Q Switch Removal - East Sussex, UK

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I had a tattoo done in August in memory of my...

I had a tattoo done in August in memory of my Grandfather, who i lost last March to cancer. He was fond of bird watching, so i had birds done on the outside of my left forearm.
Within hours of it being finished, i wanted it gone. It's bigger than i wanted, and having seen it in pictures since, i don't want it there should i ever get married. It's unsightly to me, and i know my Grandfather would have disliked it.
So, i went with a friend to have her navel pierced, and noticed the tattoo place offer laser tattoo removal with a Q Switch laser. Most importantly, they had an offer going on. £20.00 a session, or book 5 sessions for the price of 4. So i impulsively booked 5 sessions right then for laser tattoo removal.
For anyone thinking i'm an absolute nutter, you'd be right. I do everything by impulse, and having spend the previous month constantly researching tattoo removal methods, i knew laser was the way to go, and for that price, i wasn't about to walk away from it.
So i had my patch test there and then, and booked in the following week for my first treatment.
It wasn't comfortable. There was no cooling machine, or ice packs, or anything to numb it. It was very much a case of just get on with it and get it done. I was out within 15 minutes.
There was no blistering or bleeding or anything on my first treatment. Just a bit of swelling which was gone within a week.

The second treatment, which i had 4 days ago, was a completely different matter. He turned up the frequency, and i felt the difference. I had pinprick bleeding, and i also have a few blisters. I've been told to use aloe vera gel, apparently it's the best thing to use to calm it and aid it to heel. Next session is booked for 08/11/13. Looking forward to seeing what it looks like then!

Pictures of progress so far!

Thought i'd add some pictures so you can all see my trauma!

Treatment 5

Been a while! I've just had my 5th laser treatment, and man, it hurt! Session number 4 barely had any effect, no pinpricking, no blistering, nothing. This one however, hurt like I don't know what, and has blistered a good 'en! Pic is to follow. It was only done 2 days ago so it still looks very angry with me. Another session booked for 6 weeks time, look forward to seeing how this treatment goes!

Less than 2 weeks from 5th treatment

It's been 11 days since my 5th treatment, some very angry blisters, and quite a bit of discomfort. The blisters have now all gone, the stabbing if starting to flake off, and it's itching quite a bit. But I'm happy with how it's going. Just over 4 weeks till my next treatment.

Treatment number 6

Well, I haven't had a treatment for a while, a few money flow issues going on coupled with a need to let my skin really heal, I haven't had a treatment since March!
So, I forgot how much it hurts. But it's definitely getting better. Couple of pics attached of a treatment only a few hours old.
It hasn't blistered as much as previously, whether that's because I haven't got much left to go, or because I let it heal for the best part of 4 months I don't know. But I've got another 4 sessions booked, the guy who does it doesn't think I'll need them all, but the package deal was cheaper for 5 sessions that paying for 3 separately.

Treatment 6 + 1week

So, here's a week after treatment number 6. The blisters are pretty much gone, it's just darker where the blisters were, but experience tells me they'll go in a week or so. Not due next treatment until the end of September, so I'll try and post a new pic a week before that.

3 weeks after treatment 6

So it's been just over 3 weeks till my last treatment, and I'm quite impressed with how it's looking. The bird closest to my hand has always had a stubborn patch on the top of the "wing" which has always blistered, and takes forever to scab over, but it' seen quite quick this time round. Next treatment is over a month away, so will update the week before.

The day before session 7

So I have my 7th appointment tomorrow, I'm starting to lose track of how many I've had now!
I think I'm going to have a couple of small scars left over from the laser treatment. The 2 "birds" (I use the term loosely) closest to my hand seem to be struggling to heal right at the top of the tattoos despite it being 8 weeks ago I had my last treatment. Not that I'm majorly concerned about that, I'd rather have 2 small scars that will fade than a dirty great tattoo that I despise.
Looking back at my pictures I'm amazed at how much difference there is. When I look at my arm I still think it looks really bold and dark, but looking at the first couple of pictures, it clearly isn't as bold as I think!
People seem to be shocked when I tell them I'm going through laser treatment to have it removed. I find myself having to justify why I'm having it removed, when actually all I want to say is "it's my arm, I don't like it, what does it matter to you why I'm having it taken off or how much it's costing me?"
And then I catch myself and stop myself sounding rude.
Does anyone else have that problem?

Treatment 7

So it's now 7 hours since session 7. I'm actually amazed at how little it hurt this time. That's not to say it didn't hurt, of course it did, but last time I was really gritting my teeth, and this time it was only a little. I don't know whether it's because there's not huge amounts of ink left in there, or whether it was a lower setting (470mhz I think) but it was bearable. He seemed very pleased with progress, I have another 8 week break until the next one. He explained it's to enable the skin to heal properly before he blasts it again (my word, not his) and I've got very little in the way of blisters this time too.
Here's hoping it fades even more!

Treatment number 8!

So I've just got back from having my 8th treatment and I'm really pleased with how it's going. It hurt more than last time, really had to grit my teeth a few times, but it didn't take long. Only 15 minutes from start to finish. I think I might have a couple of small blisters by the end of the day, but no pinprick bleeding, so glad that seems to be a thing of the past! Nice bit of swelling though!
I often get asked if it's worth it. In my opinion, I'd rather go through the pain of laser treatment than be stuck with a tattoo I hate. I have 4 others that I love, and whilst I can't really see this one, it's the one other people see first, and I can't wait for it to be gone.

All Covered!

So, after 10 sessions, and several months in between, I finally got my cover up done with something very similar to what I wanted in the first place!
Obviously, it's bigger than I wanted, but it had to be to cover up what remained of the previous disaster.
As you can see, the tattoo had faded incredibly well, in fact I almost didn't get it covered. But I did still want my tribute to my grandad, and so the feather happened.
And I'm so proud of it. It's very "me".

The only but the didn't fade with the lasering was very small patch on the boney bit of my wrist, but that now looks like clever shading.

Overall, very happy with my experience! And not at all tempted to get any more ink!
Tattoo Stars

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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