Removing a 2 Month Old Tattoo with Pico

Got a tattoo about 2 months ago, realized shortly...

Got a tattoo about 2 months ago, realized shortly afterwards it wasn't the right choice for me. It was in too visible a place, I don't like displaying something personal to me all the time and, in the end, I don't really find it aesthetically pleasing. Soooo, I have decided pretty early on that I want to get it removed. I have my consultation on the 28th and want to go ahead and get started then, seeing as I'm on a time frame (which I know isn't ideal.) I am planning to move to Spain starting this September. This means I could fit 5 sessions in beforehand, if I leave 6 weeks between each one. My tattoo is all black and I don't think the lines are too dense. The artist went over the body of the monkey two times, and the tail just once, so even though that is the part with the most concentrated amount of ink it shouldn't be as dense (I think? Not sure if I know what I'm talking about here!) Anyway, I exercise a lot, don't smoke, and generally eat healthy so I'm hoping all these factors will get me some good results.
I'm hoping I will have my tattoo gone in this time frame, or at least have done enough treatments for it to be not too noticeable and I can allow time and natural fading do the rest of the work from there? It seems like things always become more complicated according to these stories, but I'm trying to maintain a positive attitude.
Anyway, I was pretty reluctant to share this process with photos and all online, seeing as its personal, but I figure the support will be nice and this way I can help anyone else considering tattoo removal. If any one has tips on how to prepare for the session, their healthy routine, words of wisdom, advice, comments on if they think this is doable in 6 months, etc, they'd be welcome!

Consultation

Had my first consultation and it was a little disappointing. I was under the impression from her secretary that we could get started today but the Doctor said she waits 3 months after getting the tattoo to begin removal so now I need to wait another month. She said starting too early increased the risk of infection because my body was still getting used to the ink. Then she was so busy that I had to wait an extra two weeks to schedule an appointment. Since I'm on a tight schedule adding another month and a half to my wait is very frustrating! I'm thinking about looking into another doctor, however, she really seemed the most reliable in the area by my research. Anyone have any good doctors using the picosure in NYC to recommend? Any insight on when its okay to start on a new tattoo?

Consultation

Forgot to mention she also quoted me at $400 a session with between 5-10 sessions. This seems a lot to me considering my tattoo. It spans a lot of space I guess but is really mostly just outlines! I also thought it wouldn't be that many sessions but I guess she's trying to be realistic and not give me false hope, which is good.

1st treatment

Went to the new tataway place in nyc and got my first treatment today. Was more expensive than my previous quote, but I wanted to get started. Sporting a very large blister right now, so hoping for some fading. Will post pictures once I see some progress.

4 and a half weeks after first treatment

So its been almost 5 weeks since my first treatment and its looking all healed so I'm going to go ahead and schedule my next one as soon as possible. Here are some pictures of my tat now. It doesn't look too different to me, but I know it hasn't been long. Maybe the lines are a little thinner and the tail a little lighter in the middle? There's one spot where I think I see line breakup, I'll point it out in the picture. I feel like people usually see the most dramatic change after the first treatment though, no? I'll just have to put the laser on a stronger setting I guess. The healing process was actually not a big deal, for those of you wondering. I started putting Bio-oil on it the last week which has made a nice difference. I had some red itchy bumps before that which went away. I also had a little hypopigmentation, which is getting better.

Second Treatment Done

Hey all,
I had my second treatment done the 15th. I went to Clean Slate Laser in White Plains. It was a good experience, she was quick and nice. The price was significantly cheaper than the other places I've gone and she's been very responsive through email if I've ever had any questions (even when I was just thinking about going there).
She put the laser up and it hurt more but I saw more line breakup right after. It's still healing but I'll put up some pictures soon.

3 weeks Post 2nd Treatment

So here are the pictures for 3 weeks after my 2nd treatment. There are kind of a lot but I think its helpful to zoom in on the areas where I see line breakup to show where the change is really happening. Its still just small changes but definitely encouraging to see some breakup. My skin reacted more this time and I got bit of a rash around the area as you can see. Besides that it seems mostly healed up and I was hoping to go to my next treatment in around 10 days so I'll have left a month between treatments. We'll see how that goes though.

