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About to Start Removal of my Black Shoulder Tat - White Plains, NY

Hi guys- I figured I'd join since I've been...

Hi guys- I figured I'd join since I've been reading a lot of others' reviews. I got an arm tattoo I really liked in 2012, went back to the artist in August 2013 for an addition and turned out realllllllly not to my liking at all. It's all black, pretty dense (except for some areas where it was inconsistently colored in). I'll post a picture soon...I'm going in on Friday. Super nervous and not looking forward to potentially 2 years of treatments but I know it's worth it- already spent almost the last year hating it and my body because of it.

I'm planning on getting one treatment now and then another after the summer. I don't really want to deal with all the issues during the summer, when it's hot out and it's hard to avoid the sun. Plus I've seen from others' comments waiting a decent amount of time between treatments is helpful to get more fading? Can anyone confirm? And was wondering if you guys had any other tips? Literally anything! Lotions, soaps, dietary/nutrition? I heard exercising helps?

Will update with pics soon and once treatment is done with. In the meantime any tips/comments are appreciated :)

before photo!

Forgot to add a photo! Before any treatments.

Just got back from treatment.

Technician was great- nice, informative and honest. Didn't really hurt that much- the tattoos I've gotten hurt more. Will update with photos soon.

Day 2 after 1st treatment

So here are my results the day after getting treated (was treated Friday evening, this is Saturday afternoon). Shoulder was so inconsistently colored that a decent amount broke up. The area closer to my chest had some light lines that are pretty much gone. The area on my forearm hasn't budged much- I know that one will be tough! I'm a little worried because it's not something that would do well with being covered up. I am keeping the biggest portion of the tattoo (you can see it's at least more of a saturated black than the part that was treated) so the smaller bit being so close worries me- it really couldn't be covered in any "good" way. But I'm trying to not get ahead of myself and instead concentrate on taking care of myself. I am taking a multi vitamin w Zinc, omega 3-6-9, and liver detox supplements. Drinking water, making sure to get raw veggies in. I hope drinking a beer or so a night isn't too bad? :-/ Gonna start exercising tomorrow. I bought Zinc oxide sunscreen and bio oil, once my blisters pop I'm planning on massaging everyday. So far I've been keeping them covered, washing lightly and applying a thin layer of aquaphor and then sterile dressing. Tomorrow is day 3 so last day of dressing. Any thoughts on what I'm doing appreciated. Also should
I cut back on the drinking?? I hope 1 or 2 beers consistently isn't too bad- kinda part of my nightly unwinding! But if I have to cut back I will.

quick note about the photos I posted posted last night-

The contrast seems to be upped on my phone. The areas treated are definitely lighter than the black of the untreated tattoo but not as light as those photos depict. Once my blisters are gone Ill post another photo and make sure that is accurately shown. Just dont want anyone considering this treatment to be misled...

2 Month Update

I didn't realize so much time had gone by! Here are some photos of how things have progressed.

The shoulder area I think is coming along, again, it was uneven to begin with so it'll probably fade unevenly. The areas of my skin that had darkened seemed to have lightened up. The gray swirly lines that bothered me so much towards my chest have pretty much disappeared. There's a bit of a "ghost", but it's gotten better over time and that was the lightest part of the tattoo so hopefully it'll progressively just disappear. I've kind of come to terms with this being a long process and potentially getting a cover up depending on how things go. But I remain optimistic!

The second part of my tattoo (the smaller chunk on my forearm) has barely changed because it was really really dense black and there was so much ink put it in that it was really raised. It kind of just looked like an old tattoo now (a little less sharp) and it's not raised anymore. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to continue to get this part removed, or at least not right away. Going to probably continue with the shoulder since that what was the most bothersome area to me, and depending on how well the treatments go, I'll continue the forearm at a later date- but it would suck if the forearm left a ghost of a similar design to what I am not treating (the biggest part of the tattoo) and then I'm just left with that or getting a cover up, which I wouldn't want so close to the other bit of the tat.

