Picosure at Last - Pasadena, CA

I have eight horrible tattoos as a result of being...

I have eight horrible tattoos as a result of being an impulsive teenager. They have literally changed my life. I won't wear a bikini without a cover up or a short sleeve shirt/tank, even in the 100 degree weather during the summer, because I am embarrassed of my horrible tattoos. I have: Two (a star, and blue rose) on my left hip area. And three medium tattoos on my forearms. I have had all of tattoos treated three times over the past 2 years with a yag laser. Today was the day that I finally made the 8 hour round trip (4 hours each way) drive to Pasadena, CA from Vegas to Dr. Michael Schwartz's office. From the moment I arrived, I got a good vibe! The receptionists were very friendly. I filled out paperwork and didn't wait more than 5 minutes until I was taken to a room to discuss my tattoos with Dr. Schwartz. He is absolutely awesome! Very personable and put my worries at ease. I was only planning to get one tattoo (the blue rose) on my hip removed but I showed him the rest anyways. I let him know how much they have ruined my life and he offered me a package deal for ALL 8 of my tattoos until they are gone. I am so excited! I also asked for the numbing shot because my hip area is very sensitive, but he suggested trying numbing cream and laughing gas first and to use the shot as a last resort. I am so glad he suggested that because the laughing gas helped immensely! I thought the Picosure would hurt more than the yag laser but with the laughing gas it wasn't half as bad! I ended up doing the two tattoos on my hip and three on my right arm (I didn't do my left arm because I just recently got it lasered with the yag). I will do all 8 tattoos when I return in 8 weeks. Nina was the nurse who performed my Picosure treatment. She is so nice and so helpful, she was great at keeping conversion to help keep my mind off of the pain! Everyone at the office was extremely nice. I forgot to snap before pictures of my tattoos before the treatment. I uploaded a pic of my left arm (untreated by Picosure as of today). The side by side comparison is before any treatments and after 3 yag treatments. I will upload updated pics of all tattoos 1 week post Picosure, and each week after that! I really suggest Dr. Schwartz's office to anyone in that area! He was so empathetic to the fact that my tattoos changed me! I can't wait to see the progress!

A couple hours post Picosure TX

Here are two photos of the 5 tattoos I had treated with the Picosure about 6 hours after treatment. The pain during the procedure was quite tolerable but after the pain was excruciating. The excruciating burning sensation subsided after an hour and then I was perfectly fine. The tattoos aren't sore thankfully, even where the blistered.

Realself has Dr. info wrong

For some reason, the wrong Dr. Schwartz is coming up on my review. I went to Dr. Michael Schwartz located in the Pasadena California Office building at 960 E Green St. St 101, Pasadena, CA 91106. His website is www.drmichaelschwartz.com. Again, he is AWESOME!

Found a before picture

I found a before picture of my right arm that was just treated with the picosure. It's a side by side. Left is before any treatments, left side is after 3 yag treatments.

Doctor Updated

Eva, the real self community manager fixed my review so it now shows the correct doctor. Thanks Eva. Tattoos are sore today, more than yesterday. All in all, still not too bad. :)

Update 1 week post 1 picosure tx

I am ecstatic!!!! My tattoos seem to be healing up extremely well. AND the blue rose on my hip that was ruining my my self-esteem the most, has rid of the blue 100% after one tx! The skin is still pink and tender so I will post pics in about a week or so. Picosure has worked wonders on my tattoos! Significant fading on all of my tattoos I had treated! Yay! :-)

12 days post Picosure - hypopigmentation

Here is my side 12 days post first picosure tx. As you can see it is still pink and tender and scabbed a little. There is hypopigmentation that I often experience because of my sensitive asian skin tone but is always subsides within a month. Excited that the blue is gone, just some black outline left. I'm thinking 1-2 more treatments on the rose. Hopeful!

Side by side

Side by side just because. Pre picosure and 12 days post first pico treatment

Arm 17 days post picosure tx

Here is my arm 17 days post pico tx. Is this must hypo-pigmentation normal? I have never had this much after a tx with the yag laser. The ink is significantly faded but so much hypo-pigmentation makes it hard to tell. Sorry for the before picture, it is the only I can find that shows the blue and red tattoo above the dreamcatcher. The blue and red tiny tattoo is where the most hypo-pigmentation is, even though my whole arm is very very pink.

Blue rose update

12 days post pico vs 32 days post pico. As you can see the 12 day photo had fresh pink skin, that has now faded and the black outline under the blue is now visible. The blue is completely gone. Yay! I have red spots that were much worse around the 3 week mark but they have faded tremendously. I'm sure they will gradually keep fading. All apart of the process :) I am heading to my next treatment 2/23. I will be getting both forearms and my side treated with the pico this time. Very happy with my results thus far! Dr. Schwartz is amazing and letting me come in for treatments on Sundays since I work M-F and can't make the 4 hour drive during the week.

Update - 5 weeks post 2nd pico tx

Here is the blue rose and star 5 weeks post 2nd pico. Hypopigmentation is going away, skin returning to normal color with significant fading in ink! Yay!

