.
So I had the consultation with Laserase yesterday. It was pretty much as I expected. I had to be realistic with the size of the tattoo so I asked about removing the part that I am not happy with the most which is the Icarus piece on my arm. Ideally I want it all off but this seems mission impossible. The nurse said that for just the Icarus piece it would take around 10 treatments, 12 weeks apart and would cost £250 per session. So we're talking over 2 years and £2500 for something that she couldn't even guarantee a full removal on. She showed some photos of other treatments but they were all really old photos from almost 15 years ago and all were of small tattoos, nothing even similar to mine. I asked about the Picosure laser and if she thought it was worth travelling for and her response was that their laser operator had travelled to look at it and wasn't impressed with it. I don't know how much to believe her, I mean at the end of the day it's a private company who are wanting my business. I would be interested to see what a picosure expert would say about the amount of treatments/time it would take to treat my tattoos.
Despite me expecting to hear what she said I still came out of there absolutely devastated.
Just to make matters worse, my car decided to break on the same day and then today I have a £2000 bill from my utility supplier after they messed up my bills. I have heard people say that they hit rock bottom before but I really think I'm there. Absolutely sick.

Still going...

Hey everyone, thanks again for all the support, I'm so glad I found this place!
I am still wishing that I could get this tattoo from my arm however I have been trying to hit this head on.
Firstly some positives: I have challenged myself by wearing a vest to the gym on occasions rather than cover it up. When I did I was looking at the tattoo in the mirror and I could really appreciate the detail in the clock face on my shoulder. I have forced myself to keep wearing short sleeves.
I am wondering if I could live with leaving the clock face and trying to either clear just my arm or have it faded enough so I can have a more subtle and lighter cover up.
I also posted a photo of the tattoo on my Facebook page for the first time and it got really positive responses.
The artist advertised on social media as his books were opening again for bookings, he used photos of both the outside and inside of my arm on his ad. His work is all amazing so the fact he chose that shows how proud he is of the work. By the way, his books were filled for the next 6 months within a few hours - he's that good which makes me feel even worse about how I feel!
Negatives are that I still hate seeing the tattoo on me, in my reflection or in photos. I find myself sitting staring at my arm wondering how it will look if I get it lasered and struggling to imagine it being able to be shifted!
I went out last night with some people from work and there were a couple of photos of me and I absolutely HATED how the tattoo looked. I have attached a couple of photos to this update, please ignore the pink boa, I have no idea where that came from!!
As I said on Chad's comments, I have been in touch with Wayne from the Removal Rooms and he was extremely helpful. He estimated that my tattoo would take about 6 to 9 months to remove on the Picosure and about 5 sessions. I am going to wait until September to make a final decision - that way it will have been on me 3 months which is how long some laser technicians say to wait. It also will be more long sleeve weather so I can hide it if it looks too bad!
Thanks for reading - again, all the support on this site is amazing.

Decision made

Hey all. Hope everyone is alright. I have been getting on with things the best I could and taking the time I needed to consider my next move. And I have decided, I am going down to London to see Wayne at the removal rooms next month (actually on my birthday!). I have my long sleeved shirts all sorted and ready for the next stage of my life but I am hoping it will make me feel better.
I have decided to just get the arm part lasered, leaving the clock face on my shoulder...for now... I will see how well the ink reacts to the picosure before I decide if I am going for full removal or just to fade it all the way down for a much lighter and more subtle cover up. Obviously I will need it tidied up by a tattoo artist either way. I have sent Wayne more photos of my tattoos and he seems confident we will get good results, his instagram photos showing his work is encouraging.
I am hopeful of a good reaction as a lot of my tats are made up of shading and not that much linework. I'm sh*tting myself that it will end up looking worse and I will end up even more depressed but I guess there's only one way to know for sure!

