Well, I am going tomorrow to get lasered using the...
Well, I am going tomorrow to get lasered using the Picosure. Am not nervous about the actual pain but more about the aftercare and the possibility that it will not be totally removed (which would mean a waste of time and money). Tat is on right side of calf, entirely black and about 10 yrs old. I want it gone now! Anyway, I will keep you all updated!
After 1st treatment
Hi, got lasered with Picosure yesterday in Kelkheim, Germany. Took about 2 mins. Place is very clean and people were nice. I found it to be quite painful actually and have a high tolerance for pain but since it was so short, it didn't matter. A funny taste came to my mouth though. I recommend chewing gum or eating a piece of candy b/c the doctor said that was normal. They iced it for 20 mins afterwards & I had no cold air or pain killers during it. Setting was 2.9mm spot size at 3,03 jules and 5Hz.
They also did not cover it and said to leave it open as much as possible. The problem with this is, I wore the wrong trousers and had to walk 15 mins to the train station so they rubbed...not good. Also at night I covered it up loosely so my pj's didn't stick to it b/c I had put Bepanthene (an anti-biotic ointment) all over it.
Next day after 1st treatment
Last night I had smeared the Bapanthene cream all over and covered it with just a kleenex (this is what the doctor said would breathe the most) and slept fine. Just put the covers so it wouldn't weigh on the tatt area.
Removed the kleenex this morning. It stuck a bit but not really a problem and the tattoo was not dried out so that is good. I washed it with some light Dr. Bronners soap and then resmeared the creme all over. There is some blistering and redness. Since about 2 hours after the treatment, I don't have any pain whatsoever so am wondering if she should have turned the laser to a higher setting. She did say that I won't see fading for a week or two afterwards.
another short update
I have read online all over in the German websites that it is good to drink one glass of pineapple juice in the morning and one at night b/c it has the specific enzyme combination for supporting the recovery of the skin in this type of treatment so I intend to go buy pineapple juice today. Also have read that taking lots of vitamins is good to support the immune system so I am doing that too. Doctor told me 4-6 treatments. I would be super happy if I were finished in 5 so will take all precautions. Just one note> there are blisters on it (day after 1st treatment) but nothing hurts really. Just feels dry like the skin is pulled but I have cream all over it. If this is how it is for the entire recovery process... no problem.
4 days after 1st treatment
It doesn't hurt but dries out quickly so I put a thick coating of the cream 3-4x day. Doesn't itch or anything. Still has small blisters. Is just annoying b/c have to be careful to not hit it. Is not lighter at all as far as I can tell...if it isn't lighter at all after 2 weeks, I will be disappointed but I am still here at the beginning.
10 days after 1st treatment
Here are my updates. Blistering is pretty much gone or so minimal that I don't notice it. Some red pigmentation visible. It is lighter in some areas. Looks like someone sprinkled a bit of white powder on it because the lighter areas look like dots. Still putting the anti-biotic creme on 2-3 x day to keep it moist. Anybody know when you can stop putting creme on?
Update 20 days after treatment 1
It has been 20 days since my first treatment. You can see fading. It still looks like white powder sprinkles but is more prevalent and visible. There are no blisters but I continue putting the anti-biotic creme on it because it can get really dry otherwise and I assume this isn't good. There is also some discoloration (brown/red color). Hoping that goes away. My next appointment is in another 14 days so I expect a lot more fading by then.
Well, went 3 days ago for my 2nd treatment. It was about 4.5 weeks after the 1st treatment and my tattoo had healed. Perhaps had I waited longer, there would have been additional fading so I will wait 6 wks after the 2nd treatment but I couldn't wait longer due to travel plans.
Anyway, the 2nd treatment felt the same as the first one but because neither I nor the laser specialist was satisfied with the fading, we decided to crank up the laser to 2.5. I had minor blistering after the 1st treatment so we assumed it would be fine but my specialist said I might have massive blistering afterwards and gave me a sterile needle with instructions to disinfect then prick a small hole if the blisters got too large because I will be flying only 4 days later for 8 hrs... if the blisters get too large, this would make the flight highly uncomfortable.
