Blue cover up tattoo needs partial removal -Montclair, NJ

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*Treatment results may vary

Ok first off let me start by saying if you have a...

Ok first off let me start by saying if you have a small tattoo and don't like it, think twice about getting a cover up - this was my mistake. I had a small black tattoo on my ankle that was done very poorly when I was in college, instead of paying a lot of money for laser I figured a cover up wouldn't be so bad, wrong! I went to an artist who I trusted who has won awards for tattoo and he also did a few of my other tattoos which came out fine. However, the cover up he did for my tattoo is terrible, it looks like a HUGE blue blob. I asked for a flower and instead of doing a flower he told me that the only color that would cover black was blue (idiot) so he said he would do a flower with some waves around it. When he drew it on me I did say it was bigger than I wanted but he told me it HAD to be that big for the cover up, since I trusted him and the outline really didn't look that bad I let him go ahead with it - biggest mistake ever. First of all it doesn't look like 'waves' it looks like a blue blob on my ankle, second of all YOU CAN SEE MY OLD TAT UNDER IT. Some cover up right? I did go to another artist who said he could fix it and was very upset that my first guy did a terrible job but I don't want it fixed incase I still don't like it, I'd rather just try laser. Tomorrow I have a consultation with a plastic surgeon in my area who just recently got the Picosure laser, I have read this laser is very good for blues, however I am so skeptical about the whole experience, there are not a lot of pictures showing complete removal. Depending on the cost I may just get the part on my ankle lasered at first to see what results I get, if I cannot get full removed a cover up may have to do. I've been extremely depressed about this, I don't want to wear shorts or skirts anymore and its the summer :( I feel like an idiot and wish I had my small little tattoo back. Any words of wisdom? I will post about my consultation tomorrow, hoping it wont be that must money/time to get this thing off me...

Went for a consultation

So this morning I had my consultation at NJ Plastic Surgery with Dr. Andrea Cacciarelli. She was very nice but didn't seem too hopeful about my removal. I told her that I wanted to start with removing just the wave part on my ankle and see if I can deal with the flower design on my foot. For the wave part on my ankle (which is also the cover up part) she quoted me $250 per session with the Picosure, that is their minimum price. However she told me she doesn't have any experience removing cover up tattoos and that it will probably take a lot more sessions even with the Pico because there are various layers of ink :(

She showed me a booklet of removal pictures that were previously done with the older lasers, they just recently got the Picosure. It was kind of upsetting because I did not see any full removal pictures, the pictures were only progressions of fading. However she did tell me she does achieve full removal but it usually takes at least a year or more. She said since the Pico is so new she does not have any full removal pictures yet and does not see a drastic difference with the Pico vs. the old lasers, which is also a little disconcerting as the Picosure is marketed to be quicker and better.

She wanted to do a test spot to see how my skin would react to the ink, I was very nervous about this and opted out because I have an engagement next week that I will probably be wearing a dress for and I did not want a bandage or blisters on my ankle :(

If I go through with the lasering I will probably wait until it gets a little cooler here in NJ around Sept-October so I am not constantly wearing shorts with bandages on my ankle. I'm nervous about the pain, I've had IPL laser done for brown spots on my face before and she said it is nothing compared to IPL, the pain is apparently 10 times worse and I thought IPL hurt!!

I may try another doctor (the one I went to for IPL) however I do not think she has the Picosure but it doesn't seem to make a difference...

Any thoughts?

Also let me add..

She told me that the foot and hands are the toughest spots to laser because they tend to swell up so she would have to start with a very low level and work up to high intensity. Also they do not offer numbing cream or shots! She would give me a RX to get numbing cream if the test spot was too painful for me.

Need some words of encouragement

My new years resolution was to start on my tattoo removal, however I've been avoiding making the appointment. First of all I'm terrified of the pain and I'm scared it's not going to work. I'm also worried that because its on my ankle I will not be able to go to work for a few days due to swelling and blisters... I can't afford to miss more than a day of work, especially when I will have to pay so much for this treatment. Any advice? Is this first appointment the most difficult? So far I have only had a consultation that wasn't too positive :(

Appointment for Feburary 4th

I finally did it. I made my first appointment with the Picosure for February 4th in two weeks. Not sure if they will do the full treatment that day or just do a test spot. My plan is to get ride of all the blue, especially the part on my ankle (which is the cover up) and then get the part on my foot fixed by a different tattoo artist. I definitely don't want anything on my ankle though so hoping to achieve full removal in that section. I would love to have total removal of the entire tattoo but I'm not sure I can afford it. I guess I will see how much progress happens with the first few treatments. Does anyone know how quickly they will space treatments? I am hoping to get this done or at least not noticeable before July.

