I started my process June of 2012. I have had 6...
I started my process June of 2012. I have had 6 treatments to date. I dread every upcoming treatment - I won't lie - it hurts like the dickens to have the lazer treatment done. I've heard people say it feels like rubber bands being snapped repeatedly, which is true, except that the rubber bands feel like they are also on fire! The good news is that each treatment is merely a minute or two long- tops! The first treatment I used the numbing cream for 30 minutes prior to the treatment. I have to say, in my opinion (it may very well work for other people) it doesn't really help at all being a surface numbing cream. It would be great for getting a shot, but since the laser penetrates down through layers, it doesn't do much. I started icing my tattoo for 45 mins before each treatment and it helps tremendously. It still hurts but it does seem to help. The main issue I have had is that I seem to be alergic to ALL kinds of medical tapes. A few of the pictures shows the reaction I was having. So I am trying to avoid covering the tattoo after treatment if I can. I generally have the treatments done on a Friday - so it gets covered after the treatment so I can go back to work (I also ice it for a few hours after treatment - I bring an ice pack with me for them to put on), then as soon as I get home I can uncover it for the weekend.
The first 2-3 treatments were 9 weeks in between each treatment. I am now down to 8 weeks between each treatment.
I'll keep updating as I continue with my treatments. I am going to upload pictures from treatments 1,2,3, 4 and 6. I had gotten a little lax with the photos as treatments went on and I will try to do better since I am doing a review. My next treatment is scheduled for July 16th, 2012.
My initial treatment plan is 10 sessions. I have had 6. I don't think it will be gone in another 4 sessions. With Dr. Tattoff they provide free sessions for up to 1 year after your last planned session if needed. :)
I only have 2 tattoos. Now 1-1/2 since I am halfway through having 1 of them removed. Both are coverups of even worse tattoos and I have had them both since my late teens early 20's. After much careful consideration, I decided to keep the second one and just have it updated. It wasn't as bad as the big black blob of a rose. It hurts so much worse to have a tattoo removed than it does get one, and I just don't think I could stand another 2 years of treatment on the opposite shoulder. I'm a big wimp. I will continue on with the current removal though. Then I am done with the tattoo business completely. So, I went with my husband last Thursday after work. Showing before and after. Hopefully this touch up will last long longer than 20 yrs. LOL Roses signify my 3 children, oldest daughter pink rose, son (middle child) blue rose and youngest daughter yellow rose. The date in the banner (that banner has been blank since I got the original tattoo!) is my husband's and my anniversary.
I had treatment 7 this morning about 11:00 am. My oldest daughter went with me so I could get a video. I also had the type of laser and settings confirmed. Q Switch Laser. Green/Blue set on 7 and the black on a 9. Seemed to take a little longer today with the green, but the slower laser used for the green doesn't hurt as much as the faster "regular" laser. Adding a before pic taken this morning right before we left for the visit as well as the videos of the treatment. I will update with a few more pictures in a few days.
Laser Tattoo Removal Video
OK, my first attempt didn't work. Trying again.
OK 3rd attempt. Not sure why it isn't working.
T7 - 7 hours
Didn't look very effective watching the video as there wasn't a lot of frost on the black, but it's a lot redder than it usually gets. The tape she used was like cement...it took about 45 mins to "roll" it off my skin after soaking in hot water. Now I have the scaly chapped like areas that will itch tomorrow!
T7 - Day 4
It is healing quite nicely and the chapped areas from the tape are finally gone. I've been extra itchy this session. I've had my husband putting on extra Lubriderm to help keep it from drying out. Hoping to see some good fading in the next few weeks.
T7 - Day 26
I am completely healed from the last treatment. I am not really seeing any more fading, which has me worried they will not be able to remove all of this tattoo! I hate to consider having to get a cover up - I guess all I can do is keep going and see how it turns out. At my next appointment I am going to ask her for a realistic opinion of the end result and how many more treatments I may need to make it disappear! Then I can decide from there.
T7 - Day 55
Treatment 8 is tomorrow morning and I already have anxiety. :/ But on a positive note, I do think the green may have broken up a little more. My husband says the photo doesn't real do it justice as he thinks it looks lighter in person. I'm already looking forward to next summer when I HOPE I can put on a tank top or bathing suit without being embarrased... not too mention actually get some sun. The last 2 summers I've stayed out of the sun for the most part as I didn't want to screw up my treatments or make them take longer. :)
She just used the "black" laser on the entire tattoo today. She said they like to skip a treatment on the green setting because it is really harsh on the skin. As you can see in the photo, most of the frost is on the green - so there is still a good amount of black in there as well.
