This summer I volunteered in an orphanage in south...
This summer I volunteered in an orphanage in south africa. I already have a back tattoo I love so before I even went i'd planned on getting a commemorative tattoo. Anyways when I came back one of my friends who is a tattoo artist (which I havent spoken to since because I dont have the heart to tell him) who works a very good tattoo parlour offered to sketch up some of my ideas. I originally wanted a SMALL foot tattoo. Long stort short now I have a rather large leg tattoo of a south african flower with the xhosa saying hamba kakhule underneath. After seeing my families reaction I started to realise my mistake.
It started with panic attacks when I was asleep, then spending the rest of the night looking up tattoo removal. That's when I found picosure was available in the UK and emailed trueskin about 20 emails to help me. I recently travelled to get a patch test and consultation. They estimated 3-4 treatments but im not so optimistic but at leasr my patch test hasn't shown up any keloids or scars.
My main concerns are include the cost and the pain! I only had a patch test haha but that thing is nasty! Really hope it is gone in 3-4 sessions :(
1st picosure treatment
Hey just a quick update that after a good test patch I went ahead with my 1st treatment. I used EMLA numbing cream wrapped in cling film an hour prior and the treatment really wasn't that bad, was literally over so fast too! Currently its painful like sunburn but I can walk it off, dont know how I'll manage the train back to Newcastle mind. It immediately turned white and after some vaseline and a dressing I was on my way in less than half an hour. I have quit smoking, I eat healthy but ive ordered some vitamins etc for immune support and im going to make more of an effort to get to my gym more often. Hopefully I'll see some results and I'll post an update in a few weeks :)
Woah fell asleep for an hour on the train ddespite holding ice over it I woke up with this mammoth blister around 10x5cm
Dermacolor Tattoo cover make-up
Sooo seen a lot of you guys post about cover up make-up. Given the fact that my graduation is next July and I am very pessimistic about this large tattoo being gone by then I spoke to a few makeup artists (I have done some freelance work myself but its not my profession) and they recommended DERMACOLOR. I ordered the "Dermacolor Camouflage Creme palette with 6 shades, S". The black ink is much harder to cover up but I am very impressed with this. As you can see in the photo the difference between my kniphofia flower and the script makes the tattoo seem invisible. The downside is you don't get a lot for your money but at least you can be assured it works. For special occasions you could maybes go into a department store and as one of the makeup artists to apply it for you, the ladies at MAC and Bobbi Brown helped me decide what shades worked best. Lightest shade base, a colour that build up towards your skin tone and a blush on top. PS this image has no filters and is in natural sunlight to give you a true picture.
8 days after 1st treatment
Hi, sorry for posting so many updates! I rang up Trueskin to ask about this raw skin which was underneath a blister which went down and she told me to leave it alone and get some air to it. Ive been putting vaseline on the rest of it coz it is so god damn itchy I could rip my leg off sometimes! The flash on the camera has made some of the once red parts look a little brown, is this hyperpigmentation? I live so far away from the clinic I can't go in to ask? Once its healed a bit more will bio oil help and should I wait til its gone before booking my next session?
2 weeks after 1 picosure treatment
I'm thinking of booking my next treatment the end of January/beginning of february so it has 8-10 weeks of fading since my healings a bit slow. The blisters have now scabbed over and I'm alternating between vaseline, aloe vera gel and bio oil.
Hey, I have no idea what these spots are and I cant see any info on them anywhere. Anyway I've been getting these little pimples on my tattoo, really uncomfortable to touch. I have around 5 but as soon as one goes another one turns up? My tattoo is lower leg so I cant say I've ever had spots there before im using aloe vera gel on its own now. I've had some good break up in the thin lines but other than that its slow progress im afraid!
2 month update, en route for my 2nd pico treatment
Its been 8 weeks since my first treatment and although I would like to leave it longer I'm on my way for my second. Due to logistics, my availability and Hollys at Trueskin today was the best option wish there was a picosure laser closer! Anyway I'm going to ask about picoplan before my treatment as its not been mentioned to me before. Can't say I'm overjoyed with the progress I was expecting a bit more but im glad to have seen some improvement. I really doubt this tattoo will be removed in the time frame I was quoted of 4 treatments. I think after that I will try a different laser.
I have signed up for picoplan with trueskin. Because the laser isn't quite giving the amazing results advertised online I have another 3 treatments being paid for in monthly installments over 12 months. If it still hasn't gone by then I get any treatment after that free of charge. The coloured ink in my tattoo isn't repsonding well so we're going to combine it with the revlite laser. Also there is another picosure availble at a clinic just outside of Manchester for anyone in the UK looking, I got a message from someone to let me know this.
