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Lasering Off My Impulsive Ink Choice in Toronto, ON

I'd like to start this off with stating that I...

I'd like to start this off with stating that I always have been and still am a tattoo enthusiast, I currently have 8 tattoos which will soon be 7 once my removal is complete. All of my tattoos mean something to me and the only reason why I'm removing one of them is because it didn't turn out the way I was wanting it too which has made me self conscious about it. I looked into doing a cover up though eventually realized that I'd just rather have it gone. What I'm removing is a combination of 2 tattoos, I got the first part (a cherub) in 2002 and then added to it (a vine underneath it) in 2011. The whole thing measures about 10 centimeters in length and contains mainly black ink with touches of green and pink and is located on my upper left arm. I am fair skinned and have always limited my sun exposure, I've never had a tan in my life.

I've already had one tattoo removed back in 2002. My first tattoo removal experience went very well and I have no ink left with minimal scarring. This was a small tattoo (about 4 centimeters in length) and contained only black ink. It was already slightly faded at the time I removed it and was located on my upper chest. It took 5 treatments total to remove about 90% of the ink and then what was left faded on it own within about 2 years after the last treatment.

I did a search for tattoo removal clinics in my city and there were 2 names that kept popping up as the top rated. I tried to book a consult with one yet had a lot of difficultly in reaching someone and once I did get into touch they had very limited availability which wouldn't work for me so I went with the other highly rated one and was able to book in for a consult soon after.

The consult went very well and left me feeling confident about the results I would see. The technician also showed me some before and after photos of tattoos she had removed on other clients which I thought was a nice touch. I was given the estimate of 8 - 10 treatments and received my first treatment in September '13.

I didn't see much difference after the first 2 treatments which is what I suppose is to be expected. I noticed that I was healing up pretty fast, my arm would be red and puffy for about a week and then it would just itch like crazy. I had a few blisters and scabbing which went away after about 2 weeks. I have been trying to leave the area alone for the most part, I'm just applying a light moisturizer to help with the itch and peeling.

I'm now 4 sessions in and am seeing some fading in the top part though not as much in the bottom half. I've noticed that the touches of green and pink now look brighter while the black ink sections are looking faded. My tech says that the ink is being pulled more to the surface which is why the colors now appear brighter. I hope this means that over the next few sessions the colors will start to fade as well.

I have mixed feelings on my experience thus far. I am happy to see some fading and can definitely tell that the top portion of my tattoo is going to be gone quicker than the bottom half mainly as the top half was already fading since it is much older. The bottom half has definitely lightened up though it's unclear as to how many sessions will still be needed as my technician has described the ink as 'deep and stubborn'. After being told this I started getting discouraged as I might be in for much more treatments then what I had originally been quoted. Then again I am halfway through the quoted 8 sessions so who knows, maybe the next 4 will remove more ink than what I've seen so far.

I've decided to look into getting a second opinion on the removal and have contacted the other high rated clinic and booked in a consult. I'm wondering if maybe the best results come from getting treatments done with a few different lasers. At this point in time I'm willing to try just about anything to get rid of this tattoo, with summer coming I'd like to wear sleeveless tops and dresses without a huge mark on my upper arm.

I will update this after my next session and include some pics!

Thanks for reading. :)

Funny Discovery

I made a funny discovery the other day.

After feeling super self conscious at my gym the other day as I saw how pale and washed out I looked I decided to try a self tanner moisturizer. I'd heard good things about the results the new line that Jergen's has and I can definitely say that it does work wonders! After a few days of using it all over I'm no longer pasty white. I'm not exactly super bronze tan either, I just have a slightly sun touched color and my skin tone is a lot more even. As I stated in my original review I have a few tattoos other than the one I'm removing and I've noticed that applying the self tanner over them has made them appear brighter and fresher. People are now asking me if I've gotten a new tattoo or touched them up. That was a unexpected side effect!

I got a 2nd opinion....

