Appreciate Your Input - Buffalo, NY

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Unlike many stories I've heard I actually spent a...

Unlike many stories I've heard I actually spent a lot of time thinking about my tattoo. After my first Ironman competition I looked so forward to getting it that I walked into the first tattoo place I heard of and said 'let's do this!' The artist took my scale print out and made a stencil. When he showed it to me I asked "is that how it will look?" and he told me it would look just like my print. He then made the copy on the area and it didn't quite look right but he told me again "it will look just like your print". Go figure that when the deed was done I could tell immediately that it was not 'just like the print! The tattoo is meant to read MENS SANA IN CORPORE SANO meaning a Sound Mind in a Strong Body from my history playing sports in college and after but now it only seems ironic because I feel I have damaged my body and it has only served to make me uncomfortable.

A bad tattoo job feels kind of like a shirt you buy from the store that maybe is what you wanted, but not quite in your size, and now you're forced to wear it forever. I spent a good while trying to like it but every time I would see another person's tattoo, in crisp text, I would feel worse about it. Finally I started shopping around for a laser removal service. I visited multiple clinics and found a large spectrum of services and prices. At the high end was a dermatologist group charging $350/session on a 3 square inch area. The consolation was $100 and there were 3 laser technicians in the room as well as an intern. The low end was $50/session is a plain white office where the technician promised me to have it 70% removed in the first session with no scaring! (I later found out from the dermatologist group that the laser they were offering at the low end place was crap). Somewhere in the middle was a local skin center, recommended by a tattoo friend of mine, offering treatments at $75/session which I eventually settled on. The irony is that if I had only put 10% of the effort into the tattoo that I put into the removal I wouldn't be in this mess.

So far I have had 3 sessions. Some of the ink has come off from letters but most of it remains. The laser being used is the HOYA ConBio™ MedLite® C6 aesthetic medical laser. I know that the treatments are "painful" but I imagine people can relate that if it will end the mental anguish a little bit of pain is worth it. Recovery has been good, some bleeding and blistering, but it seems to be going like most of the reviews I have heard. I am concerned that eventually when the ink is gone, if that day ever comes, the underneath will be replaced with white scaring in the outline of the tattoo. My original plan was to laser the tattoo until it is faded enough to decide if I should continue until it is gone or attempt to touch it up. Any input on this would be appreciated...

I spent the day at the beach and noticed so many tattoos. Makes me feel bumbed that I didn't get what I wanted and have to go through with all this. I'd like to think however that I am at least headed in the right direction.

Southgate Medical Group

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