Initially I was referred to a tattoo removal clinic about two hours from where I live. The clinic has a great reputation in the tattoo community but it's very expensive and very far away. Also, the technician (who is great) uses an old laser (Hoya Con bio C-6. It is a Q-switch 1064 and 532 laser) and the swelling and blistering was BRUTAL. In fact, she couldn't even treat the entire tattoo at once because the swelling would create a tourniquet effect. Part of it is because she works closely with tattoo shops and knows they want aggressive treatments and guaranteed results so I appreciated that aspect. She was great and I have nothing bad to say about her; However, after two treatments I decided to look for a newer laser and something closer to home.
So I looked up tattoo removal in my area and found Dr. Tianna Tsistis at RejuvinationMD in Burlington, WA. I had my first appointment yesterday and I was very happy. She was super aggressive with a Spectra laser and we did the r20 method. I have some swelling today but nothing near as bad as my previous treatments. In the photos you can see I had slight blistering when I woke up this morning and the blisters grew in size throughout the day.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take any "before" pictures but if I find any I will upload them also. You can see in the photos how the blisters form over the areas that are really packed with ink. We had really good frosting and "snapping" during the appointment so I think it really reacted well and blew up a lot of the ink. Time will tell.
For post-care, I am using non-stick pads and self-adhesive wrap along with Neosporin+ pain relief cream as an antibiotic. I am keeping everything clean and lancing the larger blisters and leaving the smaller ones alone. The larger blisters will fill up for the next few days but then disappear pretty quickly. It's completely normal and it looks much worse than it feels. I am not in any pain or discomfort at all.
I will keep this updated with my progress as I go!