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Beautiful Tattoo, Not for Me

About 6 weeks ago (on January 10th), I foolishly...

About 6 weeks ago (on January 10th), I foolishly got a tattoo of a watercolor rose (hence the username) on my left shoulder blade. I wanted a little tiny baby rose, but it quickly became much more as I let myself be influenced by the artist's opinion.

I plan to post a picture whenever I get the chance to take one. But the tattoo itself is about 5" (according to a consult I've already had at Dr. TATTOFF). The stem and leaves are 3 different shades of green-- pretty dark to pretty light, with some white. And the petals of the rose range from magenta to a light pink that peters off into my skin.. he used my skin color to contribute to the shading.. hopefully that won't make removing the pink difficult.

First of all, he was very professional and did an amazing job on the piece-- it didn't scar at all. I don't attribute any fault to him.. but it would make me feel much better about myself if I could say it was all his fault and move on.

Secondly, I should have listened to my gut when it told me to forget about the $40 deposit and move on with my life. However, I didn't want to waste the $40 and be a flake because I already feel like I don't commit to anything long term in my life.. I had an appt. set up for Jan 17th, and ended up texting the artist and having him do it the very next day (which was Jan 10th).

So long story short, I go in there with an idea of what I wanted in my head and the drawing he showed me was way too big and not what I thought it would be at all. Keep in mind we already met and I explained exactly what I wanted. I felt my stomach drop, but went ahead with it anyway. And I haven't stopped feeling guilty to this day.

Now I have this beautiful piece of art on my back that looks airbrushed and is quite gorgeous (thankfully I don't have to see it often). But I always feel disappointed in myself for desecrating my perfectly good skin.

My purpose behind getting it was to visually represent the process I've gone through this past year (and my middle name is Rose). So many struggles and so much pain finally subsided and I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel of my misery.. I finally felt confident, successful, and happy after 2013 ended. I rid myself of toxic relationships that were holding me back and just began to excel at everything I tried.

So I thought I would take a stretch and dip my toes into the unknown with something to represent all of that.

What a terrible idea for myself. However, I've made the choice not to let the tattoo I never see control my life. I just never realized that it would influence everything I wear, how I conduct showers (of all things!!!), and give me a stutter because it was so detrimental to my self-esteem.

Therefore, I have resolved to get it removed. PicoSure will most likely be my best option for the green leaves and stem. And I'm not quite sure what to do about the pink, but I have a consult next week and will find out what my best option for that is.

And sorry this is so long and personal, but I found that writing helps me cope with this "tattoo regret".

First treatment

So I finally got the pictures, the first one is right after getting it, the second one is 3 months later before treatment. I just got the very first treatment today. And it was extremely painful (but doable). They gave me laughing gas, which helped because it have me something to think about. And they have me Tylenol Extra Strength. I was able to sit through it all at once and she said she was more aggressive with the PicoSure laser since I was so adamant about having it gone quickly. I'll post pictures after I'm able to take the bandage off.

Typos

Sorry for the typos. My iPhone autocorrects "gave" to "have" for some reason.

Day after 1st treatment

Skin in pretty raised up, but the results were more than I expected! So I dreadingly took the bandage off while thinking there would be 1 inch high blisters. But so far there are none! It's just the day after, but that's pretty good. I put Aquaphor on it and it was kind of tender, the skin swollen and raised a lot where more ink is.
The nurse said it may darken a few days after and then will lighten. But all that's left now is for my body to break the ink down as best as possible!!!
This is going to be a really difficult journey, but I'm glad progress is looking good.

Laser aggressiveness

Sorry the updates are a little sporadic! I keep remembering important things I need to add in here.

The level of intensity she used to treat my tattoo was pretty aggressive, I'm not sure what the proper name for it is, but she said she could go up one level next time, but if I want to go up more, she needs doctor's approval. Which I'm guessing means it was fairly aggressive.

Day 2 of recovery

Well the tattoo is bruised horribly. And it's pretty painful. There are some blisters beginning to raise up and putting the bandage on over it with cloth tape is difficult, even with help. Overall, the most difficult part of the healing process is that the tape irritates my skin and makes it itch. I really don't want to let any shirts rub up against it.

Bandaging

I've been struggling with the bandage things. The aftercare list they gave me said I must apply a Tefla or non-stick pad over he would until it's healed.

And my advice for anyone with a back/shoulder tattoo, get cloth tape and the big pads from CVS. I was having my friends put them on for me, but they kept peeling off and separating from each other.

I figured out if I put the bandages on myself, I can straighten my back and make a little star shape so they stay on all day!!

Recovery, Day 4

First of all, Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates!! I hope you all are having a nice weekend.

I didn't expect removal to incapacitate me so much. I'm exhausted and irritable a lot. Also, I woke up yesterday morning with severe nausea. I read up on it, and some have said it comes from toxins as the ink is metabolized by your body. But after a few hours and some tums, it went away.

Also, my mom is trained to do lymphatic drainage massages. And she gave me one of those!! It's supposed to now lymph fluid around and get rid of the ink faster! It's easy to do yourself too if you look it up on YouTube or something.

