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.

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.

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.

I Think It Is Fading!!

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

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.

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.

Has anyone seen this guys removal story?


Almost 4 weeks after treatment 4

Lots of hyper and hypo pigmentation.

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

Maybe you can see the hyper and hypo better? IDK

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. =(

Different Light for 5th treatment results

Probably still looks the same but these are in a different light.

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

Westlake Dermatology

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
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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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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So happy to see an update from you! Your tattoo is the closest to size and location of mine and Im hoping to have results like yours! It's looking fantastic!!! :) have you talked to your dr about using retinoids? ( It should help with texture changes and hyperpigmentation)
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Thanks so much. My Dr's strongly recommend that I use 4% (prescription strength) hydroquinone for like 2 months. I was supposed to be putting it on 2X's a day over the summer but I did not do that. I've been much more diligent since my 7th treatment (on 9-Aug-14) and I am noticing the hyper fading but it may also be from the Fraxel laser they ran over it right after they did the Pico. Either one or the combo of both improved my hyper a lot I think. So I am being really serious about putting the hydroquinone on now that I can see progress. I think I will go back at the end of October, it will have been 12 weeks. Do you think that is a good length of time?
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I think it looks great! I hope I can cover my own with make-up easily one year from now too!
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We had Mid Summer Mardi Gras here recently and I was SO HAPPY that I could wear my Brazilian costume without a body suit to cover up my tat! It covered pretty well with makeup and body paint. I hope by next year it is twice as light. Thank you for your words of support!
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wow!!! I was just thinking about you yesterday- I was on here and noticed you had not updated in a while. I think it looks good! Seriously! You have come SO far-but I totally understand the lack of enthusiasm- I feel exactly the same way about mine :( I honestly don't know if I will ever be rid of mine, but I will keep on until there is no more to do. Hang in there. I haven't had a tx since March. I will start back when my tan fades. BLAH!!!!!!!
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Thank you for the words of encouragement! I really want these last bits of ink gone so I can concentrate on the hypo now. the ink I would say is mostly gone considering how much I had. I was looking at it and I do think the hyper is more faded than my last post. I have been putting hydroquinone on it twice a day for only about 3 weeks though. I was pretty lackadaisical about it over the summer. =/ Have you been letting the sun hit your tat? I was actually covering it up when I went to the beach.
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Honestly I am happy that I can cover it up with makeup. So I am happy that I am going through the process but I was REALLY hoping to not get so much reaction from my melanin.
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Hey! Thanks for the update. Really doesnt look like much ink in there at all now, and mostly melanin, like you say. You've done really well. An extended break sounds good to me at this stage - to see if your skin pigment starts to 'normalise' again, especially using the hydroquinone. Do you know how long you should use that for? Its difficult to see the hypopigmentation, is it in little patches? 5 years seems a long time! Most sources I've read seem to suggest that hypo and hyperpigmentation should return to normal 6-12 months after your last treatment. I'd love to see another update sometime, perhaps around christmas, to see how things are looking. Best of luck!
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Yes, I have totally been at the pool every day! I put on sunscreen, but I still get super tan. It will be interesting to see where I am when my tan fades :) My problem is hypo- the color will probably never come back to my skin :(
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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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Hey Emilyo, so far I've had 6 treatment. My 7th will be in July 11 which will be 12 weeks! So I seem to be doing what you said! :) I really hope it helps with the hyper and hypo. I put Hydroquinone on it as much as possible (sometimes I forget
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I just wrap it in bandages with Vaseline for a couple days after treatment. I feel like treatments 5&6 have not really faded the ink very much only made my hyper worse :(
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Are you using the pico or the Q laser??
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I've had one treat ment on my neck tattoo an I'm loving the results it's been a month an most of the lines are nearly gone!! So I'll probably need 1or 2 more sessions
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I agree with wilks1986. I have been waiting 3-4 months between treatments. this was purely financially driven at first, but now Im doing it intentionally. I firmly believe that it takes a long time for the skin to go back to normal. I look at it like a rubber band. If you keep it stretched for too long, its just never gonna go back to the way it was....... but Im not a doctor....lol. All that said, your results are very encouraging as you're further along in the process than I am.
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Yea, maybe I should stop and start back up again in October or so.
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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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