Laser Tattoo Removal - Sevierville, TN

So I didn't really set out to put this out on the...

So I didn't really set out to put this out on the web until I found this website. That is why there is not before photos.

This is my quest to have a very large tribal band on my right ankle removed I got this tattoo about 12 years ago. Over the past few years I've just grown to hate it more and more every time I looked at it.

I go for the consultation and was pleasantly surprised. The doctor discussed with me that I had a good skin type for the removal process and since it was mostly black it would respond to treatment well. Explained that the Medlite Laser he uses has very little to no scaring. Showed me a ton of before and after photos. Also told me that it was going to feel like the worst sunburn I've ever had to keep Neosporin on it for a few days that it may blister up if so not to pop them. So I'm hooked and didn't really think I would end up having my first treamtent that day.

So the nurse comes in with 3 syringes of 2% Lidocaine tells me she is going to numb up the area. And I thinking god I hope you know what your doing and she is awful at it. But I didn't have the heart to tell her after she was done that she killed me. I guess working trauma in the oral and maxilofacial field for all these years you learn how to give injections. But I digress.

So with the area completely numb the doctor comes in gives us all glasses to wear and off he went with the laser. As he was working he told me that the black, red, and dark blue ink was the easiest to remove since they absorbed the light better from the laser. Explained that the frosting of the skin was from the moisture in the skin was being vaporized by the laser. The entire treatment lasted about 30 mins from start to finish.

4/9/2014
1st treatment session
When I left the tattoo was frosted up and that lasted maybe 30 mins. The anesthetic lasted about 2 hours. As the anesthetic wore off it was uncomfortable but not awful. Later that night I put Neosporin on it and went to bed. Over the next few days I felt a tightening of the skin and the entire area was red. Within the first week I had lots of bubbles that came up under the skin none of which popped or weeped any fluid. The bubbles and the redness lasted about a week to 10 days. After that the next 5 days of my life was complete hell from the itching. The first day I tried everything with little results which includes the following: Cortisone cream, Benadryal cream, Oral Benadryal, hemrroid cream. So I get online and start the search for itching remedies and off to the health food store I go. I end up getting relief from a couple of things. Eczema cream that is colloidal oatmeal and Vitamin E. Since I've started with the first session I started taking some immune system boosting vitamins to help with the ink removal after it gets in to my system. I have still been putting Vitamin E on it for the dry skin. The skin itself is raised and you can feel a distinct difference.

The photos I've posted were all taken on 4/26/2014. 17 days post the 1st treatment.

You can see in some of the photos where the ink has broken up. All of the jagged edges of the tattoo were all once all very smooth lines with no breaks. The rose has become misshaped into something odd looking. The roses both once had black outlines and some have since broken up. The black ink was once completely black and you can see where that has broken up too. The black areas to me look some what gray in color now. I wasn't able to see the progress until the bubbles went away then I was like damn that's crazy how much different it looks.

I do and completely get why you need to wait at least 4 weeks between treatments. I'm scheduled to have treatment #2 on May 7, 2014.

The over all experience of my 1st treatment was too bad. The itching was by far the worst of it for me. Now moving forward I know what to expect and can better prepare myself for the itching to start.

Treatment #2

So today was treatment #2. May 7, 2014.

Nurse comes in with her 3 syringes of Lidocaine 2% and starts and I must say she done a amazing job today. I was so not looking forward to the injections today. That was the only part I was worried about. The whole time she was injecting me the doctor was in there talking to me about how pleased he was at the amount of fading I've had in the past 4 weeks. Said that I had completely healed. You know all the typical doctor chat. Says that he was planning on using 2 different lasers on me today one laser for the black ink and the other for the color ink. He was telling me today that I should have a great end result since I had "old" ink. Old ink fades and is easier to remove since the ink quality has got a lot better and new ink tends to not fade as much these days.

OMG....... today I can tell the next few weeks of my life is going to be hell. He said he was going to increase the power of the laser today and by all means he did. I know the superficial layer of skin was completely numb the subcutaneous tissue not so much numb. I will be the first one to say it I'm no pansy when it comes to pain but that didn't feel good at all today. So more power to all of you that isn't having any injections. My hats off to you.

So anyway, he starts and it is pretty cool to be able to sit and watch the laser do the work. It took him about 15 mins start to finish. He went around all of the black ink first then switched lasers and did the red ink last. He wiped it down looked at it and says I will see you in 4 weeks if your healed up, do what ever you did last time since you healed up quite nicely. Off to pay, make another appointment, and to the car I go to take photos.

So the photos I'm posting today is about 15 mins post treatment #2. I just took them when I got to the car. There is a few dots of blood you can see, I think that is from the Lidocaine injections. You can see where he used the other laser on the red ink it looks different on the skin. I must say it looked pretty nasty when I left. The nasty look lasted about an hour and then skin was back to normal. The tattoo itself was on oozing blood or any other fluid when I left today. No bandage nothing. I could tell the skin was quite a bit taught feeling more so then the first treatment.