Test spot.. seeing some fading already!

Hi everyone - So I just got back from my appointment, which was such a process. First off I need to complain a little about the office for any of you in NJ thinking of going there... I went for a consultation in June when they just got the Picosure. I met with a different doctor than I had today, the doc in June told me for the wave section of my tattoo it would be $250 and she wouldn't charge me to do a test spot when I decide to come back, perfect.
Today the doctor told me that it would be $350 per session and they usually charge $100 for a test spot. I only wanted to do a test spot today to see how my skin would react and also I was pretty terrified of the pain, blisters and swelling I've been seeing on this site (If I have any major swelling or pain I probably will be out of work for a day or two which I can't afford) Anyway, after consulting with the doctor I told her I only wanted to do a test spot today. So then I wait about a half hour in the room by myself and a payment consultant lady comes in to tell me that by doing JUST a test spot today would be $450!! I told her I was very confused and wanted to speak to the doctor, she told me there is no negotiation and she kept pushing me to sign up for Care Credit, which I didn't want (she was extremely rude and I'm wondering if they get commission for signing people up for Care Credit?) I then preceded to tell her I just wanted to pay out of pocket for today's treatment and I would like to speak to the doctor about the amount. Finally after waiting 20 more mins and talking with two assistants I finally got to speak to the doctor who told me she will wave the test spot fee if I pay $350 today and come back in 6 weeks for the full treatment, I agreed. I'm very upset about the lack of communication in the office and the different price quotes.

Anyway on to the procedure. I was sweating so bad, she explained that they use cooling air and that most patients find it to be tolerable. It definitely was painful but I would compare it to getting a tattoo maybe a little worse, but quicker, nothing I couldn't handle. I was in a little pain, like a stinging sensation on my drive home but right now (about 3 hours after treatment) I'm in no pain at all! Which is making me wish I did the full treatment today and not just the test, but oh well at least I know what to expect for next time. The good thing is I already see a little fading!! Check out the pictures. As long as it doesn't swell up or blister I have high hopes for my next treatment, scheduled for March 13th. The doctor said with this type of tattoo she is expecting 5-6 treatments spaced about 6 weeks apart for each.

First Full Treatment April 10th

So I pushed back my treatment a few weeks because after the test spot I had some raised scaring, which is now gone. So I had treatment on wave part of my tattoo on April 10th. Honestly the laser painful but tolerable, they use a machine that blows cold air on you during the treatment, not sure if that really makes a difference. Right after the treatment I was fine, no pain or anything, I did blister though a few hours later but not too much pain still for the next few days. However, right now 4 days later I am in pain and a few of my blisters popped last night while I was sleeping. The doctor told me to keep it bandaged for a week and to coat it with a lot of aquaphor and to not pop the blisters... but that was out of my control, they popped on their own. I definitely see a lot of fading, especially with the blue ink, you can see my old tattoo underneath almost perfectly now in some spots. I guess I will see how the fading progresses in the coming weeks.

Does anyone have any advice on aftercare? Because this tattoo is so low on my ankle it's very hard to keep it bandaged during the day with work and wearing shoes and honestly it feels a lot better when I let it breathe and put no bandage on it. Does everyone keep theirs bandaged that long? Should I be using aquaphor? Does anyone recommend anything else? Know of anything that speeds up the healing process? Also is it normal for me to be in pain 4 days later? The area is a little swollen and red but it doesn't look infected or anything like that.

Picture of 4 days after treatment

This is the day after the blisters popped, you can see my old tattoo a lot now. Today has been the most painful so far. Does this seem normal?