I been zapped

Well I am now part of the laser club and have began my journey. Last Thursday I went down to London on the train to see Wayne at the Removal Rooms to start my Picosure blasting.
I will try to keep all the boring details of my day out of the review and keep it to what people want to know! However....the Oreo cheesecake at Hard Rock Cafe is so good - one armed or not!
Anyway, The Circle where the Removal Room is based is cool. Pretty much what you'd expect from a tattoo studio. It was clean and friendly and had a good atmosphere. Easy to find too.
Wayne met me at the door and was extremely welcoming and friendly. Very nice guy indeed.
I went on and filled in a general form about my health etc and then went into the Picosure room with Wayne. We spent probably half an hour going through the procedure, how the laser worked, the worst case scenarios possible and what would likely happen. A lot of time was spent talking about aftercare too. Very important stuff. He told me he had the new boost software on the pico which I think is a good thing! We both agreed the best and most realistic course of action was for a reduction as much as possible to get a lighter cover up that I am happy with.
And onto the lasering....For the people who say it hurts more than getting tattooed - I disagree. It is maybe on par with getting the white highlights put into your tattoos. Similar pain but slightly sharper. Plus the fact it is much quicker makes it much better.
Wayne lasered my whole Icarus piece and the eyes piece on my inner bicep. At this point I will admit the inner arm hurt more than the other parts!
Once it was done it felt like my arm was on fire, we went through the aftercare stuff again and I was all wrapped up and on my way.
I felt sick with the ache and heat for the rest of the day (didn't stop me getting the cheesecake!) and the tube journey to Kings Cross was not fun!
The day after I took off the dressing hoping not to have blistered had I a bitch! I had not seen blisters like this before in my life. All of the worst ones you've probably seen doing your research on this topic, mine were worse! Also my arm was swollen almost twice the size of the other one. After a short panic and a few emails to Wayne who told me hang on in there I kept strapping it up for the next few days afterwards. Let me tell you, the aftermath is HARD! I am so glad I took a week off work. I would recommend anyone else does too. At least!
It is now 6 days later and pretty much all of the blisters have shrivelled. The whole thing is still red as hell and feels like a really bad sunburn. The swelling has gone down but is still noticeable.
I have not done any exercise for a week and this has almost killed me as I normally go to the gym every day.
The important part - has any ink came out? Yes it has. The light shading seems to have been wiped out by the pico, the dark bits look the same but obviously I know they should fade with time.
Now I've been through it I realise the trauma that your skin goes through for the process. I will be looking at at least December before even considering doing it again to let my skin forgive me and recover. I hope the next time won't be as bad...but it probably will. At least I know what to expect.
Post lasering I was very very down, wondering what I had done to myself (again!) mostly because the blisters were so shocking and I was basically housebound. I live alone so dressing my arm was a friggin challenge!
I am feeling better about it now it is starting to heal though. Another positive is that I emailed my tattoo artist and explained the situation. I wanted him to hear from me rather than stumble over it on another site or instagram or something. Thankfully he was great about it and even said he would be happy to do whatever coverup I decide to go with.
I will post photos when the redness has gone down. Any questions feel free to ask.
Cheers for listening guys.
Removal Rooms, London

Wayne at the Removal Rooms is possibly the only person I would trust with this. He knows so much about it - it is all he does for a living. Right from the start he explained EVERYTHING including worst case scenario and there was no pressure at all to go ahead with it. Also one of the nicest blokes you could ever meet. The Circle where it is based is clean and friendly and the laser room is seperated off and in a nice (very cold) air conned room.

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Comments (121)

