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Please Remove my Ink -Vernon Hills, IL

I'm having part of a larger tattoo removed. As...

I'm having part of a larger tattoo removed. As soon as I got this tattoo done, I regretted it. After letting it heal for a couple months, I chose to have it removed. I've had 4 picosure treatments in Vernon Hills, IL

I'm hoping to have this terrible mistake removed soon! I'm pretty depressed about it and it's had a horrible effect on my day-to-day life.

5 weeks post 3rd treatment

I'm had my 4th treatment on 10/11/13. Dr said he was hoping it would be gone by 4th treatment. Obviously it's not yet. Hoping it'll be fine by #7

Some before/after pics

Hard day today

I have some good days and bad days. Unfortunately today is the latter. I worry that my 4-yr-old daughter will think poorly of my mistake. I go out of my way to hide the tattoo from her. I also have a baby on the way. I pray this tattoo will be gone before he/she arrives next summer. What a stupid mistake.

Anyone else?

To those receiving pico treatments- following a treatment, when are you witnessing the most fading?

My first couple of treatments, it was very obvious almost immediately. The 3rd tx it took a few weeks.

I'm just trying to get a grasp on what everyone else is seeing.

It's been a rough couple of days. Not so much physically, but mentally/emotionally. I just really want thinks tattoo off so I can go back to living a "normal" life with my family. Good luck to everyone. Hope you all are well.

5 weeks post 4TX update

I had my 4th treatment 4 weeks ago. I return for #5 in one week. I didn't see as much instant fading as I had in previous treatments, but saw good fading during the last few weeks.

All the light shading was gone after the 2nd TX. I'm now just left with the shading that was VERY dense. (The tattoo artist didn't do any outlines).

I have some patches of hyperpigmentation, but they are small. After treatment #5, I'm taking 8 weeks off to enjoy the holidays and let my skin have a few extra weeks to recover.

More pics

Side-by-side pics of all 4TX

Pre pico
Post 1tx
Post 2tx
Post 3tx
Post 4tx

Treatment #5

Here we go. I'm sitting in the lobby awaiting another treatment. He just went over the tattoo with the picosure and the Dr wants me to wait 25 minutes and he's going to zap it again.

Hopefully this yields some good results, as I wasn't as impressed with session #4 as I was sessions 1-3.

This whole process is mentally and emotionally draining. I have additional tattoos I want to remove as well, but the thought of starting this process all over again makes me sick to my stomach.

What a stupid decision I made! I remember how carefree and stress free my life was before I did this to myself and I keep beating myself up over it.

Well, I'm about ready to go back in. Wish me luck.

I'll post pics in a few weeks

6 weeks post 5 TX

It's been 6 weeks since my 5th treatment. I'll be returning for #6 next week.

To be honest, I was hoping the tattoo would be gone by #6, but it's clear I'll still need a few more sessions. This is likely due to the fact the tattoo was only 6 weeks old when I began laser treatments. Of the tat was 10 years old, it would be gone by now.

Most of the fading occurs around the 3 week mark after a treatment. I have been going 5 weeks between treatments, but took a few extra weeks off around the holidays. It's been nice to not think about it.

Having a hard time

I so desperately wanted to start this new year off on a good note, but today is yet another day where I'm in a depressed mood.

I seem to be having days like this more often and am considering taking anti-depressant medication. I've never taken them before and don't know what to expect or even how to go about getting them.

Any information that anyone could share would be most appreciated.

Treatment #6.

Well, I'm sitting in the waiting room waiting for treatment #6. Not really looking forward to the next 7 days as in usually tender and covered in blisters for a week.

The worse part of this is the freaking drive! 5+ hours EACH way. I spend the entire drive telling myself what an idiot I am for having got this tattoo in the first place.

One step closer, I guess. Hopefully removal is just around the corner.
I'll post pics in a couple weeks.

#7 today

I'm on my way to get my 7th treatment. I'm kind of disappointed with the results from treatment #6. I didn't notice much fading overall.

I was really hoping to be done by now. I'm realizing that I easily have another 6+ treatments ahead of me- probably a full year to go. :(. I have a baby due in May and was really hoping to have this tattoo gone by then. That definitely won't happen, as I'll only be to treatment #8 by then.

I have some hyper/hypo pigmentation going on, but it's considerably better than it was early on. I have some areas that had very dense black ink that are now completely clear, but I have a few spots that will NOT budge at all. It's very frustrating.

This journey sucks! The 5 hour drive each way only makes things worse. Winter and long sleeves has helped me mentally, but with spring around the corner I'm afraid of my depression returning.

I'm considering ordering "tattoo camo" to hide it. Does anyone have any experience with this product?

#7 in the books

Just finished. He went over the tattoo with a q-switch 1064, has me wait 20 minutes, then went over it with the pico.

He said that he has great success at removing all-black tattoos and assured me he would get the entire tattoo removed.

Now I begin the worst part of the day- the 5 hour drive home with a tender arm while I chug water the entire trip.

Hope everyone is doing well. Good luck!