Since being home I can see a bit more swelling in my ankle and can feel it more in my toes.

This will be interesting to see what happens over the next few days and weeks. Tonight it feels just very uncomfortable, throbbing some, taught and red. No sign of my ankle going to rot and fall off. All is good at this point.

12 Hours post treatment #2.

It's offical..... I've got a cankle. I've had ice on and off for a few hours. The swelling is intense this treatment. Lots of heat coming off of it too. I am not looking forward to the next fews days to come. May the force be with me....

5 Days post treatment 2

When it rains it pours at my house. On Monday 5/5/14 before my treatment on Wednesday. I'm at my neighbors and brush my hand against English Ivy that is growing around her sidewalk. I go in and immediately wash my hands. I didn't think a thing more about it. I wake up Wednesday morning broke out in a allergic reaction. My dermatologist ask me that morning what was going on with my hand. So he gives me a RX for steroids to help the hand. He says don't take unless it really gets bad since I don't want you to become immuneosurpressed. Now I'm dealing with the nasty gross oozing rash on my hand along with the tattoo.

So its been 5 days since I had treatment 2 done. Its pretty disgusting looking and it feels as good as it looks. I've had more swelling and low grade pain this time around. I'm yet to have any blisters or itching but I'm sure its coming. He used a different laser on the red this time and it looks and feels raw.

I can see more fading at this point and I know its still early. But how long do I need to give this laser before setting out to find another laser to be used on the beast. I know I went in to the tattoo removal process with very low expectations.

What mind games!!!!!!!

So I am since May 7, 2014 post my second laser treatment. The nasty raw places have scabbed over. I went this past Friday to the only place in Knoxville, TN that has the Picosure laser. I'm sure I can afford the cost I'm just not sure I want to afford the cost. $500 buck a treatment.

Since Ive had the second treatment with the Medlite I cant see any changes at all in my beast of a tattoo. So now the mind games has set in, to stay with what Ive been doing or move on to a different laser?

I want the tattoo removed that's a given since Ive started the process. But at the same time I don't want to waste money on something that isn't effective. Since being on here and reading about everyone else i find myself in a quandary. Some have gotten great results from both systems.

Which system is the best one for me? Which one will work the best on my beast?

The hunt for the Picosure Laser.

So I'm 2 weeks post my 2nd Q-switch laser treatment. The raw, nasty, and meaty parts have healed. The last scab fell off today and looks like a nice scar trying to form. I'm just over the moon about it too.

Now 2nd treatment looks like a epic bust for me. I've had none of the post healing issues other then the 2 red nasty dots. Swelling was a biotch 10 days of a cankle. But no blisters, itching, or really dry skin.

I will kind of quote the Cohen brothers. I live in a geographical oddity. I'm 4 hours from any Picosure Laser. If that what it takes I guess to get to a Pico then I guess I'm driving to it. I live in Knoxville, TN I had 13 surgeries in Nashville, TN I guess its no different really.

So I am posting photos from today. I don't see a lot of change it. I know I know its early but I just don't think the q-switch is working on my beast. If anyone out there sees something I don't please by all means let me know.

So with that said I've been on the hunt for the Picosure laser. and not one at a hair salon. 'Ive contacted a place in Louisville Ky for pricing. I think what Ive gotten from a lot of you is to realize sooner then later when its not working and move on to something else. I know the red isn't the best color with the picosure but I can deal with that later. I just want the black on its way out first and foremost. So the search is on.

The funny pedicure.

Since all of my scabs had fallen off this week. I decided to go see my favorite Vietnamese guy for a pedicure. I've been going to this place for a few years and I walk in and Buu says Oh it about time laser it no go for my business. I get in the chair and he is looking at my ankle and rubs a finger over the one rose that I think is scaring down and says oh that look no good.

The pedi was amazing it felt so good when he got out the sugar scrub and got all of that peeling skin off. It was right up there with sex well almost.

But I digress my point being if a Vietnamese nail salon owner can look and say oh that looks no good there's a problem. The past few days I've been wondering it I had been taking this to another level that it didn't need to go the search for the pico and answers to all of my burning questions that all of us has during the process.

