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Removal of brand new dense black

I am going to be getting married in June of 2013....

I am going to be getting married in June of 2013. I had always had this terrible tattoo of a pinup girl on my right forearm that i thought would be nice to cover up by the wedding. She never really bothered me too much, but i understood that she didnt look quite right and was eager to have something better done.

My artist came up with a large black panther design and in my excitement i went for it.

immediate regret. Its a nice piece of work, but it just isnt me. Its too large...too black...its just wrong. I cant believe I went this route.

After a week of having the tattoo and obsessing over it, not eating, not sleeping...I decided to look into laser removal. (what i really should have just done in the first place before i made a mess of my arm!!!)

Unfortunately it is just so hard to find any success stories out there, so i am apprehensive.

I went to a consultation yesterday (tattoo is a week old now) and met with a very nice woman named Joyce Furlong. Apparently she has just opened this new clinic locally called "Ink Plan B". she is a registered nurse who became a licensed laser tech through National Laser Institute in Scottsdale, AZ. Already that sounded pretty good to me, as from what i have been reading med spas should be avoided.

I was nervous but she let me sob a little bit as i told her my story. I showed her my arm. She didnt seem to frightened by it...

She told me that FORTUNATELY black inks were the easiest to remove. She id say though that this ink is deep and dense and will take a very very long time to break up. She told me there could be no guarantees that my tattoo will go away completely, but that when there is a 100% removal it is with black tattoos. She really made me feel very good. She explained that she uses a Medlite C-Series Nd-YAG Q-switched laser and that it does very well with black inks. She then quoted me $150 per session and wanted to see me every four weeks. I was blown away with how cheap it was going to be. I can definitely do that once a month. I am scheduled for my first appointment one week from today, when my tattoo has completely healed.

She did warn me, however, that I may not see ANY results whatsoever for the first 3 or 4 treatments. She then told me that if i am worried about my wedding she has some great creams and makeup that could cover up my arm without rubbing off on my dress. super nice.

a few hours later i had obsessively been googling images of tattoo removals and becoming depressed. Most ended up looking mangled, scarred, or photoshopped. The scarring scared me the worst.

I actually ended up calling Joyce and asking her about the scarring. she told me that most of the time scarring occours when the laser is too hot for the person and burns and blisters them. This usually happens in med spas where the laser tech is used to using lower powered lasers for hair removal. She told me confidently that i would not blister or scar, but warned me again that it would take anywhere from 10-15 sessions to know if this is something i can remove completely or not. Thats TWO YEARS!

That being said, if i dont expect to see results in the first few months, then maybe i will grow accustomed to it and get it finished. Doubtful though. I would not mind looking down someday and just seeing an empty forearm. Luckily it is a GOOD tattoo... so while i have to live with it i hopefully wont HATE it. I do worry that as we go along with this process it will just start looking terrible. At 25 yrs old the last thing i want to do is walk around with a huge tattoo on my forarm that looks to be the same age that I am!

My least favorite thing about regretting this tattoo is that it makes me almost regret all of my others that i have always absolutely loved. That just feels terrible.

So I have been searching this forum for a couple of days now and i see some people already 5/6 months into the process. I hope to join and i hope that you guys can help me stay positive. Its going to be a long road. Last night after my consultation with Joyce was the first time ive slept the whole night through... good sign, eh?

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Feb 1, 2013

Yesterday I was having a conversation with a co-worker who told me that his girlfriend had a tattoo removed a few years back. I was intrigued as it seems success stories here on the web are nearly non-existent... He said within two years her multi-colored five year old tattoo was completely gone with no adverse affects or scarring. What a huge boost to hear a real live story from a real person instead of some testimonial from a laser clinic website! Chin up, people...it HAS been done and IS possible :D
-on another "yesterday" note...I informed my tattoo artist of what i was doing. I was worried she would be angry or think i didnt appreciate her artwork. In the end she just told me that its my body and she just wants me to love the tattoos she gives me. I will definitely be going back to her forever

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Feb 1, 2013

Yesterday I was having a conversation with a co-worker who told me that his girlfriend had a tattoo removed a few years back. I was intrigued as it seems success stories here on the web are nearly non-existent... He said within two years her multi-colored five year old tattoo was completely gone with no adverse affects or scarring. What a huge boost to hear a real live story from a real person instead of some testimonial from a laser clinic website! Chin up, people...it HAS been done and IS possible :D
-on another "yesterday" note...I informed my tattoo artist of what i was doing. I was worried she would be angry or think i didnt appreciate her artwork. In the end she just told me that its my body and she just wants me to love the tattoos she gives me. I will definitely be going back to her forever

I actually has my wedding dress fitting an hour...

