I have a large all black tattoo on my torso. I...

I have a large all black tattoo on my torso. I ahve had one PicoSure Treatment so far. I am due back for my second oe October 7th. I am happy to not see any hypo and/or hyer pigmentation. It was extremely itchy for about two weeks but I had little to no blistering. Now though, it seems to look exactly how it looked before my first treatment which is depressing. I was hoping to see a lot of change like some people on here. I really hope my second treatment has significant fading. I am putting all of my funds into this.
How many sessions do they think it will take to remove it. My tattoo has similar shading to yours..however mine is even bigger! I trying to same at least $5,000 so I can start the process.
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I was advised that it would be gone by at the most eight treatments but it could be seven or six. I am just mentally and financially preparing for eight so I don't get depressed if it's not gone by then. I used Care Credit, if you pay it off within a year there is no interest. I was super happy to learn about it. It helped me get a jump on getting my treatments! I would like this thing to be gone by the time I am 30 which is in a year and a half. I think I am going to go every four weeks so that's only eight months!
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I want mine off by 30 too! That is my goal, I have several years to go. Some days I really like it, I mostly just dont want to have it when I have kids! I can see some of your bold lines starting to break up, so its doing something!
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Yesterday Was Four Weeks After First Treatment

I took a photo yesterday since it was my four week mark after my first treatment. I think it actually looks darker but it may be because my skin has lightened quite a bit due to no sun exposure. Hoping second treatment has much more fading.
Nice you made a review :) I dont think you will have a problem, and how old is your tattoo? It might be beneficial to you if it's older. Your second treatment is coming up though that's exciting , I'm sure you will see some fading after that just hang in there :)
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I did! I wish I had more of a change to show you! My tattoo is about ten years old. I have heard that it's better to have a new tat and it's better to have an old tat so I don't know which is actually true.
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I definitely think the reason it looks darker is because your skin is lighter. Don't get discouraged. I am CERTAIN you will see noticeable fading after your next treatment. The first dr I saw at Westlake said some people don't see fading until their second or third treatment. Hang in there!! :)
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Second PicoSure Treatment

These pictures are about 24 hours after my second treatment. It started blistering and turning red immediately. It looks like my tattoo is definitely reacting more to the second treatment, which makes me happy. I am keeping it covered and smothered in vaseline for the next 3-5 days. I'll post another picture about three weeks from now.
Btw, how was it flying in & out in one day? Did you just take a taxi from the airport?
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I think you will have noticeable fading this time:) so pumped for you! I'm having my 4th tx on Monday. I really feel like it has flown by. I do think I will need at least 2 more, unfortunately. It will be worth it in the end for us- no more tattoo insecurity!! We should me up and have a party, lol
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**meet
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I Think It Is Fading!!

Thanks for posting this. I'm planning on removing a tattoo in a similar region of my body and this helps me a lot. THANK YOU for posting.
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No problem! I should post a result of my treatment from three weeks ago! It is fading and the hypo pigmentation looks like it's subsiding! I am so happy with my second treatment results! Hope to get as good results on my third one this Friday!
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Yaaay! I see fading! :) nice. I'm happy for you and feeling envious
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Three Weeks After Second Treatment

These pictures are three weeks after my second laser treatment. I am going back this Friday for my third treatment. I am very happy with the results from the second treatment and hope the third removes as much ink as the last one! My first treatment felt like a waste of time and money.

Side by Side

Very nice fading for 2 sessions! You mentioned your next treatment is this week, the treatments seem quite close together? Normally they suggest at at least 6 weeks?
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My doctor advised that I wait from 4-6 weeks and it will be four weeks from my last treatment. I waited six weeks in between my first and second treatment so I wanted to see if four weeks is a better time length. I don;t know, maybe I should wait six after this next treatment so that I don't waste money on more treatments than may be neccessary. In you experience do you see more fading in the last two weeks of your six week interval or in the first four?
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Are you using the q-switched? Because with the PicoSure the down time is less.
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Two Weeks After Third PicoSure Treatment