Yesterday I went in for my consult at another tattoo removal clinic which I have heard nothing but rave reviews for. Apparently the laser used at this clinic is by far the Best. The consult went well and I am going to continue my treatments at this clinic, I have cancelled my upcoming treatment at the first clinic I had been treated at. After my consult with my new laser technician I have resigned myself to the fact that I am not going to see 100% removal of parts of my tattoo, apparently the ink is very deep inn sections and there is also some scar tissue built up underneath the ink which is impeding it's breakdown. I also am more likely than not going to be left with some scarring. It was disappointing to hear this though I have to accept that it is what it is. I figure if I can get this tattoo to the point where it's faded enough to look like an erased pencil mark I'll be happy with that. I am trying hard to stay positive and trust in my new technician's abilities, like I was saying I have heard nothing but rave reviews for his work and there are many who like me have come to him after seeing somewhat unsatisfactory results at other clinics and have had him give them the results they were looking for. Fingers crossed!!

Progress Photos

Waiting...

I'm now in a bit of leeway as I'm waiting until the end of this month before starting up with my removal treatments again. The reasons for this is that I have some other expenses to take care of and also that the technician I'm now seeing was pretty booked up until the end of this month which I'm taking as a good sign. I'm trying hard to stay patient and remind myself that this is a process and with any process there may be setbacks.

5th session overall and 1st session with my new laser technician

Today I went in for my 5th overall session and first session with my new laser technician. Things went well. I've committed to 4 sessions with this new technician and have decided that I will finish out these session without freaking out about anything and just take things as they come. After these 4 I am going to wait it out a bit before doing any other treatments. My reasons for this is simply just that this process is very expensive and I've got to draw the line somewhere. I'm hopeful that after I've completed 8 sessions total that I'll see significant lightening and then can just allow it to continue to fade on it's own once my sessions are done.

Panic

I woke up today and took a good look at my tattoo which is being removed. It now looks pretty disgusting as it's all red and inflamed after my treatment yesterday. I can also tell that I'm going to be getting some blistering. It looks to me like the ink is breaking up in some places though the majority of it still looks pretty dark. I felt myself going into a panic as the thought that maybe this tattoo is not ever going to remove fully and I'll always have something of it left on me. The rational side of my brain is telling me that I've just got to wait it out a bit more and really the way it looks right after a treatment is not indicative of how it's going to look forever. It's just fully sunk in to me how much I am really kicking myself for being so impulsive about getting this tattoo in the first place. If I could only go back to 2011 for one day and change the course of history forever.....

Photo of one day after the 5th laser session

Finally some signifigant fading!

I checked out my tattoo this morning and was actually a bit shocked. I am finally seeing some real fading and breaking up of the ink on the bottom half which is the part that the ink is the most deep. I thought maybe it was just the bathroom lighting which was playing tricks on me so I checked it out in a few different rooms and my suspicions were confirmed, it's lighter all over! Yay! The black lines are starting t turn into a navy blue and are looking more blurred. I've also got some raised areas which are looking white-ish which I think are some scars developing. I was warned though that I would most likely be left with some scarring as the ink is deep. Oh well, if given the choice I'd rather have some scars then this tattoo. Yay for progress!! I'm feeling a lot more optimistic now about the results I'll see with my upcoming treatments. Progress pics are on the way.....

2 days after the 5th laser treatment I can see some fading!

My Rollercoster Mental State

I'm feeling some anger at myself and not just the usual anger about getting this tattoo in the first place This is a new source of anger stemming from the fact that I've seen better fading results with just one treatment at the new clinic I'm going to then I saw with 4 treatments at the previous one. It's hit me just how much time and money I have wasted on those 4 treatments for minimal results. I have my next treatment scheduled for May and that might have to be my last treatment for awhile as I am starting a course in May and haven't decided yet if I'm going to cut back on my hours at work to allow more time for the course. If I do then this means less income which means tattoo removal might not be in my budget. I haven't made a decision one way or the other though It's times like this when I wish I had credit so I could just prepay a package of removal sessions and worry about paying it off later. Then again it was thinking like that which got me into bankruptcy a few years ago soooooo.......anyway my tattoo is looking decent, the areas which were once a solid black have all faded into a blurred bluish grey. I'm optimistic that this kind of fading will continue!