Concerned!! Skin Peeling

Today I had a sock on all day during work and when I took it off a lot of the ski came off with it... the skin is almost the same color as my tattoo... now it looks pretty bad like a deep wound almost i'm very nervous is this a normal occurrence? I have put neosporin and bandaged it

Does this look normal? Freaking out

So I'm not in a lot of pain anymore but it's very itchy. My skin just keeps peeling off the parts where the blisters where! Is this normal? I'm not touching it, I have it bandaged and it keeps coming off with the bandage. I am going to call the doctor tomorrow. Any thoughts? Looks like I may have scaring. I hope I can still eventually continue treatment :( very upset today

3 weeks after 1st Picosure

Hi. Just wanted to give everyone a quick update. Today was exactly 3 weeks from my first pico treatment and FINALLY my ankle is starting to look somewhat healed. It's been a pretty brutal healing process. I am not in pain anymore unless I wear tight shoes which i've been avoiding as much as possible. As you can see from the pictures the cover up part is taking a lot longer to heal, the doctor said that is normal due to the amount of ink in that section. The blue shading is almost completely gone in most places. However I didn't realize the black outline would still be so visible, hoping it fades. I've been doing a lot of research about healing in the ankles and apparently they are one of the most difficult spots on the body to heal! (as if I didn't regret this tattoo enough) I'm probably going to wait until September to get my next treatment because I don't want to deal with this healing process over the summer in the heat and also I want to give it enough time to fade on it's own. I'm pretty upset that it looks so crazy I feel like if I wear shorts or a dress people will be staring, wondering what is wrong with me :(

Looking better every day... but hyperpigmintation?

I don't know if that's what you call it but my skin is still red and a little darker than normal in the area that I got laser. Does anyone recommend anything to help with this? I'm very fair skinned.

6 Weeks after Picosure 1

Thursday will be 6 weeks from my first treatment, there is definitely hyperpigmintation, I have been alternating between aloe cream and rose hip oil to try and get the skin to look and feel as normal as possible. The area that got lasered is a little raised in some spots and very very dry. I'm pretty bummed about the summer and have been trying to hide this mess as best as possible :(

Does anyone recommend any makeup that could possible cover this? Or is it still too dark?

I guess the good thing is there seems to be a lot of fading with the blue, and my old tattoo underneath seems to be fading as well. However i'm pretty concerned the black outline hasn't budged. Is it normal for the ink to look very blurry now?

This healing process has been brutal and the spot still hurts from time to time, which is making me nervous for my 2nd treatment.

7 Months from first Picosure, 2nd treatment scheduled

Hi Everyone. So I decided to take a few months off due to it being summer and I wanted my skin to look as normal as possible before getting another treatment. I am scheduled to go back next week on November 13th for #2. Feeling pretty nervous about it because the healing process was so brutal last time. However over the past few months my skin is basically back to normal and there has been significant fading all over, with the blue ink especially! I am in my best friends wedding in August and hoping to have this mostly faded or covered up by then. Will update after treatment #2.

10 Days after Picosure #2

I'm 10 days from my 2nd treatment on my ankle and the healing processes was so much easier this time. The procedure hurt just the same and the doctor did turn up the Picosure a little, but it was over in less than 5 mins. I blistered the first three days and kept it covered with aquaphor for a week but now the blisters are healed and i'm just trying to get my skin back to normal so I can go ahead with treatment 3! I wonder why the healing was easier this time vs #1, hoping it's like this for the following ones.

3 weeks from 2nd Picosure

I am 3 weeks from my 2nd Picosure treatment and my skin is pretty much back to normal aside from a little redness in one part. Will probably wait another 5 weeks to go for the next treatment. Kind of bummed that the black outlines haven't really faded.

3rd treatment complete

I had my 3rd Picosure treatment three days ago. The doctor turned up the laser and did a few passes, she told me now that theres been a lot of ink removed she feels comfortable being more aggressive with the treatment. Pain wise the laser hurt just the same, however I got HUGE blisters immediately after. She said the healing process may be more difficult this time. I know you are not supposed to pop the blisters but I had to for work yesterday, I couldn't get my shoes on! Still covered with a bandage but not in a lot of pain which is good, just very sensitive. I have a feeling there will be a lot of fading with this treatment!

One week after treatment 3 picture

Seeing a lot of fading!! This picture was taken about one week after my treatment and it's looking better every day!
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