No One Really Explained to Me About the TYPE of Blisters...- Tyler, TX

I had my first laser treatment yesterday. I had it...

I had my first laser treatment yesterday. I had it done at Dermatology Associates of East Texas in Tyler, Texas. I'm very happy with my experience at the doctor's office. The laser did indeed hurt very much but it was fast. The tattoo I'm removing is about 1/2" to 3/4" wide and goes all the way around my ankle. Only the first laser hurt. (There were 3 different ones, had to change protective goggles for each laser.) The doctor went over what was going to happen during healing thoroughly. I guess I just didn't ask the right questions. He said several times, it's going to blister and swell. So I'm thinking...blisters, I got it, no problem. What people doing this technique need to say is, "It will blister like you've never even imagined blistering could be. They will be gigantic blisters like something out of a horror movie." They of course put the dressing on it after the procedure and I went on my way. It was uncomfortable during the first 6 hours after, sometimes twinges of deeper pain, very achy overall. About 12 hours after, I decided to change the dressing and get a look. Wow. Thank goodness I could instantly google and found out this happens to other people because I was freaking out. The picture I'm posting was about 16 hours after treatment. I'm currently 24 hours after treatment. This morning the pain level is much much better. The largest blister popped on it's own and I'm glad it did because any movement, even with the bandage on was really difficult. I assume the other blisters will pop sometime in the next day or so. I recommend not having to work the first day after treatment. I know I couldn't of with my monster blisters. I elevated it, took advil and laid in bed. My tattoo is 25 years old and was somewhat faded already. The doctor estimated it would take 3 treatments total, 4 max. I forgot to write down the type of laser machine they used but it's a new upgrade for this office and supposed to be the latest technology. From what I've read online, 3 treatments is a low number compared to other people. It will end up costing me a little under $1000.00 by the time I'm done. I'm writing this to warn others...the monster blisters are apparently normal, don't pop them and ride it out. I checked "yes" on this review when asked if it was worth it. Since I'm so early in the process, I can't really judge the final result but if this it what it takes to get rid of a tattoo I'm tired of hiding at my job and don't like anymore, then yes it's worth it to me. Last night when I was a whiny mess I wouldn't of thought so but 24 hours in, I'm fine now. The picture also shows how much my ankle was swollen, I'm a 120 pound woman and don't normally have a giant cankle.

I was way to optimistic about the amount of pain in my first post.

I'm now 5 days after my first treatment. Only the largest blister I showed in the photo popped, the others are slowly starting to absorb back into themselves but I can already tell this is going to take such a very very long time to heal. The pain has really set in. If nothing touches it, no pain, but since it has to be covered something is always touching it unless I'm changing the dressing.
I'm a teacher so I don't work in the summer. I can't imagine what people go through that have these wounds on the torso or any place that has to be bent constantly to function. Now that I've read so many of these reviews, I feel like I know so much more than I did before my treatment. My doctor's office had told me their machine was new for them, an upgrade (Q-switched) so in my naivety I assumed it was the newest technology. I wish I had done more research and used a picosure but hindsight is 20/20 right? I have discovered several places just a few hours away from me that use picosure so I've decided to switch practitioners for my next treatment in a few months since I have some green ink. On the picosure cynosure website, there is a place that shows all the lasers in the US and you can put in your zip code to find out which one is closest to you. I'm starting to understand why people get so bummed out about this process. I PAID someone to do this to my skin, pretty masochistic. ;-)

On the plus side, in the area of the former mega blister where the skin is basically raw meat, the black is already gone. A flower that was outlined in black with yellow petals now just has the yellow shapes with no black at all. Hopefully, 2 more treatments once I switch to pico and this will be over. I think my fast reaction is because of a few different things....

1. The age of the ink (25 yrs) since tattoos fade over time.
2. I live in a very hot climate, and am in the sun a lot. I've never fussed with sunscreen on my lower body as much as I do the upper. Sun expose will seriously fade a tattoo over the long run.
3. I really suspect the setting was up too high on the first laser and my mega blisters are because I got a massive dose.

I'll update in a few weeks but since so many posts ask about where the picosures are located, I thought it would be helpful to mention the locator tool on their website. So glad I found realself because other's experiences do make this easier.

About 13 weeks after first treatment.

I'm really happy with the changes after just one laser treatment. It's hard to tell what the larger image originally was. The entire tattoo looks much lighter. Some of the thin outlines are completely gone and thicker black lines are broken and dotted.

Had 2nd laser treatment, switched to Picosure this time.

It's been about 2 weeks since my second treatment. Changed doctors after finding a local plastic surgeon's office that uses Picosure. I decided against numbing cream since I've read it might interfere with the laser and iced my ankle for a half hour right before treatment. I couldn't tell that there was any difference in the amount of pain, from ice or the different laser. Still felt like hot grease shot over and over on my skin. I could tell from the first day that the laser burn seemed to be more concentrated and a cleaner burn if that makes sense. The first time the blisters covered everything, the tattoo and skin right around it were a big mess. This time only the skin with ink burned. Compared to last time the blisters were minimal. Normal sized, no monsters. The last time the burn took a very long time to heal. Things still were kinda raw after 6 weeks. I'm not completely back to regular skin after 2 weeks but it's close. I'm hoping to see a lot more fading in the next few months before I go back. I can't tell much difference yet except on the green ink. The green got brighter and more intense with the first laser, is much lighter now. The picosure was more expensive. My tattoo is 4 1/2 square inches. At 100 bucks a square inch, I'm hoping the doctor is right at estimating 2 more treatments needed. I've spent $850 so far and will need to fork over another 900 for 2 more sessions. I'm so ready to be able to wear skirts to work which I've never been able to do without wearing tights. I live in one of the hottest states so tights aren't much of an option. Staying optimistic and trying to be patient.