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How're you healing up there pal? Takes a while doesn't it!
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Well the blisters have gone so now it's just a big scabby and flaky mess! Don't think you realise the trauma the skin goes through until you go through with it. Hard to tell how much fading I've had because of the scabs at the minute. It's not an easy recovery. At all!
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I like the attitude. Mistakes happen and some may take some time and money to fix, but its fixable. This is just another challenge in life and giving the right amount of time and dedication it will be fixed.
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Amen! Keep your chin up Bro.
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Just Another few questions that i have: 1. Booking online - is it just for consult or for a treatment? can i book online and get the treatment just after i finish consultation? 2. I have a work travel 10 days after treatment and i will be alone in a hotel in nayrobi. would i will have hard time regarding health/ medical condition after treatment? How do you feel a week post treatment? Thank you in advance.
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No problem man. 1. I booked the whole thing by email and went straight into the zapping after the consultation. I had shown Wayne photos of the tattoo so he had an idea of the size anyway. 2. I am ten days afterwards now and although my arm is flaky and dry with some scabs it is not painful or swollen now. I have been back to work and the gym since Thursday and it's fine. So to answer your question, I think you'll be fine after ten days.
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I have discussed Wayne by mail and he seems absolutely positive regarding treatment length on my tattoo according to the pictutr. I suspect that maybe he is not completely honest since i might have seen some good results on the internet with small, light tattoo getting faded nicely after 2-3 treatments, i find it really impossible that my tattoo will fade enough for a cover in 1-2 sessions. However, I am really considering to travel to the UK from israel in the holidays at least for one PicoSure session. Will do my patch test on the Q-Switched i have in my area. You are really lucky you have the pico in your country since i am really afraid the Q-Switch will give poor results even for a cover up.
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Its a little better each time. Less ink, less pain, less blistering. You’ll really start to notice after the 3rd.
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Congrats on your first treatment!
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well done mate for first session..we both are being treated by wayne and im glad you had such a positive experience... bit of advice that has worked for me... once the blisters have gone, scabs have fallen off and everything looks healed. buy a product called can get it from works wonders on post laser treatments and is specifically made to help scars fade and post laser treatments..i got the tip from a woman who had tattoo excision! so if it helps that, its got to help laser treatment.. feel free mate to msg me if you have any questions.. ive learnt a lot from wayne.. it will look bad for a while but I promise it will get me. good luck
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Thanks man. It looks like hell - thank god for long sleeves and cold Northern English weather!
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts and journey. Whenever I have a terrible anxiety about my state I come to this community and feel so much better that I'm not alone with ink regret. I know it doesn't matter much but I also think its an amazing work.. I would definitely replace that with my disaster I got on my back... But all that matters is your opinion.
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Well done! Please keep us updated on your progress! You're one step closer to your goal! :) congrats!
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High five to you lovely!!! Such a brave step to start a massive removal because once you start you have to finish! I've been where you are and it gets easier in time I promise! It might diminish the bank balance and hurt like a swine but if it's the path you want to take then crack on my friend :) xxx
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You are handling this like a champ - way to go!!! Cheesecake is to die for so when you find a great one, so enjoy every moment of it! I have had to master making a vegan version, which I must say I finally did this year! It's wonderful that Wayne was so welcoming, so nice!! Sounds like everything is falling into place...look forward to your photo update.
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You are on your way. The journey of removal isn't always fun, the overwhelming feelings, the blisters, they all take their toll on our psyche. This is all normal. As for resting afterwards, yes, that is what I was advised to do by my professional. I also keep the area bandaged for at least 48 hours so not to disturb the skin and to keep myself from looking at it. I think the cheesecake was the best reward. Good luck with your healing, the fading has begun, the first step is behind you and onto great results. aloha...k
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Hey! Great reading your journey as I can relate! Had my first session 2 weeks back and just broke out in hives around that laser treated area, not pretty! Really wanted to hear from someone re the Picosure laser...I just might come up to the UK for a session in the new year (we don't have one in S Africa yet). Hang in there, I'm staying positive and ditched the depressed, regret thoughts and am starting to like my sleeve and can't wait for the parts I hate to fade and one day be gone!
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Hey mate! First of all, congrats on starting the removal journey! I promise you that in time you will feel better about everything: yourself, removal process etc. I can imagine what you are going through like noone else (outside this website). I remember my first treatment. I was in pain, shocked as I didn't know what to expect and I was feeling miserable. As I said before in my review, humans are incredible creatures, we get used to things and you will get used to your removal! It will get better! Physically and most important, emotionally. Take care of yourself! Don't let whole thing get into you! Hugs from Russia!
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Thank you! One armed hugs back from the UK!
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Hey pal, really glad to hear you're underway. The blisters can get pretty crazy huh! I find I get a bit down after a treatment too, but generally eases up a bit once most of the healing has happened. Look forward to seeing some pictures! All the best mate.
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Dude! The blisters! Some of mine were as big as eggs and scary as hell! Looking at my arm now it still looks like shit but at least I feel like it's healing! Thanks for the support.
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Congratulations! About time you got started, haha. :-) Amazing news that you can already see some change. Things can only get better now!
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Haha cheers Chad. The road is long....
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Thank you for keeping us in the loop, I wish you all the best with your removal. 
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Hey! Glad you made a decision! It is going to be a long way, but in the end it is worth it! I never regreted starting the removal. Today I am going to have my 4th treatment! It will all get better!
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