PicoSure Laser on 4 Tattoos

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*Treatment results may vary

Went for a consultation at second dermatologist...

Went for a consultation at second dermatologist for the removal of four tattoos, each approximtely 16-17 years old. One is on the inner section of my forearm (frog), and the other three are on my legs (2 on outside section of ankles, larger one on my calf). The dermatologist I met with does many different types of procedures in his office and had just installed the new PicoSure laser, which I had only recently read about on Google. He quoted me a similar rate as the another dermatologist for the old yag laser and then quoted twice the cost for the PicoSure - he then offered me a $200 discount. Of the 4 tattoos, three have noticeable changes and I am quite happy. The 4th is darkish maroon with a thick black outline. This one was tattooed twice because the first time it was done quite poorly. I am going to post a piece of it below so you can get a sense of how little it's changed compared to the others (although it has definitely faded); otherwise, the other three are looking great. So, pleased to-date. I think when I go back for the second treatment I will ask the doctor to try the old laser on the red as he mentioned the PicoSure is not as effective on that color. The doctor said I could come back in as little as a month, but from what I've read, its better to wait. I will re-evaluate the red one in a month's time and perhaps try that one with the older laser. For the other ones, I plan to have the second treatment done in September (3 months after first treatment).

Moon update

Thanks for the comment on the blue ink in the moon. It's completely gone! This one looks great. I'll provide a 2-week update Thursday but here's a glimpse of the moon at 12 days. Makes me want to go back for more!

2 weeks in, before and after pics

To help everyone get a better sense of the fading, I'm uploading the original photos and ones I took today, back-to-back. Still more progress. I continue to notice a light haze of black around the frog so it seems like my body continues to absorb the ink.

Forgot to add the K

Week 3

Strange - almost three weeks to the day, I woke up and noticed three if the four tattoos had the surrounding skin peeling/flaking a lot. I definitely notice they're still fading, so I am going to hold off getting the second treatment. I'm posting pics of the frog original and post 3 weeks, 1x treatment.

5 months later; second treatment

Time seemed to slip away from me, and with my busy schedule I found it difficult to get back in for another session. I was finally able to schedule one for this Tuesday, two days ago, and am posting updated photos.

This time, I believe the doctor increased the laser setting. In addition, he used the Picosure on three of the four tattoos, and then use the picosure on the black outline of the letters. For the red inside the letters, he use the old kind of laser; I don't remember what it's called, but it's visible light as compared the picosure which is ultraviolet light. My understanding is that the picosure is not too good on the red ink, and that the older laser is much more effective on reds.

The doctor was really impressed with the amount of fading on the tattoos from the one treatment. The letters were much darker and had less fading.

This time the treatment definitely hurt more, and interestingly, the old laser hurts less than the picosure laser. At the same time, post treatment, I will definitely say that all four tattoos are more painful with much more significant blistering, especially the red section from the old kind of laser.

One week later

The massive blister and swelling on the letters finally subsides after 6 days and then popped. I read that the blister is actually helping to destroy the ink. Anyway, it was magenta red from the coloring inside. It looks like it may have removed a lot of the red ink. We'll see as it heals.

12 days after 2nd treatment

Was quite itchy for a few days, especially the letters.

2 weeks

Last two days have cleared up scanning some more. Have a better idea of how much the moon has faded. Also seeing more fading with frog. I'm really impressed with this much fading from only two treatments, and my guess is I'll see more fading over the next couple months.


Scab coming off moon. Day 16. Huge difference from just 2 treatments!

One month after second treatment

Third treatment

72 hours after third treatment

Thought I would post some pictures. Interestingly, this session, by far, was the most painful, but I'm not seeing the same level of swelling or discomfort. Although it's only been 3 sessions, the sun looks to be completely gone. I don't think I'll get it lasered again as it was barely noticeable after last time. I'm hoping the moon outline fades some more, too. I was hoping this would be the last time on the moon but looks like I'll need ateSt one more session on it. Was hoping to cut down some of the expense by dropping from 4 tattoos to 2 - at $1300/session, it's getting expensive!