After lasering, I cooled for 20 minutes as always before leaving the office. This time it hurt. The first time, I felt no pain afterwards, only during. For 2 days after the treatment, I suffered extreme swelling in my ankles and calf (around the tattoo) so tried to keep it raised while in my office (did work) and at home iced. I am now on my 3rd day after treatment. There are blisters but they are not massive like we were nervous about but it is extremely sensitive to the touch and I must raise the foot/ leg to keep the swelling down. The flight tomorrow will not be fun...
My picture quality is never very good. The white in the picture is from the anti biotic ointment that I put on 3x day. You can see the blistering but the swelling is difficult to photograph. I hope that my leg is ok tomorrow so that sitting in the plane for 8hrs doesn't cause any troubles since I cannot raise the leg really (in economy class unfortunately).
25 Jan 2014
2 months post
This time I waited about 6wks before the 3rd treatment. I have attached a pic of just before the treatment. It is difficult to tell from the pic but there was a lot of fading. Not as much as I had hoped but a lot.
She put the level setting on 2.0 for the third treatment which is supposed to be pretty high. I scheduled the 4th treatment 5 weeks after b/c I didn't see any further fading in the 6th week after the 2nd treatment. Today it is pretty painful. Just hoping that all of this is worth it. Lots of pain and money so hope it disappears entirely or I will have a lot of disappointment.
Blisters, puss, ouch
After my 3rd treatment and have a lot of blistering, puss and redness. Hope it won't scar. Haven't had this severe of a reaction from the other 2 treatments. We will see what happens in 2wks after it is relatively healed a bit.
Yesterday I got my 4th treatment. Settings were 2.4mm at 4.42 J. My leg is quite swollen and sore today. The tattoo is blistering of course. All in all I see fading but not as much as I had hoped for. I had hoped for max 6 sessions but I think I will probably need more like 7 or 8. You can see my attached photo.
about 21 days after 4th txt
20 Mar 2014
4 months post
So it has been about 21 days after my 4th txt. I can see a lot of fading and am trying to manage my expectations but am a bit disappointed since they said 4-6 treatments for the removal and now after the 4th, I expect I will need at least 3 more... that said, I am going to take the summer off b/c I want to be able to wear shorts and not deal with it.
I also have a white outline around the tattoo. I hope that this discoloration will also go away with time. Most people say this goes away but it is still a bit disconcerting. Again, I must manage my expectations and have patience.
development of fading 21 days after 4th txt
20 Mar 2014
4 months post
Here is another pic. You can see the white rim around the tattoo but the fading is quite obvious in this pic.
Before 4th treatment
2 Sep 2014
10 months post
So due to some rather severe hypopigmentation, I waited until mid Aug 2014 for another treatment (last treatment was end of Feb). I also moved back to the USA during this time so had to find another place to get lasered. After pricing the picosure and finding that there was a guy with an excellent reputation using a Quanta Q Plus C laser literally 10 minutes down the street from me, I decided to try him out. His prices were half of what the picosure place wanted that was about 1.5 hours away and he had success photos and stories.
After he reviewed my previous pics and my tattoo, he said that I must have been blasted far too hard to have so much hypopigmentation. The majority of it has gone now but there are still some "spots" of white that he said may never go entirely back to normal. He did say my fading was good though.
He lasered me and the recovery time was WAY better!!!! There were no oozing blisters, burning, etc. He didn't want me to put aquafor on as he said this would not let the tattoo breathe. I didn't need it though. I will take pics after 6 weeks to see if there was any additional fading that occurred but as far as the comfort levels and pain is concerned, this lasering was MUCH better and the after care was way easier and less painful/ gross.
8 Oct 2014
11 months post
So my 5th treatment was as mentioned, with a Quanta Q Plus C and the recovery time was way better and the after care far more manageable. It was also much cheaper. I have attached pics. The fading isn't as severe as with the picosure but I didn't have additional hypopigmentation, which was my goal. I am very happy with the results. It is hard to tell from the pic but some of the lines are almost gone now. Unfortunately I will be traveling for an extended period now so cannot just get lasered again now, which is unfortunate b/c I am due the next txt and want this gone.
