I'm finally removing my one and only tattoo after...
24 Oct 2014
Day of treatment
I'm finally removing my one and only tattoo after 21 years. It's about the size of a business card on my ankle.
I just had my first treatment this morning, and it went better than expected. The technician put numbing cream on the tattoo and covered it with cling wrap while the laser was warming up. It was not completely numb by any means, but I'm sure it helped take the edge off. It hurt worse than getting the tattoo, but it was very quick ... 30-45 seconds. She asked if I wanted to take a break halfway through, but I chose to have her just go ahead and finish.
She said to expect the blue to clear very quickly, but that the black ink will linger longer. The $768 I am paying is for a package of 4 sessions.
I'll post another photo in a few days to show how much the ink has cleared. My next appointment is in 4 weeks. I'm considering pushing it back to 6 weeks to give the tattoo more time to break up between sessions.
12 hours after first treatment
24 Oct 2014
Day of treatment
I had not planned to post any after-treatment photos for a few days, but I just changed my bandage and was surprised to see how much ink seems to be gone already. So far this looks promising. I've been out and about all day, on my feet, taking care of my toddler ... and no pain or swelling so far.
Finally healing, 9 days after first treatment
Yowzer, I didn't realize the pain of the laser would be NOTHING compared to the week of pain afterward. About 24 hours after the treatment I developed one really large blister, in addition to several smaller ones. The technician had warned me not to pop blisters, but by the third day the blister was very tight and large and was starting to develop even beyond the area that had been lasered. I had to end up lancing the blister with a sterilized needle a few times over the next couple of days because it kept filling again. If I develop any blisters that large after future treatments I will drain them sooner. The tattoo was very painful to the touch for the first week. There was the sharp pain of a burn, but also a duller pain like the entire area was also bruised. That bruised feeling is still there, but much better now. My ankle also swelled a bit about 24 hours after the treatment. Next time I'll try to keep my ankle elevated as much as possible for a couple of days after the treatment. I hope that will help with the swelling and blistering.
I am still happy with the amount of ink that is gone. There are large areas of the tattoo that are completely gone, and some areas around the edge that seem about the same as what they were to begin with. I'm planning to have my next laser session in about 5 weeks.
6 Weeks After 1st Treatment
I'm heading out for my 2nd treatment with the picosure laser now. Here is a photo of 6 weeks after my first treatment. I wouldn't say my skin has completely healed yet, so maybe I should have given it more time. I just hope it doesn't blister as badly as it did the first time.
24 hours after second treatment
This treatment wasn't as painful as the first. For one thing, I asked the technician to only laser the areas of the tattoo that are still dark, and not go over the areas that had almost completely faded from the last treatment. I'm hoping that will help prevent the huge blisters that covered the entire area last time. Also, instead of using their numbing cream I used Hush tattoo numbing gel. I definitely still felt the popping, but it took a little more of the edge off. I put it on before I drove over and covered it with some Press N Seal wrap.
There was a little bit of glare in this photo, so it appears lighter than what it actually is. I'm still happy with the result. I'm hopeful that the tattoo will be gone after 4 treatments.
22 weeks after 2nd treatment
10 Apr 2015
6 months post
I'm finally heading out for my third treatment, 22 weeks after my second treatment! I had a really tough time getting the skin to heal this time. As you can see, it's still a bit inflamed. It still itches like crazy. After about 8 weeks I went to the doctor to make sure I didn't have an infection. There was no infection, and they prescribed a steroid cream that was stronger than the over-the-counter stuff I was using.
I'm hoping I can get it to heal better this time by applying the prescription steroid cream earlier when the itching starts. I expected to be done with my treatments now that warm weather has arrived in Houston!
6 months after third picture treatment
I just had my fourth treatment today, and I realized I never posted a results photo from my third treatment. The attached photo was taken this morning before I headed out for my treatment. This shows the tattoo about 6 months after my third picture treatment. The results are not as pronounced as they were after the first couple of treatments, but I'm still pleased with the results. I'll post a photo of results from the fourth treatment in a few days.