Living in Regret of a Bad Tat -Santa Rosa, CA

About 10 years ago I decided I wanted to get my...

About 10 years ago I decided I wanted to get my first tattoo... little did I know the artists portfolio was fake and this guy had no idea what he was doing. I wanted a simple rose on my ankle and 6 hrs of torture later I ended up with a weird looking green blob. I spent a couple years hating it but living w it was fairlysmall at the tine not too noticeable. Couple years later my friend was holding a tattoo party at his house and had this really good tattoo artist fly in from the east coast... this guy was very reputable and was even a contestant on inkmaster! I asked hom if he eould b willing to do a covrr up and he agrred to just finnish the green band in the same style that was already there... after he was done I immidiately realised I hated it worse than the original! Ugh what a drag. My dad had seen it months later and thought it was ugly as well... he's not a tattoo fan to begin w ..but anyway he offered to pay for ny laser tattoo removal. So I went ahead and had my first session done and all I remember was oh my god that was the worst pain I'd ever ecperienced at the time.. since than I've givin birth naturally and I'd say that prolly takes the cake..lol.. anyway it hurt so bad I never went back to my 250 a sesion treatments. They scared me away sayinh the green woukd probably berve come out. N I didn't see any result from 1st session. Y
years forward... about a year after my baby was born.. 4 monyhs ago I decided I wanted to get ANOTHEr cover up done by an artist that specializes in cover ups. I found a picture online that was a covrrup after weeks of looking and decided it was perfect for me. The origional peice ob this pic you could still barely see but ut loojed v err y similar to my origional tat. So I decided to go w it and the artist agreed. The first sesion went great. It was jus the outline but he whited out yhe old tat so it blended in with the skin more. I liked yhe way it looked actually and was excited bout my work in progress. I waited patiently for ut to hwal n quickly schedualed a color apt a month later. We decided pink an d orange flowers would look good. I told him to keep it lighr and the first yhing he did was bring out the black ink... I sorta had a funny feeling but told myseld to trust him he is the professional. As he wss tating iy didn't look ygat bad t o me. It could have been the endorphins from the needle but I thought it looked alright. He finnished both orange flowera and said I'd have to come back for yhe last one. I was hoping he'd get all tge color done in one sesion bc the travel is over 3 hrs boyh ways!! Plus 180 and hr for tat time. O geez.. it wasn't til that night wen I got homeall xcited bout my new Ik yo take off nt bandage and realise wtf! I can still see the oldtat it didn't look good to me. I was devistated and filled w anx. This was a month ago. My boyfriend convinced me tats go thro ugly stage and it will b alright wen he finishedit. In my heart I knew I'd never b happt w it at the point. I jusrwaeally didn't like it. I guess I gad false expectations the old tat would meraculasly dissapear under the new one? So I spent first couple weeks depressed n trying to convince myself its not that bad. After 3 weeks of no being able to get this damn thing off my mind I started to research laser tat removal options obce again. At first I was goin to naturally go back to the place I had origionally gone but decided to do more research on lasers, doctors and what not and found this place located in sanra rosa which I've had really good ecperience with thus far. I had called their office in a horrible state of depression over this and the lady immidiately restores my confidence just over the phone. Since tge travel would b kinda lenghthy again they allowed me to send pics of my tat to give a quote per treatment. They called back tge next day.. 400 per treatmenr for tge whole thing with 10 treatment min needed... I quickly sechedualled an apt and underwent my first treatment yesturday. Opon arrival staff was very friendly and patient in xplaining everything. The offered my lidicaine shots for numbing tge area prior to treatment which thank god I took because the treatment this time wad like say and night difference on a pain scale. The nurse did gave to take 30 min to inject me. Felt way worse than the laser . Like 5000million bee stings. Almost unbearable. I sat and waited anxiously for about an hour til the doctor came in and explained everything to me. I can't rave enough how kind and gentle he was. He made it as pleasurable of an experience as it could be. He even offered to laser a birthmark on my chin while I was tgere tp help lighten tgat as well. Anyway. I came home scared to look at the tramatized skin bc I knew to expect blistering. But I hadnt expected it to be this bad.. sitting here resting w my foot elevated as much as possible while still having to chase after my 16 month old toddler. I am hoping to see results in a week ir two fingers crossed... drinking lots of water :)

2nd day post laser treatment

Had no idea the blisters were giing yo be this big. Debated weather not to post these pics. Here goes hope yall have already eaten lunch. Sorry. Does this look norm???