These pictures are two weeks after my third treatment. The doctor turned the laser down a notch this time to I believe 3.4, but I am not sure becasue he told me while I was getting lasered so I was in so much pain I could not hear anything, lol. I definitely think the pain is worth it though. I am getting two more laser sessions and then I guess I will have to get another quote. I think I will send requests for quotes to some new cities that didn't have the PicoSure when I sarted this. I really like my doctor and the facility but if I get a cheaper quote from a closer place I may go there. I am waiting six weeks in between treatments this time due to the upcoming holiday. I am very happy with the fading from session two to two weeks after session three. Hoping to see more fading in the next four weeks before my fourth treatment.
Any updates after your 4th session?
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Its looking so good!!! I havent had a treatment since mid October. My package is finished at Westlake, so I am going to go to Dallas next time. Hopefully this month.
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I was about to PM you and ask you when you're going to get another package or start again! I Wow, October! I bet the ink has faded a lot. I have noticed a lot of fading from 2 weeks after 3rd tx to 5 weeks after 3rd tx. I am going for my fourth this Friday and am hoping to get a fifth mid January then I will be looking at Dallas and Houston. I need you to check out and update me on the Dallas facility! ;) I can't decide if I should rest my skin for about six months after my last treatment of just keep plotting along. Have you thought about taking a break? Well, I guess you took about a two month break huh? You should post a photo of your two month break.
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Fourth Treatment Today

I had my fourth PicoSure treatment today! I missed my flight back in December so I had to reschedule my fourth Tx for today. So it has been 9 weeks since my third treatment. I had my first lidocaine shots, prior to being lasered, and I can definitely say it is so much better with the shots. I am pretty sure I will be getting them for as many treatments as possible going fourth. My doctor turned the setting on the machine down to 3.0 (I've been getting layered at 3.5). To me, it looks and feels a lot more intense than the 3.5 treatments. I am excited to see the fading results in a few weeks. I am putting vaseline on it for a week (until it heals) and then rose hip seed oil after it has healed. I am hoping to get back over there in February for my fifth but it will be Mardis Gras and that may be difficult. Ha.
So exciting!!!!! Can't wait to see your results after this one :) I STILL haven't had my fifth yet- but I'm going to try to get in this Thursday- I want to get this show on the road!!!!!!!
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I know! I think that is the reddest I have ever seen it. Do you have an app in Dallas?
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Yes- I'm going next Thursday the 16th :)
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Has anyone seen this guys removal story?

http://tattooremoved.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/tattoo-removed-lessons-learned/
How's recovery after #4 going? Your progress looks amazing so far---living vicariously:)!
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I am actually really happy with the amount of fading! I guess because the laser was at 3.0 and very intense that I still have a lot of hyper and hypo pigmentation. I want to post an after pic but I am trying to wait until the hyper pigmentation is gone so people can see how much ink is actually gone and not the outline of the tattoo from the pigmentation. Other than that I am surprised at how much ink is left. I think I am half way through this. Hoping anyway.
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Your tats look very faded too! How are you treatments going?
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Almost 4 weeks after treatment 4

Lots of hyper and hypo pigmentation.
Perhaps something to consider taking now is 100% organic msm. Also, AFTER all tx's are finished, retinoids can help with any hyperpigmentation( not so much with hypo). I'd wait until you're complete as vit A is pretty toxic and you need your immune system to carry out ink now:)
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Oh wow, I have never heard of MSM! Its sulfur! how cool! I take hairs skin & nail vitamins, Chlorella, Spirulina & milk thistle on a daily basis. I will have to see about incorporating some of this MSM into the mix. Thanks so much. Yea, I have a needle roller, glycolic and lactic acid that I use for my face. I was considering using a needle roller after all ink is gone and tax's are finished along with some vitamin A.
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treatments* not taxes =/
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7 Weeks After Treatment 4

I will be having my 5th treatment Friday morning. So it doesn't look like muhs has changed in the last four weeks as far as disappearance. It does look a tiny bit less hypo ppigmented but still hyper and hypo pigmented.