I'm probably scheduling my next treatment in two months. Like I said before, don't wanna deal with healing over the summer! Yesterday was my first day out in the sun, put on SPF 50 and tried to keep my hair on top of it, haha- it was too hot for sleeves!

I originally had been hoping to use this as an excuse to straighten out my diet and start exercising regularly but am always busy/tired so that hasn't gone too well :( been eating a little better, and taking Milk Thistle and multi vit fairly regularly though.
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Thanks for your updating, some fading is happening forsure! You should see some additional fading as you take your summer break. 
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Hey! How're things looking?
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Just posted pics :)
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I live in CT and am driving to White Plains to Clean Slate Laser in 3 weeks for my first appointment! I've already been for a consult and really liked her. Good Luck!!!
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how'd it go??
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and thanks! good luck to you too :)
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Hey your fading looks nice! Congrats on starting removal! Keep us updated!
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Welcome, glad took the time to share your review, you will find a ton of support here from people going through various stages of removal. Keep us posted!
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thanks! will do :)
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Hi abs- congrats on yr first treatment down :) ...in regards to healing, it is best to put a thin layer of Aquaphor (vaseline type product) on the area until it heals and is no longer an open/scabbed wound, as well as keep it covered w/ sterile gauze most of the time. Of course, clean it gently a few times throughout the day w/ warm water and mild soap, and let it breathe from time to time. Then after it heals up (a week or so depending), lotions/oils are great to keep the area moisturized and applying these are great in the sense of a mini massage. Things like Bio-oil, rose hip oil, aloe/silicone gels are great. The laser only breaks up the ink- yr body actually removes the ink over the next few months via the lymphatic system so staying healthy and drinking plenty of water to flush the ink toxins is recommended. Eating well will also assist in a healthy body to keep the immune system strong. Basically, anything that tasks the immune system (smoking, drinking etc) will also hinder the removal process b/c the body needs to commit to the ink removal. Exercise is fabulous as lymph can only move w/ movement, unlike blood which moves from our heart...so any type of cardio is great to keep yr lymph moving and therefore keep the ink moving on out. Massage is great in general too. I hope you are healing well from yr 1st treatment- this is a long process but our bodies are always chipping away even if you don't see it...it may take weeks to see fading, so it is best to keep photos every few weeks/month to notice the changes. Hope this helps-take care :)
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Thanks onetime! Yeah, I'm glad to hear there's things I can be doing to aid the process. Am definitely planning on changing my diet a bit, taking vitamins, liver detox supplements, omega 3 too, and getting exercise (the only hard part really for me!). Thanks for the encouragement and tips!
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Sure yr welcome :) it was hard to know exactly what to do in the beginning for me too but once you get the regiment down it makes complete sense. I hope you heal swiftly..
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are you going to clean slate laser in white plains? I'm planning on going there for my next treatment, lemme know how it goes and good luck!
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yep! will definitely be updating.
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and thanks :)
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Hey bye- just wanted to let you know I went for my first treatment. I think you're definitely in good hands! She's informative and nice, made me feel at ease, and honest. The office is clean. The whole process was quick and not very painful at all.
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great, thanks for updating me! I'll be sure to do the same after my next treatment. Did she estimate how many treatments you'll need?
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No, she said it's impossible to tell from the beginning, which is kind of anxiety inducing but I'm also glad she said didn't say something concrete and I get my hopes up. She did say that the second treatment is often the one where you see the biggest difference. I saw a dermatologist at point who told me 6, but judging from others' experiences on here with dense black I think it might be a bit more than that for some areas- mine is very inconsistently colored- one area is raised which might be from too much ink apparently. I'll post pictures later today- happily, some of the not too densely dark places are already gone! But the darkest parts are very faintly faded in comparison. I'm guessing they'll be some progress over the coming months (not going back til after summer) but I guess that ratio will probably still stay the same.
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