Slowly but surely? - New York, NY

I have a roughly 4x6 inch tattoo covering my lower...

I have a roughly 4x6 inch tattoo covering my lower right ankle. I dont love it. I dont hate it. If it had to be there the rest of my life it wouldnt bother me, but Ive started making a decent living, had the extra money, and would prefer it wasnt there. I went to Dr Rand in NYC. He was very thorough and told me honestly that it may not be possible to remove it completely. I also have a couple other tattoos that I had him look at sduring my initial consultation and the price for doing some test spots on both tattoos was just slightly less than doing a whole treatment on one, so I decided to just take my chances and go for it.....Sooooooo glad I did. The procedure itself was relatively painless. My toes felt a little weird if I put my full weight on my foot that evening, but other than there there was no swelling. I was shocked at the amount of ink that had come off the next morning when I took my bandage off, and it has continued to fade since. As the picosure laser is relatively new, I had a hard time finding photos of the healing process when I was researching it before I made the decision to have it done, so I am posting my experience here.

Other than some light scabbing for the first week or so, I had very minimal side effects. Id say about 4 days after the removal my entire body broke out in tiny red itchy bumps. I thought it was just a heat rash (which it may have been), but then it dawned on me that it might have been an allergic reaction to the tattoo ink in my system. I just drank a lot of water and went to the steam room in my gym and it went away.

While I didnt blister at all initially, I did have some strange "blistering" about 5 weeks post procedure. They werent really blisters in the traditional sense, but more like hard raised bumps. I was extremely concerned that they may have been keloids forming, but I just left them alone and they went away on their own over the next two weeks. Beyond that, every place there was a bump has significantly more removal of the ink.

Photos shown with this post are the morning after and weeks following the procedure.

2nd picosure treatment

Second treatment today slightly more painful than the first, but still only about 3.5 on a scale of 1-10. I didn't take any breaks this time. Immediately after first session I had the typical white frosting. This time the frosting looked more like milky color. Hoping this means color is coming out easier now! My first treatment was 3 months ago, but I don't remember there being any discomfort after the procedure. My ankle did feel pretty "sunburn-y" for about 30 mins after this one though. Doc said that the healing process can vary dramatically with different treatments even on the same person with the same laser, so I'm playing it safe and staying bandaged up until tomorrow.

Day after tx2

A little swollen, but can't really tell unless you look at both my ankle bones at the same time. No pain. No blistering. While there's less pinpoint bleeding this time, it does look like there was comparatively more trauma to the area.

Some fading but not the dramatic results of first treatment.

2nd treatment

side by side of tx1 and tx2

5 weeks post treatment 2

Absolutely zero swelling, scabbing, or blistering after this treatment. Didn't notice much fading until recently. This tattoo is a color cover up of a black tattoo. I think that the black underneath is what's going first. The density of the ink overall is much less and the tattoo is starting to look "thinner" and "brighter" if that makes any sense.

5wks post tx2

5wks post tx2

5wks post tx2

Sorry for the mini-posts. Lame new iPhone.

7 months

Roughly 7 months post treatment 2. Fading had been slow but substantial.

Yes more treatments

Ideally I'd like a complete removal. I just don't want the expense to interfere with my quality of life, and if they stop being effective I will stop all together. I saw Dr Krant last week to get a prescription for a skin rash. I also asked her about removal as she has the picosure laser now. She quoted me $75 less per treatment, but doesn't have the cooling machine, which in my opinion is WELL worth the 75 bucks. I have had next to zero blistering, scabbing, or side effects after my treatments with Dr Rand who has the chiller, and while treatments are of course uncomfortable, they're not painful. I am also waiting for an online quote from the tataway center in NY. They do have the chiller. Again, I fully endorse Dr Rand. It's just that there are several more doctors with the laser in NY than when I started a year ago, and Dr Krant quoted me less.

Estimate from tataway

Had a consultation at tataway today and while they were very nice, and I would recommend them, they quoted $100 more than what I'm paying now. That said, they do offer packages and have a 6 session package guarantee. Prices drop to $200/treatment after 6 if the tattoo is still there. For people just starting removal this works out to a great deal. I've just already had a couple sessions and likely wouldn't have the need for the extra sessions that would bring the overall cost of the removal down. Wish I would have found them first! I explained that I was shopping around as the results of my second treatment were much less than the first. The doctor told me this is always the case with removals. The first treatment is the most dramatic because there's so much ink close to the surface of the skin that's easy to get at. The ink burrows deeper into the skin with successive treatments and becomes harder to remove. Dr Krant actually said the same thing. Tataway also said that they use a combination of revlite and pico for red.
Dr. Rand

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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