Resigned to a few facts

I've decided to push back my upcoming treatment from May to June as I've gotten the opportunity to go out of town with friends for one weekend in May so budget constraint mean the laser treatment has to wait. It seems that the popular consensus is that the longer you wait between treatments can be the better as your body has more time to heal and break down the ink. I think that my treatment in June will be my last treatment for awhile because as I was stating earlier I'm starting a course in May and will be cutting back my work hours starting in June. I'll most likely resume my treatments in September / October. I've resigned myself to the fact that it's still going to be another year or so before my tattoo is either gone or extremely faded. I am optimistic that I'll see the results I want as my first tattoo removal went very well and I know I'm a good healer. I've decided in the meantime of still having my tattoo (though it is significantly faded now--yay!) I'll make it look the best I can by taking extra good care of my skin all over my body, not just focusing on my facial skin. I've been exfoliating often all over and applying a self tanner with a moisturizer daily. It's definitely paid off as my skin overall looks more even toned plus feels so smooth and soft! The exfoliating has really toned down the bumpy and raised appearance my tattoo was getting even though I know that there are scars developing. My confidence has risen as well now that I'm feeling better about how my skin looks overall since I'm no longer pasty white with razor burn on my legs since the exfoliating has made shaving my legs easier and smoother. The self tanner has also made my other tattoos look sharper and cleaner. I'll post a progress photo soon! Thanks so much to all who have been keeping up with my journey and lending your support, it really is so appreciated and my thoughts are with all of you!!
Precision Laser Tattoo Removal Clinic

I'm no longer getting treated at this clinic, I am now going to Fading Fast Tattoo Removal Clinic also in Toronto, ON.

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 tmes
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Comments (32)