6 weeks after 3rd treatment.

I think the numbing cream I used interfered with the effectiveness of the laser. I don't see much difference.

Dr. Campbell was very nice, no problems but switched to Dr. Motlagh's office for a better laser.

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 Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (22)

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do you feel like you saw much difference in the black ink fading by switching to Picosure?
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The black ink faded about the same as with q-switch, maybe a little more. The color has faded much more with the picosure. The heal time for me is maybe 2 weeks with pico compared to 2 months with the trinity.
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thanks so much for the reply.
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How much did each session for picosure cost u
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100 per square inch.
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Hey there, just checking in to see how you are making out with your treatments :) Hope all is well!
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I just had my 3rd treatment 2 days ago. This is the 2nd one since I switched to picosure. I'm seriously wondering if the machine was turned up high enough because I have no blistering at all, just looks a little red like a sunburn. I don't think it's even going to scab. I used a numbing cream this time, maybe that interfered with the laser but I feel like I just wasted 450 bucks.
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After 7 q-switch tx's and 2 Picosure, I worried about the lack of blisters and scabs, too. It takes a few weeks for the fading to start, but it has been much more effective than the q-switch.
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Thanks for that because seriously, it looks like it didn't even get burned!
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Hi! I can totally sympathize. I had my second picosure treatment last week and my blister was almost immediate and close to your size. I'd post a picture, but is disgusting. The pain was intense the first couple days, but then wasn't too bad. Until yesterday. The skin on the blister came off painlessly, however the skin under is raw. I mean really, really, red and raw. Very painful. My tattoo is about 2 in. by 2 in. on my ankle as well. I totally agree with your comment about being on the torso. I CAN"T imagine having this done on a part of my body that would need covered with clothing or god forbid trying to sleep!!! This was my second treatment with picosure. The first one the Dr. thinks the machine wasn't turned up high enough as I saw minimal fading and didn't blister anywhere near like this time. It's a long, painful process but I'm really trying to stay positive. Good Luck!
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I think you should ask from your doctor. My theory is, thats why they make those tests before... Maby you are not candidate for tattoo removal lasers or you need to use different laser. I dont believe that it is inks fault or somekind of reaction of ink. My second theory is positive, like, the more blisters or more redness, it shows that it had good result and really highup impact with ink. You see it after, if it heals but your doc should have good tips for it.
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My doctor didn't do any tests. When I mentioned the age of the ink, I meant in a positive way. Some of my black is already gone after the first treatment. I hope you're right about the more blisters the better!
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Check out my review. Same thing. And I expect the same for every treatment. THATS why I dread the treatments. Not the pain but the blisters. They suck. Only last a week tho.
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My chest had baby blisters that were pretty easy to deal with compared to the monster blister(s) that happened on my arm. unfortunately my blisters popped prematurely because of the bandage and sleeping and somehow the skin underneath was peeled off and i feel it will scar so be careful of that. 
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I don't think I have ever seen a blister that large anywhere! Holy cow!! And I thought my blisters were large but in comparison I didn't even HAVE blisters!! :) Do you happen to have a before picture of your tattoo? Good luck with the rest of your treatment!
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I have a similar ankle tattoo. It is 24 years old and I have just completed my 6th treatment. I had huge blisters after my 2nd treatment. Icing the area immediately after the treatment for an hour helps keep the blisters from forming. I was told during my consultation (with an esthetician) that I would only need 3-5 treatments. I now see an MD (her RN does the laser treatment) and they think I will need 3 more, for a total of 9. It's a long process.
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Thanks for the ice tip, I'll be sure to do that next time.
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Ouch! My ankle doesn't blister like that at all. I am pleased you are feeling better, looking forward to hearing about your progress. x
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Area of the foot and ankle and the hands all tend to blister way more than areas with more fat and muscle. Happy healing!
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Oh my word. Your blisters are quite large. I am so glad to hear you are doing ok. Since you mentioned the larger blister popped, are you doing anything special to care for that skin?

I just submitted this Q&A to try to find out the best way to care for that area and thought you might want to follow along over the next few days as the board certified doctors who volunteer here share their opinions.

What is the Best Way to Care for Blisters from Tattoo Removal?

Please keep us updated on how the area looks and feels!

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Oh my word is right! The doctor told me to keep it covered until a solid scab forms, he mentioned about a week. As delicate as the area is, I couldn't imagine not wanting to cover it. I let warm soapy water run over it this morning in the shower, let it air dry, then covered with an antibiotic ointment. I used a sterile bandage product, made not to stick to open wounds, then wrapped over that with a self-adhering bandage. It doesn't hurt unless I accidentally bump it up against something and even then, it's not very painful, more like I can feel the skin on the blisters stretching a bit. Sorry for this next comment (gross) but even bandaged it's occasionally leaking the blister fluid. The fluid is clear, looks just like water and the doctor said this would occur. When the large blister broke, I did not remove the loose skin on top. I looked on the office's website and the type of laser machine is called an Astanza Trinity laser with Q-switched technology. As of day 2, it's no more painful that any type of fresh wound, I can see a bit of scabbing around the edges already so things seem to be progressing well.
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Its good (and surprising) to hear it doesn't hurt that much. I would think the area would just constantly sting.

You have to post more pictures as this heals. I definitely want to see how its looking - even if it gives me sympathy pain and makes me grab my ankle every time I look at it! ;)

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