I don't think so. Somebody somewhere has to know all of this stuff that we speculate on when it comes to the process. I need to find that person. I need to know way more then I do now. Funny because the past year I had a nasty infection in my shoulder from where a bone plate was rejected. I find this out about just weeks before I was going for my 1st treatment. So I had to wait so I had a chance to look and do research on laser tattoo removal. I thought I knew a lot but really I know nothing since I started the process.
Dr. Steve Johnson

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Comments (46)

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Hows it going, any new updates?
  • Reply
I know it's hard but try and be patient...the laser ONLY breaks up the ink- the body carries it away and this takes time, many weeks and months. I didn't see any "real" significance until like my 4th/5th treatment- yet it fades ever so slightly. Pics always help to see the fading b/c w/o them, it's hard to really tell. You are not going going to see any clear areas yet- more like you will notice the black turning more into a grey and getting blotchy as it fades out. Also, keeping the tatt moisturized has helped mine heal and fade- after treatment, I kept aquaphor on it for like a week and then once it healed, I switched to rose-hip/bio oils. The moisture helped the skin and the massage helps the fading. I know it's frustrating- but w/ laser, it always looks worse b/f it looks better. Hang in there!!!
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Not using Aquaphor it is a petroleum based product.
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Oh yeah? Can you not use it or is it a choice not to?
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i dont use petroleum based products on my skin. I do alot of holistic things and what some would call crazy, off the wall, and over the top things.
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that's cool, I totally understand...i don't think it's crazy at all- holistic is awesome :)
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i guess i was just being vague in my post...but like most of us, once you start this journey, we find out real quick what works best! best of luck!!!
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Pleased to hear you're also travelling to a Picosure. Will be keen to see how both our tattoos react!
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Well, I thpught about you and your tattoos and looked at your photos so many times. I could be wrong but I think you and I may have about the same amount of color, ink, density or saturation in the skin. Those large areas man you had to have them black or at least i did. So I'm looking at your past to help me with my furture. I know i know everyone is ddifferent they are to a point. But color saturtaion is going to be similar. You and JLN makes me see the light and cut ties and move on
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That's great to hear. I'm desperately hoping for some good fading with pico. Feel like I've got quite a few people relying on me! Hopefully it'll be really effective and give you a bit of hope for when you use it yourself! :-)
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I know it is all super hard! Trust me, I am also removing mine and I am 4,5 weeks post 2 treatment. It is a very long process and you have to be patient. Remeber that you tattoo is on extremity and on lower part of the body, thats why it is fading slowly. Just give it some time, but if I had a PicoSure somewhere close to me (now I would have to fly to get a treatment by Pico) I would definitely try it.
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Well, im just being realistic on whats going in with me. I need answers more then what im getting.
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I totally understand your frustration, but 2 weeks after a treatment is too soon to judge its effectiveness. Wait a few more weeks. Have you seen pictures of "fullofregret"? She has had really good fading of red ink using Picosure. I know that laser isn't supposed to work very well on red, but hers looks great. Think positive.
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I'm not doing anything crazy right now. I'm just being proactive in my next treatment and realistic. Just doing the hurry up and wait.
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That waiting sucks. I just had a treatment 6 days ago and I grit my teeth every time I see my ankle. I just want fast-forward this whole process.
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The wairing part is not that big of a deal for me at this point. But that may change the more treatments I have. But I also get that your so close to the end and that would kill me. What bothers me more then anything is the amount if information there is out there.Part of why other clinics and consults , i need some answers more concrect then what I've gotten so far. I need to know why my beast hasnt responded. Is it me, the laser, the tattoo. I realize all the variables but I need more then everyone is different and every tatoo is different.
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I totally agree! If you don't see any results in a couple weeks, look elsewhere. Someone else told me that a clinic could have a good laser, but if they don't keep up the maintenance on it, it won't be effective. How, as consumers, are we supposed to have that information? It's definitely frustrating.
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I try really hard not to think about that or over think it. I'm off one day during the week. I work for a temp service that may need someone for a day. So I go work on my days off if they have it, just to pay for my little laser habit I've developed. It is mind blowing to go into a office and its nasty, half ass dentistry being done. That is why I try not to over think it. I totally agree it is beyond frustrating. Lack of everything other then OK it will be this amount and we will hope to get your tattoo off is frustrating.
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Picosure isn't effective on red ink--but if you plan on keeping that part of the tattoo..
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Yeah I know... But most of mine is black. If i can get the black to go away then I can deal with the red later or with a different laser.
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I'm in the same boat as you at the moment. 14 treatments with a q-switched laser and I am ready to see the back of my tattoos. They're driving me crazy. I've just had a treatment with the RevLite but in 8-10 weeks time I am definitely going to travel and try Picosure, even if it's just once.
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How close to you can you find a Picosure? Thats the real question for me. If the picosure does what it says breaks the ink into smaller pieces then if you had a qswitch would you see better results? Thats the question. For me I would have to travel to another state 2-3 hours. So with all cost invovled would it be worth it.
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I'm guessing after having loads of q-switch treatments the ink wouldn't be as resistant because it's broken up so much already? I think Picosure would do really well after that as long as the settings are nice and high? I'd have to travel about 3-4 hours to get to my nearest Picosure, but I'm totally willing to do it!
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I will have to get online and do my research. I cant have anything done before about June 18.
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My tattoo is also on my ankle, but a few years older than yours. After 7 q-switch treatments I was getting very fatigued of the process and disappointed with the results. I drove 2 hours to the nearest Picosure and am so happy with the results! For me, it has been totally worth the money. You can look up my story and see the pictures.
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