Stuck

I'm 3 weeks into my 7th tx and have noticed minimal fading. The last 3 sessions haven't really seem to remove as much ink as the previous 4. I'm growing pretty discouraged.

I was hoping to have this removed in one year and now it looks as if two years is more likely. The depression that had subsided is now back in full force. I think it's because as it grows warmer outside, the tattoo becomes harder to hide. Plus I want to go swimming and stuff with my family, but don't want to show the tattoo or expose it to the sun. Not to mention, my wife is the only person that know I even have it.

I feel like I'm stuck with my sessions, but will press on hoping for more results. If i don't see any results after 2 more sessions, I may have to look into a cover up (REALLY don't want to do that) or some other alternative. (Excision?)

Pretty depressed right now. What a HUGE mistake. It has completely ruined the last year of my life .

#8 is today!

I had my 7th session nearly 7 weeks ago and am at the Dr, waiting for #8.

I've seen some decent fading, but realize i still have several sessions to go. I plan on having the 9th session in about 7 weeks. After that, I am going to wait at least 15 weeks before the next one. I want to give my body time to heal and I just want to take a break and enjoy the summer without having to schedule sessions and deal with blisters.

When I look at the pics of when I started, I'm amazed at how far I've come , but the results aren't as noticeable in the later stages.

I'm really hoping to have this removed by this time next year. I think that's relatively realistic. If time goes on and I don't see more results, I may seek other options.

I'm trying to stay positive. The firs lt couple weeks following a session are always the worst for me. The blisters, bandages, inflamed/pink skin... I KNOW the depression will hit me, but still can't prevent it. What a mess we got ourselves in to, huh?

It's encouraging to come to this site and read about other people's journeys and know that I am not alone. Stay strong people!
Chicago Oculoplastic Surgeon

Dr Ritacca has been great. He is very experienced and fully explains the process and his reasoning behind his method(s)

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
4 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 tmes
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Comments (131)