4 days after 2nd treatment
Having one of those, "will my tattoo ever disapear moments" :(
Should've thought a bit more about timing I'm at a Killswitch Engage/Trivium concert tomorrow and its very painful to touch!
covering the tattoo
So tonight I'm going on a night out and braved buying a short dress. Its been just over a week since my 2nd treatment and as you can see in the photo its just about healed with a few scabs. I asked Holly and she said I could fake tan around the tattoo does anyone know if this is ok? I have to avoid tanning including fake tanning to avoid pigmentation issues? I'm going to try some cover make up over it!
comparison so far
I like everyones side by side photo's so I thought I'd do one myself. Its made me really happy with my progress so far and all my scabs from my 2nd treatment are just about gone. It's much easier to cover with dermacolor and im not dreading summer/graduation/21st anymore! I can easily fit 2 more treatments in before all these events if I wait 8 weeks between. The lines are so thick but they're much fainter.
3rd treatment next week!
So I'm booked for my 3rd treatment on wednesday approximately 6 weeks after my last. I would like to wait more but I haven't seen that much fading and im very aware im on a bit of a timescale with this picoplan. I've paid for 3 (not including the session I had last time as I signed up then) and then get 4 free if needed but they all need to be taken within 12 months. Then I get some free but need to be taken 6 months after that. So I have 18 months in total which they're confident I definitely wont need.
In other news I've been REALLY naughty and after breaking my e-cigarette I may have had a few real cigarettes this week. New e cig and charger are in the post, tbh I barely use it now pretty much quit but I panicked when it broke :( I've got an awful lot of deadlines at uni and really couldn't afford to be as distracted as I was without any nicotine! Anyways that is the LAST packet ever, I've also really cut down my caffiene intake and replaced it with lots more water. For lent I've decided to go vegan which means I HAVE to give up smoking and take my diet seriously.
I've also decided with all the trips down to trueskin medispa I want to do my PGCE in greater london. I hadn't considered it before I went so in a way its a bonus I finally figured out what im going to do after graduating and taking a year out to raise some money for relocating down south. Anyways sorry for the huge update I spend so much time on this site I feel the need to tell you all my life story!
Trueskin at Bluewater
I know a lot of people are recommending new places for picosure here and I'm glad its getting spread further but i will admit even the closer it gets to Newcastle I'm glad I travel down to Kent for my treatment. I love the clinic and the staff always remember me, take pictures and ask about my journey. The receptionist has a THICK BLACK tattoo on her foot (notoriously hard place for tattoo removal) and she showed me the tattoo she has had 3 treatments on and there all but a faint line of it left! Fair enough she went on holiday and skipped a few sessions so waited from august to january and honestly it turns out patience really is key to removal. I'm going to wait at least 3 months for my next treatment and 2 of my closest friends have decided we should make a big deal of it and make it an overnight stay in London.
Also in not so good news EMLA numbing cream is now under new licensing laws in the UK, is no longer being stocked in small pharmacies and boots wont sell it for any other reason that if you say its for an injection as there is a chance it reacts with the ink used in tattoos. So today i just gritted my teeth and curled up into a ball until the laser was over! Think you can still buy it online but the best thing to do really is to just deal with the pain!
2 weeks after 3rd treatment
Still healing, a few scabs present but just to show you guys what healing is like. The colours do not seem to be making a move. Im hoping that in a few months the black will have faded significantly as it isn't moving as fast as I hoped it would. I really want to wear a knee length dress for graduation but at the moment its too dark to successfully hide with makeup.
5 weeks after 3rd treatment
Getting bored of this now was really hoping to see more of this tattoo gone in 3 treatments! I suppose its only been 5 months since I began and it has come a long way but picosure isn't living up to my expectations at the moment. Its just so obvious and i'm starting to panic with summer approaching, im not having my next treatment until june giving myself 3 months between my treatments but I really was expecting more from this machine by now!
2 months after 3rd treatment
Honestly can't say I'm too impressed with picosure at the moment. Giving it another month before my next treatment but I can't afford to have huge gaps between treatments as I'm on picoplan and need to fit 8 in a year.
9 weeks after 3X picosure
Wish I had more to report! Unfortunately nothing new here, sort of just getting on with it. My family know not to mention it now so i've been wearing shorts etc with the summer now here. Still hate it but sweet FA I can do about it right now.
4th treatment yesterday
Its never going to leave!!!