7 Weeks After Treatment 4 Picture

interesting. It seems as if the pico does most of it's fading right away whereas q-switched is more gradual over time. I wonder if a long wait really helps with pico. I had a long stretch but since I dodn't take pics. it's hard to tell if it continued to fade. Hypo/hyper. I don't see that much of either in your pics..? Maybe it's the lighting? I would guess they should turn up the power since your ink is considerably lighter/less though. I would go for a notch higher--2.8? Good luck on #5!
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I agree, for me, all of my treatmenst I have seen fading in the first 4-5 weeks mostly. I def have darkening of the skin but my skin does that even when I get a scratch or cut and it does go away over time. I have a few spots of Hypo as well. Thanks so much! I'll update if I went to 2.8!
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Yeah the treatments I've had with pico I noticed most fading in the 1st 3-4 weeks and then nothing much after that. I got treated at 2.83 at my last sessions and I was told that was the level of power that is normally used with pico to start with.
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Maybe you can see the hyper and hypo better? IDK

Yes, I can see the hyper on those last pics. I definetly noticed that on and around my line work last time- exactly the same thing (after a treatment at 3.0). It's almost completely gone after 2 months. Looking closely at mine, it really seems like a mix of ink and hyper. It's fairly creepy to think I'm seeing ink move within my skin...! Because the pico works faster, I'm thinking we are seeing the ink actually migrate away from the tattoo a bit...? Maybe I'm wrong though. I imagine it will happen more as the laser is turned up. How is your looking now? Any better?
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Maybe! When I went for my 5th treatment the Dr. said it is hyper pigmentation and gave me some hydroquinone. I can't notice if the hydroquinone is helping though. =( I am going back for my 6th one on April 18. I need to post pics of the results from my last session but honestly it looks the same as the fourth session which sucks. I think this is going to take like another year then like another year to fade the hyper and hypo. Feeling down about this whole process.
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Hey, looks like you're starting to see some significant fading there! I was wondering how long you typically wait between sessions?
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7 Weeks After My 5th Treatment

These pictures are roughly six-seven weeks after my 5th treatment. It is still pretty hyper pigmented but I am just going to continue getting lasered until the ink is gone and then fix the hyper pigmentation. I have been putting hydroquinone on it for about four weeks and I think I see a little bit of lightening so I am happy about that. Luckily my skin feels smooth and unscarred so I think my only problem after I am done with treatments will be the darkening of the skin. My 6th treatment will be April 18 and I am hoping that I will be at least halfway done with my treatments!! Hoping to have normal skin by next summer! I cannot decide if I want to wait 4-6 weeks or 6-8 weeks until my 7th treatment. I guess I will ask the doctor how ling he thinks I should wait. I am getting a bit worn down with this whole process and I am ready to be ink free. =/ I really hope I see some serious clearance of these stubborn spots. I think the doc will use a lower setting on them and a lighter setting on the much lighter ink areas like last time.

One more pic of the 5th treatment results.

The picture is really bad on the bottom but I don't think there was much difference between the 4th treatment and the 5th treatment. =( Hope to see more fading with the next treatment. =(
I wonder to what extent the laser light is drawn to the excess melanin in the skin, from the hyperpigmentation? It could be that that is where it's being mostly absorbed, and perhaps less by the remaining ink. Perhaps a layoff of a few months would allow for the skin pigment to normalise somewhat and the laser would stand a better chance of interacting with the ink?
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I wait two months between treatments. Also, what would be the point to wait longer for hyper to go away then to just go and get more laser treatments and get the hyper back? You know what I mean? Seems like I should just deal with ridding the ink then deal with ridding the hyper if I am going to get it with every tx.
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Yeah I see where you're coming from. I'm just not sure if the hyper will perhaps take longer than two months to subside. I don't know if the wavelength that the Picosure uses would be attracted more to the melanin in the skin rather than the tattoo ink, thus potentially prolonging things and just perpetuating the hyperpigmentation. Having said that, it's very likely that I could be talking utter rubbish! ;)
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Different Light for 5th treatment results