8 Oct 2014
11 months post
Just wanted to do a shout out to my new clinic: Out of Ink in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Prices are excellent, service was awesome, and the fading was still very noticeable (even if my pics don't show it well, I had good fading). Plus the aftercare was way less painful. If you are in or around Plymouth, I recommend this place. I learned from this experience that the person doing the treatment is just as important as the laser.
6th treatment in Dec
So I had another session in Dec. The after care was worse than the 1st time at my new clinic but still FAR better and less painful than the picosure. Before I got lasered, we looked at my tattoo again. I definitely got hypopigmentation from my last picosure treatment unfortunately and as the ink goes away, the hypopigmentation under it becomes more prevalent. I do not think this is from the Quanta laser sessions because the recovery time is so much quicker and less painful than the picosure and there is never blistering, etc. Anyways, I am attaching some pics where you can see that I have very noticeable fading but also noticeable hypopigmentation.
I cannot impress upon people enough the fact that despite what a clinic says about the amount of treatments needed to remove a tattoo, you SHOULD EXPECT MORE treatments and SHOULD NOT let them blast you hard!!! Now I have hypopigmentation that may never go away so I'll essentially have a white tattoo. Most of the whiteness went away after I waited 6 mos after my last picosure (4th txt) but not all of it (which you could see still around the ink a bit). As the ink fades, the whiteness becomes more apparent.
Despite this, I have decided to continue with the treatments because my options are as follows:
1. Continue with treatments and try and get the ink out, hoping that the hypopigmentation will go away later or at least some of the tattoo will be removed without the hypopigmentation.
2. Get a cover up tattoo now over the whole tattoo.
3. Stop treatments and see if hypopigmentation goes away and have further sessions afterwards but those might just cause the hypopigmentation to return (either whiteness now or later).
Quitting is not an option. This thing looks awful now. Waiting to see if the hypopigmentation goes away doesn't seem to make sense either as I did that after the 4th treatment and some of it remained even after 6months and upon further sessions, it just came back. So I'm going to have my 6th session tomorrow (remember that the first clinic said 4-6 sessions maximum).
My hope is that the hypopigmentation goes away after I am done with the laser sessions OR at least some of the tattoo goes away without hypopigmentation to reduce the size of a possible cover up tattoo.
Again I would like to tell people: DO NOT BELIEVE WHEN THEY SAY PICOSURE HALVES THE TIME REQUIRED!!!! You need to take it slowly!! Everyone's skin is different and everyone's ink is a different type and the laser tech cannot know how you will react. One other note I'd like to make is that the picosure is not necessarily the best laser or black ink. I have now researched this thoroughly. It is the best for colored inks but not necessarily for black ink.
Fortunately I have found a this new laser tech who is honest about things. He admits, everyone has different skin and inks and so there is no certainty of results. So tomorrow I am going back to get my 6th treatment. I will continue to update as this progresses.
Well I had another Quanta treatment at my new place. most of the hypopigmentation had cleared up (not all of it) so I'm hoping that time will heal everything though I'm pretty sure some hypo won't go away (after last picosure treatment) b/c it seems to not improve at all... i also had significant fading. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture before getting lasered two days ago... This time though I've had a bit of bleeding from the treatment...still no where near as severe as when I got picosure (thank goodness). i'm feeling more positive because there was so much fading and most of the hypo was gone except for about the size of a quarter... Some spots are pretty much gone & others seem to remain fairly dark but I think this is normal. Is really interesting to see because it shows how non-uniform the tattoo artist tattooed (lots of ink in some places/ where ink is deeper than other parts/ etc).
Just had an 8th treatment with the Quanta last week. I took a LONNNNNNGGG break over summer. This proved VERY good for my tattoo and I had a lot of fading. Frankly I have to say that I believe the 8 week waiting period that all laser treatment centers recommend is certainly not enough. I think a 2-3 month (or more) waiting period will prove far more useful towards the end but of course we're all in a hurry. I'm going to test this by waiting 8 weeks between my last week treatment (8th txt) and the 9th treatment, just to see what I think. As soon as the redness goes down, I'll take another pic. Once again, I had FAR less pain and problems in after care with the Quanta than I did with the Picosure...not to mention lots of money saved. Also, the longer waiting period allowed my hypopigmentation to significantly reduce. What I have learned thru this whole process is that patience is what we all need. It will provide the best results, regardless of the laser.