I actually has my wedding dress fitting an hour before my laser appointment...talk about a roller coaster! I have to admit, though, i didnt look at this tattoo ONCE during the fitting...guess Im used to it already.

Had my appointment at noon. I was very nervous but Joyce made me feel great. She said i am the perfect skin tone and health for this procedure. We went to the back and started zapping....
I was ready for pain but i was not THIS ready for pain! They say it feels like bacon grease or rubber bands....Ive worked in kitchens and been splattered with hot things many times and it was so much worse, haha. Id say the rubber band likeness was more like it...if the rubber bands all had little razors and were thrown in a chemical fire beforehand. Holy moly! Okay maybe i am exhaderating a bit but it was pretty rough for me. You definitely feel the heat, and continue to feel the heat once its over. By the middle of the session my entire body was shaking and sweating. It was pretty terrible for a first time. Fortunately my nurse was experienced and quick. She nailed it pretty fast and iced me up immediately. She also threw in a thumb tattoo for free that my mom has always hated. Thatll be a little wedding resent to her ;)
After we were finished i felt a little in shock and had to have a friend drive me home. My arm was ON FIRE which made for great jokes and ammusement from my friend. Despite how it sounds I was in pretty good spirits.
There was a good amount of redness and swelling and pain, but within 20 minutes the pain was gone and within 2 hours the redness was too. Immediately after the procedure I didnt think i was going to be able to do anything with the rest of my day besides crawl into a dark hole and watch my arm boil off... but those feelings quickly dissapated and i spent my afternoon antique shopping and picking out immune boosting vitamins and topical creams.

So i sit here 10 hours after the procedure and dont regret it one bit! AND i feel tough as nails. I will make an update in a few days on my healing, but as of now all i hav is swelling, no redness, blisters, or scabs. It really does feel like a sunburn, as they say, but generally it just looks and fels like it would ten hours after GETTING a tattoo, so i feel good :)

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Mar 3 2013
Had my second session yesterday. Started off being much more painful but the pain went away a lot quicker this time.
I had noticed some slight breakup of the lines right before the second session, but immediately after it could tell that the laser did a fantastic job of breaking up the lines even more. I am seeing a lot of brown and faded edges. Even the panthers dense black is in the beginning phase of the breakup, I think. Much better results than I had anticipated so early on.
Once again no blistering. The arm is very swollen but I have no broken skin and the soreness is very minimal. I believe my tech knows whats shes doing.
added six pictures but i will take all except the "after one session" pic down in a few weeks :)

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April 13, 2013

session 3, OUCH!! laser is now up to 3.0 and it was rough. lots of deep breathing and breaks but we did it. Keep in mind I am opting OUT of numbing cream, as those things can be bad for your heart once absorbed by the body, and since my body is already going to be absorbing enough garbage im just staying away from it. Anywhoo it was not as painless afterwards as it was last time. Burning and pinpoint bleeding, and I think i see some small blisters beginning to form. That being said its still not terrible and I am excited to see how it looks when the swelling goes down. The ink looks so much more broken up when the arm is this swollen. Im happy with the amount of fading I am seeing after two sessions. For a bright fresh dense tattoo I think its good progress. Will check back in a few days to let y'all know how healing is going!

May 16 3013

Seeing some good fading this time. I keep reminding myself we've only done 3 treatments. I got this!
Healing last time was rough. Had some blisters, may have some scarring...
This fourth time though we opted not to turn up the laser and so far I have no blistering but my arm is definitely swollen the biggest it's ever been. This is my last treatment before the wedding, so I'm going to be taking at least two months off before the next...
I had major feelings of dread before going this time and almost backed out. I almost feel panic when I sit in that chair. Then the laser starts and I wonder why I am putting myself through all of the pain. However as soon as its done I breathe and instantly forget how awful it was until the next time I am driving to the treatment center....
I am happy I am doing this. It's keeping me grounded and helping me think about the consequences of decisions I make before I make them...
Joyce Furlong

Internet search

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 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 (75)

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Hey:) I am checking in to see how you are making out, have you had anymore treatments? Are you going for complete removal or fade for cover?


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Hey there! When I started this I wasn't sure exactly what I was going for. I have had four treatments and stopped to save money for my wedding. It's faded A LOT, and I actually find that I don't mind it anymore and have gotten used to it. I would love to continue treatments but I just plain keep forgetting to make an appointment! I will update my pics as soon as I make my next appointment :) hopefully soon! It's been six months, I can't believe it! I would have had at least four treatments out of the way by now, yikes!
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It's cool that it's not bothering you...congrats to you, hope your wedding was amazing! Look forward to you next update :)