Still Day 4

Well I can't sleep! So I thought I'd check the tattoo and see if there's anything new. This picture was taken by me through a mirror since it's like 2am and no one is up. It looks like the light green is faded a lot. It's still pretty bruised, so any dark parts you see in the pink are bruises. Except I see these weird magenta circles inside the petals. Not sure what that is. But it's probably nothing serious. If anyone knows, please let me know!

Side note

If anyone can see the little curly thing at the end of the stem, I know it cute initially, but seeing it faded and (to me) almost gone makes me feel so happy!
Ever since I did this, I felt like I desecrated my body. It's completely personal because I do like tattoos on others and I don't knock them down at all! But for me, it felt like I was disrespecting myself and now that I feel like I'm making much more progress than I thought I would with just one treatment, I'm filled with joy!

Blisters

I know I have a lot of random little updates, but reading people's detailed journeys helped me tremendously. So I only think it's fair I show close ups of the reality of this whole process. I couldn't sleep tonight (which is really bad) because I drank coffee too late in the day and I'm quite uncomfortable.

10 days post 1tx

Last post was a bit of my most frustrating time. Everything was really itchy and I was deprived of sleep but am much better now! Blisters popped and I am finally able to give myself a break from those pesky bandages. I'm pleasantly surprised for the amount of fading underneath the peeling skin! Punk is proving difficult to deal with, but it looks like the darkest sections in the pink are gone and the lightest green is substantially gone! I feel a bit like it's fading more than it should be!! But in a good way.

Also, I will post side by side before and after pics once it's fully healed!!

Approx. 3 1/2 months post 1 tx.k

Well it's been about 3 1/2 months since my first treatment! I will probably get another treatment done in either August or November! That's the goal. I do see more fading, which is still encouraging. And the emotional turmoil that came with an unwanted tattoo is slowly going away.
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Comments (21)

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Hi There; I wanted to wish you good luck with your fading but also wanted to let you know that as far as I know the two colours that respond the slowest to Pico are Red (also pink) and yellows. I imagine your green will respond very well to the 755 wavelength in Pico, but I would recommend doing some research on best laser wavelengths for different colours, pico isn't the best of all colour clearance. I believe its 532nm that is the best for red. Also, I think there have been some clinical studies going on for a 532nm wavelength at the 500-700 picosecond duration (this isn't FDA approved or ready for patients yet, but maybe something particularly interesting to keep an eye on with your tattoo. :-D
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Good fading! :) I like your little updates, all these stories are so uplifting and helpful for the process!
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Thanks for the update, fading nicely! Glad you are feeling better, good to hear!
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Hey there, just checking in for an update - how is your fading coming along and when is your next treatment?
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Hello! So far the tattoo has faded some more. I haven't gotten another treatment yet since I figured I could give myself more time than just 2 months I between sessions.
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Your tattoo is gorgeous, but of course you are the one who has to be happy with it. The fading looks great, that little stem will definitely be gone in no time! Best of luck to you :)
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Thanks so much for keeping up updated with your progress!! You are doing great! That is cool they gave you laughing gas, that's different! Never be sorry with the amount of updates, we love em all! 
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Hey! I saw you mention the bandaging was an issue for you- I just tried something called Tegaderm and it's great! I put a nonstick pad over the tat an that right on top so the excess encircles the whole thing and it never comes off and isn't irritating at all
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Oh, that's interesting - I will have to look Tegaderm up - thanks for sharing!
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Ok thank you!!! I'll look that up and see if I can use it!
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Tegaderm is what my tattoo artist put over me when I left the tattoo parlor (and my other tattoo, not the one getting removed. Good stuff.
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Hi there, I hope recovery goes well :) Did they end up using the pico on your pink after all?
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Yes they did! They said pico is better for all colors. So I figured I might as well go with it!
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I always wear a T back bra so it helps hold the bandages in place, You can also make an X with the tape over the whole bandage to help secure it. 
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First of all- great attitude! Like Eva said below, many of us here are in the same situation. I also have a very well done tattoo that had a lot of meaning to me, but turns out it is just not right for me. I was also influenced by my artist to make it larger and it just makes me very self conscious. But making the decision to not let it control our lives is all you can do at this point, right!? Glad you had a pretty good first removal session and good luck with the process! Look forward to seeing your updates :)
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Thank you so much for the support and everything! Being in this with other people makes it much easier.
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Welcome to the community, you are certainly not the only one who was left with a tattoo that wasn't a fit for them by the influence of the artist - I did the exact same thing as did many others in the community. Your tattoo sounds beautiful, look forward to you posting photos of it.

Now, take a step back and don't be so hard on yourself no matter what at some point in our life we make a mistake. We are always learning on our journey and now you know that your inner voice is something to pay attention to. You can use this example in the future when you are faced with a tough decision to make, let your intuition guide you and steer you in the right direction. 

Thank you for taking the time to share, you will find this community very supportive and open to helping you through this process. 

Good luck!



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Thank you so much! Hearing that from you and joining the community has helped me feel 10x better about what's going on right now. I appreciate all of the support!
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You are most welcome! Glad you are feeling better - keep it up!
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your tattoo was one of the most beautiful i've seen, shame you didnt like it.
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It is a shame. It's so well done and the artist is professional and talented!
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