Probably still looks the same but these are in a different light.
Hi! Love to see how faded it is! I had 10 (maybe 12, can't remember) treatments using a Q-switched laser in 2007 on a tattoo on my shoulder. I pressed really hard because I wanted it as light as possible to be covered with makeup for my wedding, so I went every 6 weeks to the day. After the wedding, I was still going, but I noticed my skin was not healing as easily and I was getting hypo and hyper pigmented. Spaced the treatments out at least 12 weeks and it helped. Now, I have no pigmentation issues! So hang in there, time really does help! That being said, I have a consultation this Saturday for pico on a black tribal tat (at least the size of a dollar bill, and all black, so pretty big :( on my lower back. How do you keep yours covered after treatment and how long do you keep it covered? I am worried about pants rubbing on it! Guess, I can wear dresses... but not sure the best technique as to how to cover.
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Emilyo, great advice regarding the spacing out of treatments! I too think I was going too frequently - I've had six treatments so far. I'm now taking a few months off over summer to allow the skin some downtime and hopefully some decent fading! How far removed have you managed to get your shoulder?
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I think I "took a break" when summer came in 2008, because I was over keeping it out of the sun. It was a black tribal butterfly with a traditional lily (green, yellow, purple). The butterfly is not even noticeable. Smudges of the purple lily are all that remain. I wear tank tops now without feeling like people are staring, its really hardly noticeable. I have had a Dr. see it and rub it, because he thought it was a bruise! and someone else tried to rub at it thinking it was an ink smudge :) I will probably start my own thread here soon, and will post pics there if so (would like the pico to knock the remainder out, prob one treatment would do it).
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5 Weeks after 7th Treatment

5 Weeks after 7th Treatment

It's been 5 weeks since my 7th treatment. I was treated with Picosure then with a fraxel laser for the hyperpigmentation. I do not really have anything to report as I feel like it looks the same as it did a few months ago but honestly I haven't looked at it or thought about it much lately which is probably a good thing. I've had a lot going on and it has kept my mind off of the tattoo. I will probably get my 8th treatment at the end of October or November IDK. Maybe I should stop for 6 months or so. September has officially been a year since I started this process. The assistant at the clinic said it could take up to five years to get rid of the hypopigmentation, maybe more, and I am assuming it's five years AFTER the last treatment for ink. So that is pretty depressing. A lot of times I wish I have just left it but it's a bit late now. So I am just assuming that by the time I am 40 it will look okay (I'm 29 now).

A couple More photos from 7th Treatment

I had to look twice, you can hardly see it....if you were to throw some sort of cream and mineral powder over top I bet it would blend in pretty good. Let's just say your tummy was peaking through your top, I don't think anyone would notice. Give your skin time to heal...usually doctors say hyper/hypo can take up to 6 months to resolve. To me, your story is a success. 
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Thank you! thank you thank you! I really really really hope that by this time next year it will be twice as faded. I technically have 5 more tx's at my quoted price. I would love to know how many more I will need. The Dr's never say for sure. I do want to keep doing it until the ink is clear and I am hoping that is like 1 or 2 more times. I don't want to go back to Austin 5 more times. I'll post another update I guess in November. =)
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You're welcome. Good luck with the remainder of your treatments, I will watch for your updates :)
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6 Weeks After Fraxel try out & of Using Hydroquinone Twice Daily

I have noticed a lot of hyperpigmentation fading since my last treatment (7th Tx to date). I do not know if it is from running the Fraxel laser over after getting Picosure or if it is from religiously putting hydroquinone on my skin twice daily for the past 6-7 weeks. It is still pretty hyper pigmented but I have a renewed hope since noticing the hyper fading! Has anyone used Hydroquinone and Retin-A together? I have been thinking about using them together to see my hyper fading.
Thanks for the update, you should really check with your doctor before you mix any topical medicines. Great results!!  
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Hey Eva, The doctor prescribed both topical medicines to me. I doubt he would prescribe two medicines that would interfere with each other.
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After my 7th treatment I had hyper pigmentation. My MD gave my hydroquinone and tazorac to use twice a day. The whole area was bright red and 'angry'. I gave up on it after 6 weeks. The hyper pigmentation resolved on its own after a couple months. I use hydroquinone and retin-a on my face with no problem. Weird. I switched to the Picosure laser and haven't had any hyper pigmentation issues. Good luck!
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Westlake Dermatology

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