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Hey Middle- I saw that you had posted that you had another one of your tatts removed by laser...would you care to post a pic of it? And if not, no worries- did it fade completely or is there any residual ink? I am (for the most part) at the end of my removal journey but have a few tiny lines/areas that have residual ink, whereas other areas are 100% gone...just wondering w/ others who have finished removal if they had 100% complete results. Thanks!!
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Good question and I also would love to see the pictures of other tattoo you removed if it is possible :)
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Looking into removal and thanks to searching i found fading fast to have the best reviews and will probably go with him when I do decide to do it on my new piece. Good luck and I wish you all the best as you are now in the best hands.
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So glad to hear you are feeling better and your confidence has risen - way to go!! I love to exfoliate, so great for your skin! I bet you will see lots of fading while you take a break from treatments, be sure to keep us posted - ok :)
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I think you're not only making a great decision, but I love your whole attitude about this! This situation is so stressful and trying to make the best of it by caring for your skin and making yourself feel the best you can about the factors that are IN your control is so important. Not only will you be able to relax and not stress out about money while your taking your course, but your body will have a good amount of time to heal. Good luck with everything and thanks for the update :)
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Sounds like a great decision to me. A break over the summer will mean a real chance for extra fading, following your treatment in June. I plan on doing the same thing. How is the tattoo looking after your last? Is fading evident? Sounds like it! :)
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I'm sorry you're feeling frustrated :( But it looks like you have come a long way so far and maybe taking a longer break to save during your course will be a blessing in disguise! From the billion consults I've gone to so far, it sounds like taking longer breaks can actually save you some cash at the end of the day because your body keeps getting rid of ink that whole time.
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Thank you for your support! I am hopeful that a longer break between treatments will end of being beneficial. The waiting game continues....
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Try not to be too mad. The previous laser will have no doubt had some effect, even if you weren't able to see much. Glad to hear you're now seeing results - go team Quanta! ;)
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Yes go team Quanta! I am just frustrated as I feel that I yet again made an error in judgement about this tattoo. As if this whole removal process isn't frustrating enough! I had really thought that after 5 treatments I'd see more fading however it appears that this tattoo is just stubborn, then again so am I!
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Wow it looks like all the green from the vine is gone..or at least the top portion of it. Glad you are seeing some good fading now!
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There were some touches of green and pink in the vine and all of that is now gone. It's surprising how much the black lines have blurred! Thank you for reading about my experience. :)
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Thanks for sharing it! Yes, it looks like the color in the flowers..sort of deep purple...is gone too. That gives me some hope because I have a similar color in mine that is a concern to me. I wonder if the black lines have blurred because of the breaking up of a large amount of ink...if that's the part that seemed to be done more deeply by the person who tattooed you. But really, who knows. This whole process is a bit of a mystery.
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The process really is a mystery and that is what makes it so frustrating. It seems that some just get luckier with quicker fading and healing and some have the process drawn out for ages. I think the only thing that has been proven to impact your results is keeping up with healthy habits such as eating right, drinking lots of water and staying active. I know I'm healthy and a good healer so I am optimistic about my results. Every now and then though I get some moments of panic though you've got to feel your feelings whether they are good or bad. Denying the bad feelings won't make them go away!
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Yup trying to remain optimistic is all you can do! Good luck :)
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I am glad you are feeling better, look forward to seeing your updated pictures of your fading :) Hang in there!
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Thank you!
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i was going to switch to picosure for my dense black stubborn areas, i shouldnt?
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It depends, some people do see great results with black ink using the Picosure and others don't. I'd say give it a try and gauge the results.
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Hey. I know that feeling you're describing, after a treatment, all too well. Everything looks red, raised, sore. The tattoo appears dark and generally a mess! My brain plays the same trick on me and I get really bogged down by it for a couple of weeks whilst it heals. You're not alone :) Do you know what laser you were being treated with before and and what laser your new place uses? Also, really encouraging to hear you've had success with removal once already - is it obvious that there was once a tattoo there? Or do you really have to get up close to see?
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Hello, thank you for your encouragement! The laser I was treated with at the first clinic was the Picosure, the laser I just had a treatment with is a Quanta Q plus C. After doing a bit of research into the Picosure it apparently isn't the best choice for black ink and my tattoo is mainly black ink so that may explain why my first few treatments showed fairly subtle results. As for my first removal there is some slight scarring left on the area which isn't really noticeable. I lucked out in removing that one as the ink was fairly superficial so only 5 treatments were needed for a full removal.
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You're welcome, it's important to talk to people whilst going through this, as things can get a bit heavy, so this site is a real bonus! That's interesting about the Picosure - I've seen mixed results with it on here. It's effectiveness on black still kind of remains unproven. I'm being treated with the Quanta Q Plus A now (I recently changed clinics too) which is the same as the C, just minus the Ruby wavelength. They're meant to be really good machines with decent power output! I'm confident you'll see better results now, I'm hoping for the same. The waiting game is a killer. I too was originally hoping for removal by the summer, but I've accepted that won't be the case now. I'm aiming for Xmas now, and then letting my body clear up any remains after that, but who knows with this thing!!
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I took a look at your photos and it looks like you are seeing some significant fading so far. Do you have an estimate on how many more sessions you'll need? Once again thanks for your support! It really does make it easier to know that I'm not alone in my roller coaster feelings on this removal.
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Yeah I'd say my tattoo is about 40-50% faded, but still several months to go I think :( I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that I might not be able to get it back to how it was before the ink, but I'll be happier once it's faded right down. There are several examples online of complete removal, as in no trace left at all, so those keep me motivated. The one thing about all of those is that they took extended breaks between treatments, as in three or four months. I have another session in 3 weeks or so. After that I'll take an 8 week break before taking one more treatment before summer. That'll take me to 7 treatments. Plan is to then take 3 months off to allow the skin a break and optimal fading. Then perhaps two more treatments before Xmas and hopefully that should almost be it!! The money side of things (whilst it hurts a little) isn't what bothers me, it's more the time it takes to put right and the daily thoughts of how easy it would have been to have just walked out of the tattoo parlour that day and changed my mind!
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I wouldn't have thought that waiting longer between treatments would make a big difference. Maybe it all really depends on how fast you heal, your overall health and how well you take care of the area between treatments. With my first removal I got complete removal of all ink and the scarring left is very minimal. I know that I was lucky in that the ink was more superficial, the one I'm removing now is a lot deeper.
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