Rash

Hey, I have this rash around the tail. Its not spreading quickly or super itchy but I was wondering if anyone has had a similar experience and has any advice as to how to treat it?
Dr. Jessica Krant

Was this review helpful? 1 other found this helpful

Comments (25)

Sort by

I also had some bumps pop up a couple weeks after my first treatment, but it was nothing like what you have, it was itchy, and it went away in about a day. I'd definitely call your doc as an infection is also a possibility.
  • Reply
Hey, that looks possibly like some kind of allergic reaction to the ink maybe? Have you gotten in touch with your service provider to let them know? They should be able to advise. I'd give them a quick call perhaps. Hope it disappears soon!
  • Reply
Thanks for the update, any progress is good progress :)  Good luck on your next treatment. 
  • Reply
Hey there just checking in to see how your fading is coming along. 
  • Reply
I'm also going to Dr.krant. she's a really nice dermatologist but from my first treatment I haven't seen any change. She did say she needed to be more cautious with me because of my darker skin. This is a very frustrating thing for me.
  • Reply
i actually just went to a consultation with her, didnt have my first appointment there because she thought 2 months after getting it was too early for removal. I went to tataway in nyc but haven't changed it yet because for my next appointment im going to try a cheaper place.
  • Reply
Oh how was tataway? I'm considering them because they're open on weekends and I won't have to take time off for appointments.
  • Reply
it was good, nice woman and office, but they were the most expensive place I went to.
  • Reply
How are things looking ten days after treatment?
  • Reply
unfortunately, not much difference. I blistered and still have a little scabbing going on so I'm hoping to see more progress in the upcoming weeks. I'm a bit disappointed because I expected the most dramatic difference with the first treatment.
  • Reply
I am in the same situation! I also have a brand new all black dense tattoo. I won't begin treatment until late may/early june since I'm in school away from home but I also plan on traveling abroad next year! I'm conflicted and feel I should wait until after my year abroad in Europe to begin removal but people are saying my tattoo may fade a great deal with more spacing in between treatments. Good luck and post pictures! I will too when I begin treatments. Good luck!
  • Reply
Aahh, its such a tricky situation! I think its great to start before we go, I know I can't wait. I'm just really hoping its VERY faded after the 4 or 5 treatments I can fit in before I leave. Then, yup, we should appreciate the time to let nature work. I definitely will post pictures once I see some fading! So far just blistering/raised/sore. Until then, its really helpful to think about the exciting things we got going on soon and the fact we will be much closer to being tat free by then - I miss short sleeves so much already! Good luck to you too!
  • Reply
Awesome, happy you got started, I look forward to seeing your results! Happy healing!
  • Reply
thanks!
  • Reply
Hello! Glad you've found this community of people :) It's been such a help to not feel so completely alone in this whole ridiculous tattoo regret situation! I'm in a situation quite similar to yours...got a tattoo and am now completely regretting it and it's too new to begin anything. I also maybe moving out of the country for at least a year starting this summer, so I can relate to the added stress it adds to be thinking about this plus having big life changes ahead of you! Ugh. Unfortunate timing, huh? From anyone I've talked too, it could be a blessing in disguise to get a few treatments in and then not have access to any for a while because your body breaks down so much ink within that time. At least you've gotten the ball rolling with consultations. And since the doctor you went to said you should wait another month or so, it wouldn't hurt to go check out some other places too, just to compare prices. Also, katie_s mentioned something the other day about a possible Picosure upgrade and then someone else responded saying it was called "Boost." I did some looking on the Cynosure website and sure enough, there is an upgrade that is available now. Might be worth asking doctors about as it may help target blacks a little better. Well sorry for the long post. Good luck with everything and please be in touch if you ever need to vent about this whole thing (I know I sure need to sometimes!) And good luck with the job opportunity in Spain!
  • Reply
Yup, this is a complicated situation we got ourselves in. But as you see from my update I actually did find a place that thought it was fine to go ahead and start and I'm really glad I did because now I feel I'm not waiting around idly but using but making the most of the little time I have. You probably feel the same having at least gotten your test area done. You're very right though about doing many consultation, I found a new place which is a bit of a drive instead of just a subway ride away but it is more than half the price of the place i started at! Its a huge relief to not have to worry as much about money now. Hopefully now we can just get a decent amount of treatments in (although it will be kinda a downer on summer, I know the place I'm going to will be warm which is something to look forward to!) and have our tats be less noticeable by the time we head out and wait for fading. Well, its great to see you're going through this as well. Your tattoos pretty cool, but I understand once you decide its not for you, there's not much turning back. At least you can cover it without too much difficulty! I'm going to hate quarter sleeve shirts SOOO much by the time this is through! Thanks for the info about boost, I'll look into that. Good luck with everything!!!
  • Reply
Welcome, I am really glad you did share your story and added photos, it really is helpful for others :) 

