Tattoo Removal for a Dense Cover-Up

I had a tattoo that was 2 lines of script, and for...

I had a tattoo that was 2 lines of script, and for some reason decided it needed to be covered up. I had the first cover-up done in April of 2014. It was a feather. I tried to convince myself to like it, that it was pretty, etc. For some reason though, the artist used colors and shading that still let the words show through. I just felt like that defeated the purpose of a cover-up. So...I had the bright idea to cover-up the cover-up. Yeah. So in October of 2014 I had a larger, darker feather to cover-up the first one. I went to a different artist in a different shop. I had a severe allergic reaction to the ink and spent a week in and out of the ER and missed a week and a half of work. I feel SO STUPID. I started trying to get it removed in December. I had one q-switch session in December 2014, which showed no change. I started searching around for a dermatologist that offered Picosure at a reasonable rate. I found and office an hour away from me that charged $500 per session. She said I would need 8-10 sessions. I saw a lot of fading after the first session. I think that was in February of 2015. After that first session I started looking around for a dermatologist office closer to me. I found one, and have had 2 pico treatments there so far, and I continue to see more fading each time, but not as dramatic as the first session. This new office charges me $300 per session. I will never get another tattoo in my life. I just turned 28 years old and I just want my skin back. I've even considered excision, but I think my tattoo is too large and in a bad place for a procedure like that. I am going to continue on with the pico treatments and hope it continues to get better. My next treatment is on July 16. I'll try to upload some pictures later.

Tattoo Pics Before and Afters

I thought I would add a few pictures of what my tattoo looked like before I started this and a couple of afters. There was significant fading after the first session, and I think there is still a little more fading each time, but I do sometimes wonder if it's worth it. I don't think excision is possible on such a large tattoo, but it is in the back of my mind ever since one of the dermatologists that I met with mentioned it. I'm just going to keep on going though, it isn't as expensive as some places that do the picosure removal, and I do think it keeps getting lighter, but I'm not sure.

One week after picosure treatment #4

I think this picture looks a lot lighter, but I think it may just be the lighting. I'll try to take more pics and update later. I hope that maybe it isn't just the lighting. Treatment #4 was last Thursday, July 16th. I've had very good healing on this one, no blistering and the swelling seemed very minimal this time. They do Fraxel and Pico on mine, so it is still healing from the Fraxel, which is just like really tiny scabs but it all heals and peels pretty quickly. It gets itchy but no problems otherwise.

Pictures after treatment #4

Here are a couple pictures from after treatment #4. The one in black was taken one week after treatment, on 7-24-15, and the other was taken today, 7-25-15. I'm not sure if they show much improvement. I'm starting to wonder if it is worth it and if it is even doing anything or if I am going through all of this pain for nothing. I'm going to continue the treatments though, I don't know what else to do and I just want it gone so bad.

More pictures from after treatment 4

These pictures were taken in my back yard in natural light. I thought that might help in trying to decide if there is any difference. I will try to take all of my follow-up pictures outside from now on; that is probably the best for judging changes.

Switching Offices

Hello all, I am supposed to have my next session on September 3rd, and I've just been gettnig so discouraged with the treatments that I am receiving at the dermatologist's office that I am going back to the technician that did my first pico treatment. I just thought that it would be better to go to an actual dermatologist's office but I think I was wrong. I will be returning to Tattoo Undo and Veins Too in Centennial, CO, even though it is an hour from my house. My 5th session will be next Thursday on September 3rd. I will update with more pics after that. Thank you!

WOW I haven't updated this in a long time....

I just recently began treatment again after that 5th Picosure I had done back in September. That session blistered and scarred me so bad that I had pretty much made up my mind to give up. My hus band is in the Air Force though, and we now live in Biloxi, MS. I started treatment again after we moved here, but it is with the Astanza Duality laser. As far as I can seem to find out, it is an older technology and much more painful, but I seem to be getting better results with it. I have now had 2 Astanza treatments between my 5th and last Picosure treatment and now. The Astanza seems better equipped to take out the red in my tattoo as well, and it is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper. So far no blistering and handling it quite well. In this post I'll attach pics from after my last Pico treatment and newer ones from after my 2nd Astanza treatment, which was yesterday, January 27th 2016. The pics where my skin is dark red and has blisters is from the Pico. The others are from the Astanza.

I found some more pictures....

Here are some pictures of my original tattoo, the first cover up, and the last cover up. I know. It's so stupid.

Day of final cover up versus now

I am so glad I found these old pictures! It makes me feel a lot better about my removal. Sometimes I think it looks no different, but now I have a real comparison!

Update after my (technically) 6th pico, but only red, orange, and yellow were treated

One week ago on the 18th of March I had just the reds oranges and yellows treated in my tattoo. I finally found a place with the 532 attachment for the pico and was very excited to try it. I know it's only been a week, but I did think there would be more obvious change already. I can see some, but I'll take some more pics when it's full healed. I didn't blister too badly, which is common with the 532. I think it really helped to separate treatments of the blue/green/purple areas and the red/orange/yellow ones. It is much more tolerable and the 532 is much less painful than the 1064. I'm adding some pics, so hopefully that helps. I'll update again in about 7 weeks.

Moving On

Hello all. I have decided to discontinue laser treatments for my tattoo removal. My dad was asking me about it and how much it costs and when I told him and he did the math for how many MORE sessions I would need (so, not including what I've already spent) he said, "So at least $10,000 more?" I had never done the math. It's just too much. I believe for that amount I can find a surgical solution that will give me the results I need quicker and with less pain. I know it is a somewhat large tattoo, but I think maybe I can find a plastic surgeon that will do a staged excision, and I know it is possible if I graft it, and I may even end up at that, but I'm just not sure yet. I am fairly sure though that I will eventually end up with a plastic surgeon one way or another. The laser is just so tedious, time consuming, and as I've just realized, insanely expensive. I'm sure my case is rather unique as far as the price goes, since it is technically 4 tattoos all on top of each other, so it would take MANY sessions. I also believe the ink is simply too deep because of how many layers there are, therefore I would never be satisfied even if I did continue with the laser. I hope my profile still helps some people in their removal journey, so I will leave everything here that I have already done. I am somewhat more at peace with the tattoo than I have been in quite some time. I'm not exactly sure why, maybe it is because I made a new decision about it. My husband and I are trying to start a family now and I have bigger things to think about than this dumb mistake. It once controlled my thoughts every single day. I know how all of you feel. I promise you there is more to life, and I've finally started to see it. I'm sure I will still do something about mine eventually, but in the mean time I have better things to occupy my thoughts. :)
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