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Your results are amazing! They're probably the best on here in terms of beginning/super dense and black to (almost) end in such a short time, at least from my review. You're so close to the finish line, and I bet you can cover up what you have with some kind of makeup. I agree with other that you might benefit from an extended wait time between sessions. I know how hard that is. My tech says I would see a LOT more fading if I wait 10-12 weeks. I've been going every 8.
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Hey! You have amazing results. I can understand the whole thing about depression and all. I have only had 1 tx so far (my next one is in 2 week), but I learnt from this website that probably taking longer breaks (especially on final stage) might help to improve results, so I think your decision not to go to tx during the summer is for good. Stay strong! We are in this together!
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You are making great progress, hang in there! Stay positive as that is key, we can blind ourselves with negative thinking and increase our stress levels which inhibits our immune system..which we don't want! Focus on your goal of successful removal by this time next year, believe you will achieve it and you will! 
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It's happening! Your arm is looking good. Definetly see the fading on the last treatment. How annoying that it slows so much at the end though!
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Good luck man. You're plan is very similar to mine. I'll have number 6 and 7 before the end of the June, then take three months off over summer. The extended break will do our skin a world of good and should allow for extended fading. I've heard of people doing the same and then after the following treatment the remaining ink has been obliterated. Keep your chin up after the treatment. I get down about it too in the month after a pass, but just think how far you've come!!
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You really have come a long way even though I know it must be frustrating to have that last bit of ink left. Have you considered taking a longer break before your next treatment? I haven't started removal yet, but have had a TON of consultations and from everyone I talk to it sounds like the end is the hardest and giving your body a longer amount of time to get rid of ink can do wonders. Try to stay positive...just think of how far you've come!
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I have an appt next week (which will be 7 weeks since my last. I then plan on having the next session 8 weeks later. After those 2 sessions, I plan on taking a break of at least 12-14 weeks, if not more. It's just hard because I just want the ink gone so being patient is extremely difficult. I keep considering a coverup, but know I would regret it later, since I'm so close to complete removal
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I can imagine. I would stick with it because you really are close even though it may not feel like it. It would be awful to have this feeling all over again, right? Just try to stay patient and focus on the good things in your life! I haven't even started on removal because mines too new, and just the feeling of regret without having gone through a year or so of treatments eats at me so much, so I can imagine how you feel...but you are close to then end!
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Had my first treatment a week ago and running really helps. My body and my mood. I've been reading and hearing a lot how much cardio aids in tattoo removal. Plus the endorphins!
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I just wanted to post something after seeing your pics. I like your tattoo, what I can see of it. I am a female and have an entire half sleeve on my upper arm. I had my exhusbands name across my arm along with the rest of tattoo. When we split up I had that part of it covered up. Hastily I might add. So it's a mess. The entire tattoo which took multiple sessions was just one bad idea after another. My tattoo just morphed into all kinds of craziness with what I had going on in my personal life at the time. And it's huge....my entire freaking upper arm inside and out. I have thought about removal. Made plenty of appointments and cancelled them all. I had the tattoo done during particular part of my life. Despite it being not a very good tattoo it's part of me. I have to cover it up all day long at work and because of it can only wear quarter sleeve and long sleeve blouses at my law office. But work is work and I need to be professional at work regardless so it doesn't really bother me. In my personal life, yes, I have been worried about how it presents. But I have come to realize that it won't matter to the people who truly care about you. And it won't matter to people who aren't shallow, opinionated, and judgmental. So if my tattoo bother's people, that's not the kind of people I want in my life anyway. I display it proudly outside of work. Sure...it's a crappy tattoo but it's part of who I am and if someone can't accept that then too damn bad. Sounds like you've got a pretty cool wife. Soooo ..don't worry about it. I've found people are far more accepting than we give them credit for and usually expect far less of us than the high standards we put on ourselves. I'm gonna take this tattoo with me to the grave.
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My heart goes out to you. I know that feeling of getting extremely discouraged. I am also done with #7, and haven't really had any fading. Months and money down the drain. The coming of summer depresses me all over again. My last 3 treatments have been with the Pico and I've noticed hardly any fading at all. Unfortunately, I think it's a hype and it's not a reliable laser for removal. I'm so sorry...I feel your pain, and my thoughts are with you. Try to keep smiling. Keep us updated too
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I meant I haven't had fading the last 3 treatments. Overall, I've had excellent fading, just not with Pico
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your progress seems quite impressive in the pictures. I'm sorry to hear it's taking longer than you had hoped for full clearance. Have you had any scarring or change in skin texture compared to untattooed skin? In the pics your skin looks healthy, which is really good. I wish you the best on your journey
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I have a little scarring , bu it was from the the tattoo process itself, not the laser sessions. I do have some hypo/hyperpigmentation, but it is minimal. My skin is also pink from the laser sessions but it slowly subsides as the weeks go by. It's really just a few spots that are being stubborn. I lift weights 5X a week, but have very recently really upped the amount of cardio I am doing in an attempt to "flush out ink/toxins". I don't know if that has any effect, but being healthier certainly can't hurt, right?
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That's so weird b/c he is using both the Q-switched and Pico...?? That should be tearing up that last bit of ink. Do you know his laser settings? How long do you wait b/w treatments?
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I don't know the q-switch level, but the pico was set at 2.5 I believe (pretty powerful). This remaining ink is just REALLY dense. It frosted pretty good after the q-switch, which means the laser is recognizing it. Its just not fading much at all
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I think you going to hate the answer but you probably need to take some time off from this. I had some lasering on pure black that had almost no effect (to my eyes), I gave up on lasering until 2 years later and that treatment just sucked it all out. I think the longer you wait between treatments not only gives more time for the ink to come out, but it also makes the next treatment stronger. I have no evidence or reason why that should be true , but it was sure my experience.
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wow, there is zero chance I can wait that long. I am missing out on doing things with my young children (pool, beach, boat, etc) because I can't expose the tattoo. You're right, I didn't like that answer.
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Well you don't have to wait THAT long (i know, i know), but I'm just letting you know that waiting longer between treatments was beneficial, and seemed to work better than getting them one after another.
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Yes, I agree w/ Laseredsoon on this. At about my 5th treatment (I've had 9 total) I started waiting about 4months in b/w every following session. The discoloration (redness) cleared away so much and so did the ink. The laser just shatters the ink - our bodies carry the broken ink away and that takes a long time. I was even told that treating b/f the ink has had time to be carried away (4+months) the laser trauma can even damage the carrier cells that are in the process of carrying away the ink. It makes sense, but then again there are so many unknowns involving this. There is testament too...as I have not only experienced it but have heard stories of people, esp mothers, who get a treatment and have to stop due to pregnancy. My Dr said her fading after that year was amazing- like that she was getting treatments all along. He even said laser clinics want that money, so they push for 2months...and I agree that early on being treated every 2mo is ok...but after you start getting to that "plateau" of not seeing significant results, it's usually time to take a break and allow yr body to do its thing. And you don't have to stop yr life- yr tattoo is very faded and it doesn't define you... I believe each of us are waaaay more self-conscious of this than we even know. Please don't stop living and enjoying yr life w/ yr family over this tatt journey. You are so close to the end here and it's not as obvious as you think...honestly the remaining ink looks to be part of the the tatt above the one you are getting removed. Just consider it at least- it's been 2yrs for me and I'm finally at the end and you will see that end too....
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Thanks for your kind words and input. I have an appt in 3 weeks. (Which would be 6 weeks since the previous one). I will likely have that session and take some extra time off. I had been waiting 6 weeks , but I'll probably push the next one to at least 12 weeks and try and enjoy much of the summer without the misery of blisters and bandages. That's the plan for now, but I may end up changing my mind and keep going along at 6-weeks. I just want this thing off. I know everyone can relate.
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You can always wear a rash guard! It will conceal it and keep the sun off (a lot have a high SPF ). Put your kids in them and they will think its cool to look like daddy:)
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Are you getting blistering at all over these areas that won't budge?
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Oh ya. They blister pretty good after each session
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Damn, I thought that was supposed to mean its working. What about cigarettes, are you a smoker at all?
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