About 2 weeks after 3rd treatment

About 2 weeks later

Two months after 3rd txt

6th treatment

At this point I am only treating the frog and the letters. Sun is completely gone. The moon is very lightly visible with some of the black ink but so light I didn't think it was worth treating again.

6th tx with letters; pics of old sun and moon

6th treatment pics

The sun and moon each had only 4tx

5 weeks after 6th treatment

Frog 8 weeks after 6th treatment

I'm done treating the frog - for now - depending on the light and my skin tone that day, you can see light outlines of the bottom part but it's so light I don't think anyone would notice and I am completely comfortable wearing short sleeves to work for the first time in 20 years. I have an appointment next week for another treatment of the letters. They're more obstinate. I'll post follow ups of them soon.

7th session - letters only

3 down, just the letters to go. I am going that 3x more treatments will finish this one, hopefully by next June so I can wear shorts to work next summer!

2 weeks post 7th tx

Definitely a lot of fading this round. Both the outline and the red. Getting much lighter and makes me feel
More confident about 2-3 more tx getting this done.

3 weeks post 7th treatment

Scabbing gone. The black outline is fading really well - and has disappeared in some places. The red seems to be a little tougher (I'm not using Picosure on red but the older type of laser). The depth of color is much different compared to the original - more pinkish now.

Hoping 3 more treatments, spread 3 months apart, will help me eliminate this last tattoo for next summer.

Up to the 9th treatment now

The letters are certainly stubborn, but they did this tattoo twice since the first time it didn't come out great, so they went back over it and it's a thick and dark tattoo.

I had a treatment done mid-December, and another yesterday. I attaching photos 24 hours post 9th treatment. The precious two treatments included a lot of swelling; this time, less so. I am guessing that I'll need at least one more (i.e., 10 total) treatment to get rid of this. The red is nearly gone and the black is completely gone in some spots.

As for the laser for the red, sorry I've forgotten - it's the older technology and a laser that works better in reds. Interestingly, during the treatments, the PicoSure "zaps" the tattoo in quicker, shorter bursts, while the one used on the red is longer in terms of intensity and time between hitting the skin.

2 weeks post 9th treatment

Healing nicely - and more quickly. Less blistering this time. Looking today, though, I'm thinking maybe 2-3 more treatments :( I am trying to get this wrapped up by summer so thinking I will try two more treatments spaced 8 weeks apart, which is a little beyond the 6 week minimum guideline my dr suggested. I did have good fading with waiting longer in between treatments but getting antsy! Would like to wear shorts to work some days this summer.

Another treatment...

So this Friday marks 8-weeks since my last treatment, and I have another scheduled. Here's the latest - seems to have faded a bit more in the last few weeks. Again, I have found more success waiting longer (as much as 6 months) in between treatments, as the tattoo continues to fade gradually, but I am looking to see what I can get rid of by summer - hopefully at least the black outline of the letters.

10th treatment

So this is now the 10th treatment on these letters. All the other tattoos have faded completely or nearly so and those that aren't completely gone yet continue to fade.

Here is a picture 2 hours post 10th treatment. I'm hoping one more treatment 8 weeks from now on early June.

1 week after 10th treatment

The black seems to have lightened nicely

3 weeks post 10x treatment

Definitely fading more but looking more like another couple treatments

More fading post 6 weeks

I've continued to find that after the initial fading immediately
Following the procedures, it takes several weeks for the next phase of fading. I find his happens weeks 6-8+. Here's a photo of fading 10 weeks after the 10th treatment. I went back yesterday for the 11th and am hoping this is the last or 2nd to last treatment. At least now I am finding I can cover up what's there with some basic cover-up makeup I found in my wife's makeup bag.
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