9 weeks post 1st and 2nd Picosure treatment

I have my next Picosure appointment scheduled for May 16th. It will be my second session on my left arm and my third session on my hip and right arm. Here are pics 9 weeks post last session. Lots of hypo and hyper pigmentation. Getting worried :-/

3rd Picosure Treatment

3rd Picosure treatment is scheduled for June 12th. Will probably be the last one before my August 9th wedding. I have already arranged with my make-up artist to have them covered so I am happy about that. One less thing to stress about. :)
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon

Couldn't have lucked out with a better doctor. Dr. Schwartz and his staff are the best!

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 After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 1 other found this helpful

Comments (35)

Sort by

Wow! Thank you for sharing your experience with us-the photos are very helpful and gives much hope. I too am planning to see Dr. Schwartz to removal several tattoos with the Picosure laser-one of which is particularly large on my thigh. Is the $2,500.00 what you're paying per treatment session? Or is that what you've paid altogether?
  • Reply
Thanks for the update, good luck on your upcoming treatment! Be sure to take photos when you cover with make up and show us :)
  • Reply
Good luck on your next treatment - are you going for full removal or are you open to cover ups?
  • Reply
Hi Eva! Full removal. I would like to be tattoo-free. Doesn't look like I am going to be scar-free though
  • Reply
Boa sorte tenho certeza que vai conseguir remover tudo.. Que seu casamento seja maravilhoso... eu também quero remover completamente minhas tattos vamos ter fé em Deus que tudo vai da certo.. beijos do Brasil
  • Reply
I have to say I am jealous of your results! That is amazing! I too hate the 7 tattoos I have. I am removing three at the moment (the others arent so bad) but great fading!
  • Reply
Thank you! I just wish the hypo and hyper pigmentation weren't so bad... But honestly to me, it's better than my horrid tattoos! Good luck on your removal process! :-)
  • Reply
Stenigmaphy, your results speak for themselves. I'm glad to hear that the picosure is working well for you. On the thigh tattoos, besides hypopigmentation which looks to be improving, are there any textural changes to the skin? scarring? Best of luck on your journey...it gives many hope to see what you're doing :)
  • Reply
No textural changes but I worried I am scarring because I am 9 weeks out from my last treatment and the skin is still very hypopigmented. Not sure what to put on it. May need scar revision after all the ink is removed. Fortunately a lot of ink has been removed this far. Staying hopeful :)
  • Reply
Hi I was wondering how the blue rose was healing? Any pics perhaps?
  • Reply
Posted an update with pic :-)
  • Reply
Hey there, definitely some fading going on! I agree with wilks, as hypopigmentation leave your skin looking white...give it some time to heal. I know with my back I had spots that looked much like yours, very red and it resolved itself, however  I do have hypopigmentation as well...it's hard to tell what will happen after it heals. Here is some information and an FAQ from one of the Doctors on the site regarding this subject:

How Do You Fix Hypopigmentation After Tattoo Removal?
Hypopigmentation

  • Reply
Awesome! Thanks for the resource Eva! :-)
  • Reply
You're most welcome :) 
  • Reply
That looks less like hypopigmentation and more just like new, fresh skin regenerating. Did you pick at the scabs at all? It should return to normal just fine, mine is in the process of doing the same,thing, three weeks after my most recent session. Take good care of it. Looks like when it's all healed up you should be noticing a decent amount of fade! :)
  • Reply
That may be it wilks1986! With the location of the tattoos, my pants and jackets often rubbed against them resulting in scabs coming off prematurely. I will be 3 weeks post treatment on Tuesday so almost the same amount of time as you. Thanks so much for the comment, gave me peace of mind! :-)
  • Reply
It is very faded though! What are you putting on it to help reduce the pigmentation?
  • Reply
Thanks untatme! Your progress is AWESOME! :) I haven't been putting anything on the tattoos except Aquaphor. Do you have any suggestions?
  • Reply
I am also having long standing hyper and hypo pigmentation. mine looked pink like that for almost three weeks this time. When it is done scabbing I have been putting rose hip oil on it daily as it is know for its skin rejuvenation properties. I feel like it works for me so maybe you could see if it's right for you.
  • Reply
I will definitely try that out! Thank you for the suggestion. I have seen the hypo and hyper pigmentation fade in the recent days so hopefully it continues to fade before my next session in a little over 3 weeks! Fingers crossed. The difference from your 3rd tx to your 4th tx is absolutely amazing!
  • Reply
Also, do you know if we should wait longer in between treatments since we are experiencing hypo and hyper pigmentation? I have seen some people say to wait, and others say that it doesn't matter with the picosure.
  • Reply
ummmm, I don't know really. I go about every 7 weeks only because I want this thing to be a distant memory in a year from now. Edmond2528's review is what made me decide to keep going and not worry about the pigmentation. Edmond2528 had a lot of hypo pigmentation but it cleared even while getting more treatments. But idk, your dr. may ask you to wait another month if it is too intense.
  • Reply
What is the skin texture in the hypo-pigmentation like? Is it normal skin, or at least like the other treated areas?
  • Reply
The skin texture is normal. Thankfully it is flat, not raised at all!
  • Reply