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Large, Dense, Colored Calf Tattoo - Seattle, WA

It's a familiar story- had a small tattoo and got...

It's a familiar story- had a small tattoo and got a cover-up that I immediately hated. I think I'd like the tattoo on someone else, but it is way too much ink for my own leg. So now I am investing lots of money and effort into getting it lasered off. Sigh. In the meanwhile, I hide it from friends and colleagues. This has been easy in winter, as for summer I am planning on lots of long skirts and leggings (good thing I live where it does not get too hot).

I go to Seattle Skin n Laser, which has a picosure laser. My first treatment was October 1st 2013 and I had the second and third treatments 7 weeks spaced apart. My 4th treatment was on February 24th, 2014. I use numbing cream, and the procedure lasts maybe 15 minutes all said and done. Everything is treated with the picosure, and as of the third treatment, the red is also treated with a revlite. The treatment hurts but I focus on deep breathing and imagining my bare leg, and I make it through. Healing has been pretty easy so far, though I get massive blisters with the Revlite. I use coconut oil often during the dry phase, and my skin texture largely returns to normal after about 5 weeks. I am a little concerned about what appears to be a small scar on the right edge- it could be from the multiple tattoos. My technician didn't laser it this time, to give it time to rest. I have used silicone sheets on it and it really helped the skin soften and become less red.

I am thrilled that the green ink lifted so easily, and I see progress on the black, though wish it were faster. I am not sure I see any change in the yellow, but if all I have is yellow at the end, I will be okay with that. As for the red, I am hoping this, its second treatment, makes a big difference. My technician is optimistic but does not make promises. She says before the picosure, my tattoo would have taken 25 plus treatments. She is hoping for less then half of that with the pico. She says the pico has been blasting other tattoos at the office, too.

I shared my pre-pics and post 3 treatment pics. Will try to post regularly.

10 Comments

Mine is on my knee. I feel your pain about having to hide it :(
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As you know you are not alone, I am right there with ya, check out my review Blackberry11 

You have found a wonderful community filled with amazing people!!  The Picosure laser is showing some very promising results, especially on the green. 

Your sessions are not too long, sounds tolerable. Coconut oil is wonderful. How old is your tattoo?
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I got the tattoo in August 2013, and started treatments 8 weeks later. So it was very fresh ink- and VERY dense. I don;t think the pictures show as much fading as I see in person.

Good fading post x4

It's been five weeks since the 4th treatment. Following the example of others, I did a side-by-side comparison (sorry for low quality but still obvious I think). Let me tell you, it really helped me see fading I don't notice in person. In person, I see lots of line break-up and some line disappearance. But without the photos, I hadn't realized how much the red really has faded! I can see through to the skin in spots, and it is overall many shades lighter. I also see in the comparison that the black shading in the leaves is fading- though not super fast. I think that ink is layered quite deep. The yellow even seems to be fading, though more slowly.

The 4th treatment was pretty intense and took 3-4 weeks for skin recovery. Not sure when I will get the next one. I might go at 8 weeks, or might try my patience and wait 12 plus. I am sure the latter will be good for my skin, but I am also so excited for continued fading! This is the first time I've hoped for continuing cool rainy weather in Seattle.

I am satisfied with my progress, though of course cannot wait for this all to be over. What do you think of the progress?

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0 Comments

Another side by side

15 Comments

Thanks for the update - love side by sides! The yellow looks completely gone - the rest is coming along well!
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How big is your tattoo? It looks larger than one I'm removing but you're paying $175 less per treatment for picosure. Granted, I'm in NYC, but is it possible it's that much more expensive here?
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Hey Juliusx, the tattoo is 6" by 7" at the very longest points (though not a densely filled rectangle). I am getting a great price. I was quoted at about $800/treatment, but I am getting three discounts- a student discount, a package (buying 3 at a time), and another 2014 new years special. There also are at least two other picosure lasers in Seattle, so I think there is a little competition.

Treatment 5 yesterday

I got my 5th treatment yesterday. I have some blistering right now and it's all covered up with ointment and bandaging. I am icing and elevating as much as possible. This time, it seems the black parts are blistering with small to medium blisters and so far, none on the red- different from last time when the red areas got HUGE blisters. But we'll see what happens in the next day or two.

I wrote down some details and recording them here for record-keeping purposes:
On the red with a Yag laser (RevLite)- 3 joules.
On the black/the rest with a Picosure- 2.7 spot size, 3.4 joules

2 Comments

Is the yellow going? I also have yelllow in my leaves. In your opinion do you think that you will have full removal and in how many more sessions? I am so anxious to get this off of me!
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As for yellow- it is going, though in my most recent photo it looks more faded than in real life. I have very golden skin, so once the black lines are gone from around the yellow, it doesn't look so obvious. I do think it is fading. I will post pics form post treatment 5 in a few weeks, after the healing. As for full removal- I don't know, and I don't think the laser tech knows. It is my goal, for sure, though I sometimes start looking around for cover-up ideas- but I am going to go with this removal plan for awhile and see where that gets me first. I see lots of fading and more skin showing through, so that makes me optimistic.

3 Weeks Post Treatment 5- Fading slowly

Well, here is the update three weeks post treatment 5. Fading continues- noticeably in the red and in the thinner black outlines. There is a big change from the start, so i am happy about that. But the black shading within the leaves isn't clearing as quickly as I'd hoped, and the thicker lines are being stubborn. I clearly have a lot more treatments to go. I plan to wait 10 weeks at least before the next treatment, and will take another pic around that time. I am curious to see if more obvious fading really does happen after 6 or 8 weeks, like lots of people say.

2 Comments

Excellent fading there! :)
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Congrats, fading is coming along very well!! Hang in there. 
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10 weeks post 5th treatment

I see more fading, and some fading from 3 to 10 weeks post the 5th treatment is obvious. I am glad it's working, yet still impatient. Keeping it pretty covered up this summer- I wish I could not be embarrassed about it like some of you on here, but I am embraced for people I know to see it. I bought derma blend and it covers it up pretty well, might do more of that once it gets a little warmer here in Seattle. These pics are from the day before my 6th treatment, which I got an am healing from now. I plan to wait 3 plus months before my next treatment- it sucks to do the bandages and blisters in nice weather, plus consensus seems to be that more time leads to much better fading. Anyways, here are my pics.

1 Comments

You have given me so much hope! I have roughly a 10cm x 10cm dense coloured tattoo on my calf i want off. your results are some of the best ive seen so far.
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Jean

Very positive experience. I like the RN, Joanie Roth (I think she is a LNP). (note the above says Jean, but her name is Joanie). I like having the same person every time. She has a lot of experience with tattoos and is calm and steady and friendly. The first time, she had an assistant manage the cool air machine at the same time, which was awesome and really helped with pain. In subsequent sessions, she has worked alone, and has the cold air directed at the spot, but it's not quite as directed and responsive. Still helps, though.

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