You're on the right track, living a healthy lifestyle is key as you need a strong immune system, remember to drink lots of water and get lots of rest. 

I am going through this process as well, and what I have learned is to have lots of patience, the fading does continue for months even after the initial treatment. My last treatment was Sept 2013 ( I think) and I am still seeing fading. 

The Picosure is proving to be an amazing machine and I look forward to your updates - hang in there!
  • Reply
Hi, sorry to hear you hate your tattoo especially in the same time frame I hated mine in too! My picosure clinic made me wait 3 months before treatment and to avoid scars/pigmentation issues they recommend 6-8 weeks in between. Black tattoos have been known to be removed in as little as 3-4 treatments with picosure but that means spacing your treatments months apart. Personally I dont think 6 weeks is enough, after my 1st go I waited 8 weeks, then after my 2nd pico I waited 6 and wish I'd waited longer so im waiting 3 months before my next 1. You'd be MUCH better off waiting at least 8 weeks as the last fortnight made the world of difference to me and it will naturally fade LOADS when your in spain so by the time you visit/go back home it may only need need 1 more treatment to disappear.
  • Reply
Yeah I'm definitely torn between trying to get as many treatments in before I leave and taking time to see fading. I'll have to see what my doctor says and how my body reacts I suppose. Thanks for the advice!
  • Reply
Hi I am also trying to move to Europe by September-December. To Holland. I'm going for treatment 2 in 2 weeks. I don't want m tattoo on me when I move. Ugh. Hope to see your progress.
  • Reply
Yup, totally understand your frustration. Not good timing. If I get accepted for the job I want in Spain I'd have to go by September with or without this thing (not gonna let this stop me) but at least you have a few months flexibility. I try to look at my trip as something motivating me to look forward to after I'm done with all this stress! (hopefully) You look like you got some great fading to me after only one treatment. Is there a reason you waited 4 months between treatments though? Did you notice continuous fading? I'll be rooting for ya!
  • Reply
I didn't notice continuous fading but I also didn't evaluate it so much as I hate looking at it. I just lost track if time and went on vacation to Holland for 3 weeks Feb.-March. I can't wait to get my 2nd treatment in.
  • Reply
Hey, welcome along :) I'm glad you made the decision to share your story here, it'll really help you on the way to removal. The design is all black and looks pretty simple, which should work in your favour. The tale will probably take some work, and you'll need to be vigilant of hypopigmentation (loss of natural pigment) as it looks like you've got a little bit of colour in your skin (could just be the picture!) Having said that I reckon you'll do great. It's impossible to predict how everyone will react in terms of speed of removal. The one thing I've learnt in this is that you've got to manage your own expectations. This isn't an overnight process. Some people will see dramatic clearing at a fast pace, others will take longer. September seems quite optimistic, although not impossible. If I were you id perhaps be shooting for a significant amount of fading by then, and then anything on top of that will be a bonus. Of course, I'd love it if I were proved wrong!! I look forward to watching your progress.
  • Reply
Hey there, just wanna say from the get go, I've been following your story and it's been very thorough and informative. You've been really supportive and encouraging around here so thanks! I know you're getting frustrated but you've come a long way. Yeah I got the tattoo when I was in Nicaragua so I was quite tan, but now I'm back to my pale self, so hopefully that's better. (although I always have freckles and don't know how that affects things.) In terms of my time frame I know its very unlikely it'll be totally gone by then, but I'm hoping at least I can fit in a good amount of treatments beforehand and then let nature take its course. Anyway, things are very up in the air right now. I should have a little more direction after my consultation - I'll keep you all updated. Thanks for the input!
  • Reply
You're welcome. Good luck with the consultation. Remember to ask as many questions as you can!
  • Reply