I asked her what she thought would be realistic as far as how many more treatments. She is pretty confident that the black will be just about gone with the next 2 treatments, but conceded that the green may never fully go away - that they will keep working on it (have a year after the last paid for treatment is completed to do so - you could get about 6 treatments over a years time.) She said it will fade - eventually but may never completely go away. Sigh.
I have such anxiety when I go get the treatment. Even half frozen with my ace pack before the treatment it still hurts pretty badly. I always considered myself a person who has a pretty high tolerance to pain, but damn this hurts. LOL
Next appointment isn't until November 8th. I'll post a few in between photos as time passes.
T8 - 8 hrs
It throbbed a lot after the treatment but by the time we took this photo it was fine. A little more small blisters in the lower green area but all in all very similar to last treatment. Lucky it doesn't really hurt to lay on it (left side/back sleeper) and there is no pain today. As soon as I got home I uncovered it (tape wasn't as bad this time. Yay!) and have left it uncovered. Just have to wear a racer back support instead of the regular straps. Nurse tells me to keep it moist but I have to keep it covered to do so and the tape allergy isn't worth it.
T8 - day 4
Alot of yellowing this time. And itchy. Omgosh the itch is maddening!! When you touch it you can feel the outline (not scabbed except the lower green area just raised). I tried taking a picture a few days ago but you can't really see it.
T8 - Day 26 photo
I see the black has faded a bit more, but the color is sticking fast.. I don't know if you can see it but there is a little bit of blue and red right underneath the top green portion (was tiger cub eyes and tongue...lol.) Holding fast! sigh. 2 more sessions and then I will decide if I want to keep going or if I will just get a cover up. I dunno, I didn't really want to get a cover up, but I also don't want to get stuck with the floating greeen leaves either. UGH!!! I am already not liking the other tattoo I just had redone, but I am gonna live with it. I just can't even consider more laser removal treatments. I dread every treatment and it gives me anxiety over the pain, no matter how short it lasts. You've also got that 2 week recovery, I'm kinda over this whole damn mess if you want to know the truth. Feeling bummed about it all!
I talked with my husband about the issues with the clinic being able to get rid of the green and other colors in my tattoo. I expressed my interest in maybe driving to Austin to get the treatment done using the Picosure laser. I had him take photos of my tattoo with a ruler so I could email them and get a quote and talk to someone about the process. I will have to take a day off of work in order to get the treatments and spend a bunch more money on the actual treatments as well. My husband thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to find a tattoo artist and go in and see if it is light enough for a cover up instead. It would cost a lot less, I wouldn't have to take time off of work...and I would be done with these horrendous treatments! I am WAY over the pain and recovery of the laser treatments. He thought I was crazy to pay for the treatments I have already had... he didn't think the tattoo was that bad to begin with. So spending even more AND having to travel and take time off from work to get it done is not really something he agrees with (if I really wanted to he would get over it though...LOL)
So I did exactly that. I did a bunch of research online and found a studio that had multiple artists that looked like they could do what I want - which is super colorful tropical flowers. I even want the tattoo I just had updated even brighter than it is now... more color! I searched online and found some examples, showed him the original tattoo and of course he looked at the where I am at with the results. He said it would be no problem to cover what was there and incorporate the green into a new tattoo. So I put down my deposit and made the appointment for this upcoming Saturday at 2:00 PM.
I was so happy to call the clinic and cancel my upcoming appointment for treatment #9, at the same time I am still nervous. No matter what, I will be keeping whatever he put on me for the rest of my life, because I just won't do the laser treatment again. I'm DONE!!
I'll post a photo of the new tattoo when it's done. Here is a photo from about 2 weeks ago. Still about the same fading wise.
I am not sorry I had the laser treatments done, because that black blob of a tattoo was horrible and having it lightened enough for a cover up wasn't my original plan, but I am ok with it at this point!
Good luck to everyone else still going through, or starting a treatment!
Talked with my husband about the clinic NOT being able to rid the color!
I'm very happy with the results! He said he can work with the other one if I want so it's not quite as dense and will have more depth. It will be after Christmas before I do it though.
Cover up 2.5 weeks after it was done. He did a great job on it!! Everyone thinks it looks awesome!