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Thank you for this! I've been searching for reviews and barely found any. I'm planning on getting my wrist tattoos removed to make job searching a lot easier. :( Wish I wasn't so dumb 2 years ago! Let me know how you progress on! Congrats on the wedding! x
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I've been second guessing whether or not to go on with my second session that is in a couple of weeks.. only cause I've read that the longest as possible in between is better, even though it is a slower progress. I'm 8 weeks in between now with a black and grey tattoo but is that how much you're waiting? Your third session made me a bit excited to go ahead and continue, such great fading especially to be quoted up to 20 treatments. Also, are you also treating the original tattoo underneath the newer one?
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I am going once a month so every 4-5 weeks. I suppose the fading is more if you wait longer but I feel it's just going to prolong the process... Who knows but I'm impatient haha! Yup we are hitting the while thing :) you can see in my last pic that some of the stockings on her legs are starting to fade!
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Hello and congrats on your upcoming wedding! I have tattoo regret as well but am too scared to start laser treatment yet. I have a butterfly with tribal on my back that was done badly when i first got it. Instead of just ignoring it, i got more tribal added to it a few years back. I really hate it and would love to get rid of it. I have 4 tattoos and truthfully if i could do it all over again i wouldnt have gotten ANY!! But the one on my back is terrible and i have total OCD over it. Its black like yours so i am interested in following your story!
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It's just awful that once we decide we don't like our ink it plagues us from then on... Try getting a consultation and see how you feel afterwards! I know I felt so so so much better after my first consultation. Looking forward to hearing your story soon!
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I've actually had two consults! I really liked the second one . I'm just scared to spend $4,000 with the chance of not seeing the results I want :( it's a lot of money !
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It's definitely a gamble :/
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Did they tell you how many treatments they thought you would need? Mine said anywhere from 15-20. $800 for 3 sessions. I'm kicking myself for not leaving the original tattoo alone. It was smaller and faded , now the black is darker. I wish I could just ignore it. I don't prance around in a bikini or belly shirts these days anyways lol so at least nobody can see it but it still bothers me a lot!
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Yeah she quoted me 15-20 sessions also... I feel the same! If I would have known that removal was so tangible then I would have left the old tat alone! Now I know better I guess LOL!
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Hindsight is always 20/20 as they say lol
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Hi! Im also getting some tattoos removed, such a shame you don't like it, I think its a beautiful piece! I would be more than happy with that in my arm, and I'm a girl, but well, everyone has different tastes! :) I hope you can make it to what you want! hang on there! and congrats on your marriage, I'm getting married too on January, and I'm removing knuckle tattoos!
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I think it's a really well done tattoo but its just not right, especially in the spot it's in. I'm also getting one removed on my thumb and I keep forgetting to take pics but its really faded and by the fourth treatment I could barely feel the laser... Congrats on your engagement!
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Great results on your treatments! Hang in there! I am also dealing with a large cover up removal with dense black and currently on session 7. I read you reviewed and smiled at your positive spirit towards this, good for you! The laser does hurt though, I am on level 8 and i hardly made it through my last session, but I am going to keep at it! Best of luck with both your wedding, and removal
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Thanks a ton! Your review was the one that got me going on this :) can't wait till I'm on session 7 too!
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:) you're welcome, you will get there very soon!
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as you are opting out of numbing cream - do you use ice or anything before the procedure? i also dont want to use a numbing cream even though its been suggested. like you, i dont want to add any extra stress to my body and also that stuff is so expensive!! i havent had a session yet but im glad ive found someone else who is able to get through it without the cream. hopefully it wont be unbearable.
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Yes! We sit with I've packs for about ten minutes before she starts. She then continues to use the packs as she goes, doing a section then icing then doing a section then icing. It's definitely painful but it's over before you know it ;) I have to say though that the first time I couldn't drive myself home because I went into a sort of mild shock, but the other two times I was mentally prepared and felt much better afterwards. When do you plan on starting?
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my first session is in 2 weeks. im really nervous but at the same time i cant wait to get started. i have an upper arm half sleeve. thankfully its all in black so im hoping it will remove well but its very dark and dense also.
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I can't wait to see how it goes! I feel that once I had my first session I felt sooooo much better. My anxiety was completely gone. Good luck!
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Don't be!!! I was like that, & honestly it felt likeĀ getting the tat again. She only used 2 (intensity) I used ice before & for abt 1 hr after. I did not blister or anything. Looking frwd to read abt your journey.
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aloha nomistaketoobig,  the anxiety before the first session is overwhelming but once the session is done it'll be like "is that what I worried about".  I had such huge relief.  I'm sure the clinic will start off with a low setting (that seems to be universal) to prevent scarring.  With each session the laser setting will be adjusted depending on your healing and skin type.  One of the things to remember with laser removal is patience and perseverance is important, this takes time but it'll be worth it.  Good luck!  aloha...k
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thank you all for the reassurance! i will make a post once ive started to share my progress as well.
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