We tried revlite on the colour at 525nm for red and then a wavelength setting for yellow (cant remember screen just said yellow). Black ink was lasared with picosure as usual. Hurt like hell. Blistered this time too, having too wear pants to my graduation whilst every other girl has pretty dresses on. ARGH!!!
2 weeks after 4th treatment
Revlite hasn't shown any colour change yet, still plenty of time but the black ink treates with picosure is fading. Slightly.
So I went for my 5th treatment on Wednesday. We decided to do the whole thing in picosure this time. Apparently there is a new laser due for January 2015 which targets a spectrum of wavelengths with picosure technology that bluewater want to treat my tattoo with. Im waiting just over 3 months between treatments and im noticing I blister less and heal quicker.
9 weeks after 5x pico
Well its still here! Kind of just accepted the fact its never going to go away! Will persevere with treatments but I'm sick of beating myself about it now. Big blocks of black ink seem to be just as stubborn as the colours.
I booked in for my next treatment tomorrow which im guessing is my 6th as I would have posted if I'd had a new one! Totally forgot about it tbh. Its been so cold so I haven't had my legs out all winter so its easy to forget its there! Good news is i'm sure this is my last month of paying for picoplan! £125 a month up! Bad news is my tattoo is still here very much visible. I don't get anxiety about it like I used to though. Wish I had more to report after so long!
6X picosure day after
I thought I'd saw the last of these blisters! They're back with a vengeance! I actually feel sick just looking at them and they're so heavy. Its definitely something to do with the orange ink its the only place that blisters this bad. Anyway Trueskin have a booster for their picosure they're trying on me next time and are hoping to get the wavelength that targets reds within the next 6 months so we dont have to use revlite on my pinks.
Bad news. After a particularly unpleasant blistering experience I had to pop 2 blisters (which tbf I normally do anyway how else am I supposed to wear trousers for a fortnight). I wash with an unscented soap or diluted TCP. Then apply aloe gel and air dry. Then vaseline. Then apply a loose sterile gauze dressing fixed with zinc oxide tape. Every treatment. But this time there is an awful smell coming from my tattoo despite being extra cautious and its making me feel sick. It still looks pretty nasty I might email my clinic. Or see a doctor? Help guys!
7 weeks after 6X picosure
Well its still here sorry to disapoint! Least I no longer pay for picosure treatments get them free until cleared now apparently with picoplan. I'm healed fine after the dead skin fiasco, no plans to head back to the clinic for a while yet, giving plenty healing time to my skin.
Sorry I forget to update this regularly! Since my last treatment trueskin medispa is now part of the UK clinic chain named "proskin". As I am all paid up on picoplan by paying direct debit monthly for a year my following treatments are free with "proskin" clinics. Meaning I can go to anyone in the UK as long as I take my treatment file with me and do a patch test at each clinic. Which is amazing for me as I was travelling miles down to Kent when there is now a new proskin in Newcastle where I live! So i have just had my 7th treatment at Proskin Newcastle. My technician used slightly different settings and held the laser on my skin as opposed to higher off the skin like the last technician. Not sure which is better? Anyway I have had no blistering this time which is fantastic because I hate wearing baggy trousers to cover my lumpy leg!
Again so sorry im useless at updating this! Its been so long I forget to do it! Still hating on my tattoo and its still there. This is just over 1 week after my 8th Treatment. My tattoo heals straight away now no blisters and i dont really need a gauze on it afterwards. Not sure if this is a good or bad thing. As you can see I wait between 2 and 3 months (sometimes more) between picosure laser. Im usually too busy bracing myself for the inevitable pain (i dont take anything for it) rather than the laser settings so sorry please dont ask me. All i know is that each colour has its own setting.
10 weeks after 8X pico
Just an update on how my leg is after 8 treatments. Was supposed to get lasered today but STUPIDLY some fake tan got on the lettering and even though i scrubbed it off my technician was concerned it would still be in the pores and hypopigment if she used the laser. So im going back on Monday morning after a few days of hot baths of exfoliation to make sure its definitely clear. We're going to use the ruby laser on my colours as she isn't impressed with the progress of the colours. Im not happy with the progress of the whole thing either. I remember when I adored tattoos just wish it would go away already!!!
Not great at updating this thing. Anyway, Newcastle Proskin have now turned around after my 9th treatment to say they aren't keeping me as a client unless I pay now despite being on a picoplan. Bluewater proskin are happy to keep me on though as I had a total of 8 treatments paid throughout a year and however many after until the tattoos gone. So back to Bluewater for my next treatment on the 18th Feb. No point taking a picture as it looks the same as the last one!