Tanning and acne have taken their toll on a tattoo...
Tanning and acne have taken their toll on a tattoo that I got when I was 18. It looks like hell and I want it GONE. When researching my options I came across information about the PicoSure laser and how it was so much more effective than previous tattoo removal lasers. I found the closest office that had this laser near me, read a positive review about this particular place, and booked an appointment.
Is it cheap? No. But it seems like a bargain to me because I will finally be rid of something that has bothered me/affected my self esteem for years.
I decided to not opt for the anesthetic cream before my first treatment. It did hurt, yes-- but I saved $30 by sucking it up for the 3 minutes it took to go over the tat. PicoSure felt like little rubber bands snapping the skin continuiously and/or like being hit by hot grease repeatedly. My doctor also used two older layers after the PicoSure in order to give me better results.
Pics I took this morning. I'm happy so far :)
Day 8- again
Sorry, I can't seem to delete the other two "Day 8" entries. All I wanted to do was add a close up pic to the one. So, here it is...
Some discoloration from scabby areas. Not sure if those were from the laser or acne. *sigh*. It's okay though, I'm still digging the results so far :)
30 Dec 2013
2 months post
I had my second treatment with Picosure on December 27th. This time I opted for numbing, which may or may not have to do with the severe blistering and weeping I had for the first 1-2 days before I drained the blisters. As you can probably see from the pics, this time the tattoo area is much more irritated and raw-looking than it was after my first treatment. Not a big deal though--I'm keeping it cleaned, creamed and bandaged.
The woman who prepped me and Dr. Ritacca were both impressed at how much the tattoo had faded in just one treatment. At first, they thought I had had more than one. Ritacca estimated that once this second treatment heals, it will be 95% gone. I'm super happy about that obviously, but will be miffed with myself if the whole thing is gone after 3 treatments (I paid for a package of four). Oh well, I can't complain--I feel like I'm reclaiming a part of my body and that is awesome. I can't wait to be able to wear upper-back revealing shirts, dresses, and swimsuits. And I'm so excited that I won't have to explain the tattoo ever again--it will no longer be an unwanted topic of conversation.
The minor pain and the inconvenience of having to drive 3 hours out of my way (with an ungodly number of tollbooths *chaching*) is totally worth it. At least, so far. I have high hopes for this second treatment :D
Second treatment results--Day 15
11 Jan 2014
3 months post
The scabs have healed and now I'm waiting patiently for the red skin to turn back to its normal flesh color (hopefully it will). I would really love for the remaining gray marks to fade even more in the six months I have until my next treatment. As you can see, there are some stubborn areas where the pigment was a little darker/more embedded than others. At this point, it's hard for me to see if any of the colored ink remains. Overall, I'm still very pleased with the way things are going.
Second treatment results--Month 4
Here's what it looks like today. I'm going back for treatment three in late June. I'm still very happy with the progress. I honestly don't think the tattoo will ever be invisible, but I'm just thrilled that people won't be able to tell what was there. Blobby scar areas > bad tattoo. Still, I'm eager to see this thing fade even more.
Third round with Picosure, Day 16
16 Aug 2014
10 months post
I had my third session on August 1st. I didn't bother posting pics of the first couple of weeks because it was the typical scabbing/ugly phase. This time around, the doc only hit certain areas. I guess he felt that the most faded parts didn't need another blast. He told me that I should wait AT LEAST a year before I go in for my final round.
I think some areas might be darker than they were prior to getting zapped, but I'm pretty sure it's temporary as I seem to recall noticing it before--but maybe I'm just crazy.
I won't lie--the red areas are from where I picked/scratched a little. I know, I know--I tried not to, but oh well. Dermatillomania's a bitch.
Well, that's all I've got so far. I'm still less than a year into the removal process and so far I'm quite satisfied. It's worth the money.
I'll probably update again in a month or two (or three) :-)