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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.
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 tmes
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Comments (24)

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Haven't really been thinking about it at all lately, but should probably get going on another treatment before the weather warms up. It does faded little by little with time, but slooooooowly this time. If my third treatment doesn't show more significant results, I'm gonna call it quits.
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Are you going to get a cover up?
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Hey. How is your tat going? hope it faded more over time?!
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Thanks for the update, some promising fading happening...nice!
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Looks good!
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Hey I just read yr story...so weird about the "outbreak" and late forming blisters...regardless, I see decent fading, and Pico isn't supposed to be that great on red ink, but yrs looks good :) good luck healing
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Thanks! I was slightly disheartened about the money I spent after tx2 because I didn't see a huge difference, but now that the swellng has gone down I see A LOT of the black lines breaking up. I read your story and I actually think your "ghost tattoo" looks really cool as it is. I'm thinking about maybe just having mine lightened to the level of your 5th treatment. Mine is not a great tattoo, but it's a part of my history!
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LOL...well thank you very much! I nvr heard that one bf but I want it gone really. It just looks so weird, this ghost outline...like a charcoal smudge haha. It is part of my history, but it's such bad line work! Yea I was gonna ask you if you were aiming for complete removal, and if not, getting a cover up...but I guess yr going to just leave the ghost? Maybe "ghost tatts" will be the new fad...ya nvr know :) And the ink should fade out for you over the next few weeks as well...but I think yr results are great! I hope you heal smoothly this session...
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Thanks for the update! Wow, no pain, did you use numbing cream? I find the procedure incredibly painful. What setting is your laser at?


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I don't use numbing cream but the doc uses a cooling machine that he swears by (I believe him). I don't know what setting the laser is at. When I asked him to turn it up a bit this time, he got a little huffy with me.
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I would die without my numbing cream and Ice, it hurts me so much, my tattoo is on my back, I am on session #9. I wonder why he would get huffy when you ask, my tech always keeps me in the loop...hmmmm. 


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I did research some other options in NYC a couple weeks ago thinking that since the technology has been out for a couple months now, more people would have it and the price may come down a bit. Keep in mind that Dr Rand is well worth every penny I paid and I have no regrets ...... Im just not a millionaire and wanted to make sure there wasnt another doctor out there equally capable and a little less expensive. That said, other quotes were around the same if not more. One other doctor (can't remember the name) told me that the price I was paying Dr Rand was fair, and that the picosure manufacturers actually set the price. As the laser is new and very powerful they want to ensure that only doctors (not cosmetologists) are using it. My understanding is that they won't sell it to anyone unless they agree to training and some level of standard pricing.
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Hi Julius, Have you gotten anymore treatments.
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no. But Im booked for my second treatment this wednesday.
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Hi, Julius. Did you by any chance have consultations with other Picosure providers in NYC, and if so, how were they in comparison? I'm asking because I'm also in the area and looking for someone to remove A LOT of work, including a brand new B&W half sleeve (yikes!).
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Was your treatment with the Picosure laser?
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Yes. I researched getting it removed a couple years ago before the picosure was available. So glad that I didnt start treatments with the older technology, as this procedure has been a breeze so far.
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Cool - it's $675 a treatment? How many did the dr estimate?
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I looked into removal about two years ago before the picosure was on the market and I was quoted $275/treatment with a minimum of 20 sessions needed for the removal. Dr Rand was very honest with me and told me that I would need about 10 treatments........ That said (the following is purely my opinion and does not reflect his quote)..... My sense is that as the laser is new he was being safe rather than sorry with his quote, and wanted to prepare me for the fact that it COULD take 10 treatments rather than it WOULD. My opinion is purely based on the extent of fading after only one treatment. It really has been a dramatic change. Sorry I don't have a before pic :-(
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Cool - did you have to buy a pack of treatments or you just pay $675 each time you go? My tat is about double the size of yours and I have been getting some quotes for $800 a treatment, but cheaper if I buy a pack or 5 or 10. This is all for picosure
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I was offered a bit of a discount if I bought a pack. I just paid for one session as I didn't want to commit until I saw the results from the first treatment. I also had my first removal when the laser had only been on the market for a month or two. I know that this is going to be a long process and I didn't want to rope myself into a high price if the market became a little more competitive as more doctors got the laser. Recent price shopping for me has turned up about the same results as what I paid. You said your tattoo is twice the size of mine yet you are not being quoted twice the price. Where are you located?
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I am also in NYC, but I was being treat with the older lasers for 500 a session. After 10 it would drop to 250 a session. I am looking to switch to the picosure, but I hope the price doesn't go up significantly.
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I also get an allergic reaction to the ink! I break out into red bumps about 5-7 days after each treatment. It's pretty annoying to deal with. Glad to know I'm not the only one who has that reaction. Great fading btw!
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My doctor did say that the red inks sometimes cause itching, but I thought he meant on the tattoo itself. I took a look at the pics you posted am am encouraged as you have a lot of red that looks like its fading significantly. I know red can be a little stubborn. It's the least faded portion of mine.
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