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!

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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.

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Hey! Welcome along! Really glad to hear you're on your way to getting your tattoos removed. You'll find plenty of support here from people going through the same thing. I look forward to watching your progress and seeing how the Picosure helps you on your way :)
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Thank you! This website and everyone's reviews is what made me conjure up the courage to try the Picosure, I am glad I did :-)

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.

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Welcome! Thank you for sharing your journey with us...look forward to watching your progress. Laughing gas, I have never heard of that being used for pain - good idea :) 
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It helped A LOT! Thankful the Dr. suggested it :)

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. :)

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I appreciate the kind review! I have now had the Picosure for 6 months and have seen mostly great results with it, with many tattoos nearly disappearing after 2-3 treatments. Depending on the composition of the pigment used, some can require more treatments, i.e. 8-10, however with the traditional q-switched laser it can be 20-plus treatments. I have started offering nitrous oxide (laughing gas) which is given mixed with oxygen and works as an analgesic to avoid the pain of the laser. Nitrous has been used by dentists for many years, and more recently is used in emergency rooms, for treating children; in orthopedic offices to reduce fractures, and in other situations where an analgesic is required. It is ideal for laser tattoo removal as it works while needed, and then we switch to pure oxygen for 2-3 minutes and there is no residual effect, allowing people to drive immediately afterward. I will post some photos of treated tattoos. Michael Schwartz, M.D.

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! :-)

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Awesome news about the blue coming out!!! Im super excited for you. I've got a lot of blue so I'm hoping to have the same reaction. Did you find that you blistered on one tattoo more than another?? I too have mine on my hip and because of the size and location I'm scared to get mega blisters.
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Thank you! I had read other reviews of people who had their blue come out on the first tx too, but I was pessimistic. I almost can't believe I no longer have the blue rose I hated so much. Everything blistered pretty evenly, I blistered much more with the picosure than the yag laser but blisters are good because the ink is reacting! With the yag only the color blistered but with the picosure even the black blistered, even where the ink wasn't as dense. My blisters subsided at about 5 days, they were sensitive but not extremely painful. After a while, I forgot they were there. Good luck with everything! I hope your blue is gone in one shot as well :-)

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!

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Side by side

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

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Thanks for posting the side by side, those are so helpful in seeing the progress. How are you feeling?
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Feeling great about the progress. Just hope the hypo-pigmentation goes down. I know it takes a while. Going in for picosure tx #2 March 2nd :)
Do you have any "before" pics of the blue rose to post? It would be encouraging! :)
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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.

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Hi I was wondering how the blue rose was healing? Any pics perhaps?
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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

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Awesome! Thanks for the resource Eva! :-)

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.

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Posted an update with pic :-)

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!

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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!
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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 :)
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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 :)

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 :-/

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Good luck on your next treatment - are you going for full removal or are you open to cover ups?
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Hi Eva! Full removal. I would like to be tattoo-free. Doesn't look like I am going to be scar-free though
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! :-)

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. :)

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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?
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Thanks for the update, good luck on your upcoming treatment! Be sure to take photos when you cover with make up and show us :)
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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

Update - 33 weeks post pico tx

I haven't had a tx in 33 weeks, got busy with vacations and a wedding. We used dermablend on my wedding day and the tattoos were completely covered and not one make-up stain on my white dress! :) It is a good thing I got so busy because within the past 33 weeks the hypo and hyper pigmentation has faded tremendously. I ended up cancelled my appointment in June. I am set to go for my next appointment in Novemeber. This will be my 2nd treatment on my left forearm (buddha, writing, lotus flower) and my 3rd treatment on my hip (star and rose), and my 3rd treatment as well on my right forearm (dreamcatchers, stars, etc). I will add pictures so you can see the faded hypo and hyper pigmentation.

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Photos

These photos are 33 weeks post 1st and 2nd pico treatments.

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Hey there, would love an update on your progress - hope all is well!
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We are going to the same place. I have my 2nd appointment today with Crystal. My first was with Nicole. I am opting for the shots today. Dreading the healing process. Your fading looks great. Good luck on your next treatment in November.
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
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