1st photo post treatment

1 week post treatment

Blisters finally went away. Still very raw though. Black is looking brown and orange is darker probably from the bruising/ scabbing. Seriously consittering picosure. Didn't realise there would b this much down time. If the picosure laser cut the needed treatment times in half that means half the down time. Also less pain cause bc its a more precise laser. I'm sure less chance of scarinh since the laser will b hitting the spot only half the times. Called the sacramento office w the picosure laser they will be getting back to me on tuesday. Atleast today the tat is finally healed enough to leave it unbandaged. I kinda like keeping it covered tho keeps it our of the elements and I don't have to look at it. Progress is slow but I deffinately see a differance.

recovery day 8 post first treatment

Woke up last night itching like crazy!!! The itch subsided throughout the day but started back up again tonite. Took a benadryal and worked wonders... noticing some changes in color... hoping to see some more fading within the next couple days

11 days post treatment

Scabs finally fell off... looks lighter to me

prepping for second session...

Kinda getting cold feet .. needing a little moral support on this one. My next session is monday and feeling myself start to want to talk my way out of it....not sure if its all worth it . First session ws pretty grueling for me. Help.

4th day post treatment

I would have posted earlier but my toddler threw my phone in the pool the day before my laser session. I have to say this is deffinately a slow painful process- not made for wimps! This session was as smooth as my first... Everyone at the office was super nice n helpful... Which makes this process a little easier to deal with. .. The dr and nurse were both impressrd w the clearance after one treatment. My mom ended up coming w and elected to get botox injections to help w frowning / crows feet etc... She as well was very pleased w the staff.. Exspecially he dr himself. Anyway healing is about the same this time. Major blistering n burning that stings exspecially in the middle of the night! Yesturday my toddler accidentally popped the big blister !!!! Owwww. N it actually filled bak up. Sorry if tmi. Just the name of the game. Like i said not made for wimps. Its hard to walk around even!! Sometimes pain subsides til i sit or lay down then the burning comes bak. Dressing it had become a pain since it leaks so much fluid n i am kinda nerotic bout keepin it clean to avoid infection. Ibprofin 800 mg has been helping evet 8 hrs but it tears up my stomach. Ive been taking lots of arnica too. Hoping that helps with healing. Heres some photos of it today
Sorry looks so gross :-(

post 2nd treatment photos

6 days post

Blisters are mostly gone except for the small leaves! Yay excited not to have to bandage n beable to soak it soon

fading update...

The green tattoo behind the orange is showing thru more.... Im schedualed for my third session in less than a week. Heres a pic

3rd day post

The debilitating aftermath of my last treatment is finally kicking in. Its super sensitive n stings really bad rite now.
This whole tat removal thing is definately not for wussies!!!! #feelingweigheddown

1 week post

the blisters are finally all popped... n scabs are all falling off... now I'm looking at noticing all the scar tissue that's starting to form. anyone else experience this??? 3rd treatment in and the tattoo is fading noticeably but also forming a shiny slick raw appearance. lemme know if this is common?
dr lacombe

Overall very nice and fair... willing to work with the patient and listen. Staff as well. Highly recommend.

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
2 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Hey there, just checking in to see how you are making out with your progress, would love an update :)
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I use the silicone scar sheets, get them at Walmart but they're available on Amazon as well.  They work wonders.  My scarring that has formed earlier this year is greatly improved...or should I say diminished.  But if you're near a picosure, I'd look into that.  It's worth investigating.  Good luck aloha...k
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wow where to evev start.. its sad to see tattoo " artist" takign advantage of undeducatedcustomers.. $180 an hour! that price is reserved for the best of best in the world and its a select few! no artist on that level would ever even consider covering up something like that to begin with. It looks like a scratcher did your tatoo in a basement worth not even 10 a hour.. whats the shop name if you dont mind and artist name? also you are going to treatments to soon after eachother. you should wait 3-4 months in between sessions for maximum results or your just wasintg your money and putting to much trama on the skin and it will scar..i dont know what your doctor is thinking having sessions so close together.. probably just after your money..those blisters are crazy, they dont know whatthey are doing you should never blister like that! try and find a better laser i know they have tons of cheap laser removal in california!! search around
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yes. im definitely considering waiting longer inbetween sessions, too much trama on the skin too soon. your rite!
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Go for the picosure. I haven't had any treatments with other lasers, but my fading is significant after one session and I didnt have any of the pain or blistering you're describing. That's too much to go through with a little kid to take care of !
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I think its a good idea too but the verse pulse laser is much closer and convenient for me...the doc and nurse are so super nice and understanding it makes it a pleasant experience... or as pleasurable as it can b I guess ;).... but definitely starting to consider it !
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Hang in there! The aftercare gets easier with each treatment. This is definitely not for the weak! Try applying a cream with hydrocortisone...it helps with the burning and itching.
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Thanks, yeah, I'm a week post and the itch is definitely starting to kick in. Starting to worry though bout scarring.. when I look at it I have moments of doubt thinking what have I got myself into.
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The ankle is a difficult place to get laser treatment and recover from.  The feet and ankles can be limited with blood supply.  Elevate your feet after the laser session.  It's good that you have lidocaine shots, it certainly helps.  I have them, would never want to do it without the shots.  Good luck with your next session, we'll all be thinking of you and sending you good thoughts.  aloha...k
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Thanx. Yes the shots deffinately help. I bring a little doll w me to squeeze durring them to help w the pain. They feel likea million bee stings owww. anyway thanx for ur wishes .. I survived :) take care
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I like that idea of squeezing on a little doll.  That's a fabulous idea.  I'm considering flying over to O'ahu for the picosure, they don't do lidocaine shots and so I'll have to use your technique to get through it....that and perhaps a bite guard.  Take care.  aloha...k
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Picosure? Yaaaaaay!! Thats awesome congrats. Bite gaurd? Like a mouth gaurd? Thats a good idea too. N talking to the nurse/ doctor durring shots/ lasering helps a lot too. :)
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Yes, the technician has Pandora playing in the background and I talk up a storm when I'm there.  I also suck on Starbursts strawberry flavour.  Anything to get through it all.  :-)
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Yours is a difficult area which is why it was probably so hard... I will say for myself, the first treatment was probably the worst to date as far as healing and down time...
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Thanx . I'm hoping the second sessipn won't be as bad. I'm praying for optimal removal with less suffering. We'll see.
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Debating on whether to wait 5 or 7 weeks for next session. Any sugestions?????
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aloha jayjay84,  we all make mistakes and we all have good intentions and high hopes...then the bottom falls out and we are left with anxiety and bad feelings about our tattoos.  I have plenty and even returned to the trusted artist.  As he was finishing up and bandaging the area I knew it needed to be lasered off and began within six weeks.  I will push through with the treatments even if I'm left with a faint shadow, it'll be a reminder that I'm not perfect, and make mistakes but find solutions.  Good luck with your removal journey, it's a tough road full of twists, turns and emotions (I get so excited with the laser sessions and then depression sets in afterwards and then I'm back to being hopeful).  Keep us posted. aloha...k
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Thanx, kahelelani, greatful for your support. It is a hard situation to be in on many different levels. When I think of it as a challenge that will help me grow as a person it becomes a little bit lighter of a weight to bare. I too was pretty xcited before my treatment n felt great until the end of the following day when they reality of the pain and burden I had inflicted on myself kicked in. We can either wallow in our sorrows or rise above it and turn it into a postive CHALLANGING xperience that hopefully others can learn from.best of luck to u as I will be folllowing your progress as well. Take care. :)
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How did the PIcolaser consult go?
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Reminds me that they never called back! Thanx . Will letcha kno.
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Hey,thanks for the review and comment on the other page! I actually also have an ankle tattoo with a flower (a light green,black,red and orange rose) around the same size as one of your flowers(I have it on my inner ankle). I haven't posted any pics yet but I'm gathering my courage to do so, hopefully I'll be ready to do it soon/at some point-since I know how much it helps to see other ppl's progress! I have a pale skin tone and I'm having the Nd:YAG- laser removal (around 4-5 complete removal session now,since I first did a few session only for the black ink etc) and a lot of my black ink has faded, I have also noticed that orange is responding very well too. Green and red is the toughest to remove for me so far! I've thought about my tattoo a lot and how I feel about it- and it's so confusing, today I went shopping alone and I had shorts on and I was happy to have the tattoo showing to everybody,it gave me this edgy feeling and confidence..but when I'm around people I know (friends, family, even distant acquaintances) I'm so covered up and terrified for them to see it (many of them know I have it though and think it's cool). So I don't know what's up with me but hopefully all this will be clear to me sooner or later! Thank u if you read this whole story, I know we can do this :-)!
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You sound like me lol yes it gives me the "edgy" feeling sometimes but other days I feel like I look trashy! I saw a couple girls at the pool today, moms, with HUGE tattoos. One had her neck done for crying out loud! And they both had massive leg tattoos. And all I could think was "well at least I didn't do that" lol
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It is really comforting to hear others stories that are in the same boat. I feelvthe same way about mine..even more embarrased (sp) around friends and family than strangers. It may be because we value their opinion more? Ican't wait for my ink to be gone even ifthere are pigment changes. I'm pleased so far though w one treatment.. seems to me to be a lot lighter !!
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I can also see the fading in your tattoo from the first pic, specially black ink is definitely fading well! Very nice :-) let's keep staying positive..!overall it seems to work well right now :-) My goal is to have faded enough tattoo by next summer,that I only need a touch of concealer to hide it :-)
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I always say I hope I can erase my ankle tats enough that if I have a wedding or something to go to , a touch of concealer will cover it up. Obviously I'd rather it go away completely but anything is better than what I have!
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