Mistake over Mistake- Tattoo Cover Up Regret - New York, NY

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*Treatment results may vary

About three years ago, I decided to get a small...

About three years ago, I decided to get a small simple tattoo. I made a mistake in going to a questionable tattoo shop to have it done, and ended up with a lumpy scarred mess with a blow out that made my arm look permanently bruised. The artist basically dug trenches into my skin, joking to his coworker about heavy handed he works.

After spending two years waiting for the scar to heal and flatten and I decided to finally go get a cover up so I did not have to feel embarrassed on short sleeves anymore. I was anxious to get it done before the summer started and impulsively decided a cool traditional wolf head should be dark enough to do the trick. I found an artist whose work and style I liked and went and put down a deposit. When I showed up for the appointment I was shocked to see how large the design was- I had expected something half the size. I knew the cover up would have to be larger than the original tattoo but I didn't think that big. He told me it couldn't be any smaller without compromising the design. I also had asked for flowers to be incorporated into the design to make it more feminine but he didn't think it worked, and he made the world hair long and flowing even though I had asked for a super traditional style. I do think it's a cool design and probably would like it on a different person, in a different spot. It was not what I wanted, and too big, but for some reason I decided I would get it anyway. I don't know why I didn't walk out then. There was no pressure. I think I was too anxious to get the other tattoo covered, and didn't want to lose my deposit, and it clouded my judgement. I don't really know. I've spent the last ten weeks attempting to forgive myself and move on with my life.

Like many of the reviewers here I went into a state of shock and regret a couple of days later. I was so depressed and anxious about what I had done to myself that I cried for two weeks. I spent so many days unable to get out of bed, I had anxiety attacks where I could not stop shaking and I kept vomiting even though I wasn't even eating. Tattoo regret is extreme and horrible. And my scarring was still so visible underneath it hardly seemed worth what I had done to myself. I realized having it removed was the only way I could move on with my life. Finding this website and he supportive community on here saved me. It gave me hope that I can get rid of it, and there are people going through the same thing as me, and not everything is hopeless.

I read every review I could find here, and spent every spare minute obsessively researching different types of lasers, the lymphatic system, everything I could get my hands on about the process. I had a consultation a couple weeks after the tattoo, and made an appointment for when it would be 9 weeks old and totally healed.

That appointment was yesterday, and dang!!! It was even more painful than I expected- but also incredibly quick! My tattoo is quite large but still only took two minutes total. They don't use numbing cream or shots at the place I went to, just the cool air machine which did help a bit. My tattoo is very dark and dense so I think this might've added to the pain. I'm expected to need 15 treatments though from what I've seen I would not be surprised if it took more since there is so much ink. Right now I'm thinking I'll give it two years of treatments spaced 2-3 months apart and see how the clearance is before I decide if I want a cover up or to try for full removal. I do like tattoos and have 7 others I love, but I'm not sure if I want a cover up as I think I don't like having anything in that spot.

I had my first treatment with the Revlite nd:yag, but am considering picosure for in the future. I'm not sure if the cost will worth it as I've read mixed things on if he picosure is really any more effective on black ink. If anyone has any advice on that I would really appreciate it!

It's been four days since my first treatment, and I had a lottttt of swelling that is now finally going away, and a bit of blistering but now too bad. I can see some fading in the shading and small dots in the snout- but besides that not much more. I'm hoping to see some more over he next few weeks to give me some hope, and to feel that all the pain and money is worth it.

Thanks for reading, guys.

5 weeks post TX 1

Hi everyone! It's been 5 weeks since my first treatment with the medlite. The photos attached are from last week but it looks the same.

Shading & small dots have pretty much disappeared and there's a bit of brownish hyperpigmentation. You could see that difference immediately after the treatment. Overall the whole tattoo is still very black and doesn't look much different, but I can tell it is very slightly lighter. It looks maybe a year old instead of only 3 months. You can't really see in the pics but there are a few tiny pieces of the outline I can see have started to break. The scarring I had underneath the tattoo has actually flattened out a bit after the treatment, so that's pretty cool!

I know this is going to be a really long difficult process, so I'm trying not to feel too defeated that there's not more fading. I'm hoping to have more obvious results after my next treatment in late October. I just got engaged!!!! So it's kind of a bummer to have to limit myself to long sleeve dresses (I don't wanna have to worry about cover up makeup smudging etc that day). Im trying not to let it make me slip back into depression.

As for the healing process, I didn't get any huge blisters so I was pretty pleased! The treatment was really sore and I had good frosting l, so I expected them. There were lots of tiny blisters over the entire thing- and a couple medium ones with pus. My arm was super swollen for almost an entire week. What I did not expect so much was how raw and dry it felt the whole time, for weeks!! I think having it right in the bend of my elbow made it a bit more sore. My skin has really only stopped feeling dry all the time this week. I used aquaphor, burts bees lotion, and have used bio oil a few times.

Not looking forward to the pain but I can't wait for my next appointment!

Tx 2

Hey guys!
I had my second treatment three days ago (10/14).

This treatment felt more painful- but I think it's because I knew what to expect. The healing has gone a lot easier though- I don't have blisters and the swelling has already started subsiding. Last time I had a couple of those fun big blisters and was swollen for almost a week.

The red still hasn't been treated, only the black. They asked me to come back for a separate treatment for that in three weeks even though I asked to have it done that day. I can't afford another separate treatment so I'm just going to wait and ask them to do the entire thing at once in 8 weeks.

Feeling pretty discouraged at seeing so little change after two sessions, I'm hoping I'm able to see more once my skin heals over. I know it's going to be a very long process. I'm also thinking about looking into another removal clinic outside of NYC as the place I'm going to now is a bit expensive.

Partial treatment

Hey guys! I had a partial treatment on my tattoo for the red & yellow areas only last Friday 11/

I was told the yellow probably will not fade much as the pigment is so close to skin color that the laser confuses it with clear skin. I did get some frosting so maybe I'll get lucky.

The 532 wavelength they use for the red is SO MUCH LESS PAINFUL. I didn't expect that, I had prepared myself for the pain I felt with my first two treatments on the black ink and ended up being like 'this is fine'.

This treatment did blister a lot! They said it was more likely with this wavelength. Overall, healing hasn't been to bad so far as it's a pretty small area of skin.

I'm going in for an appointment for the black ink in four weeks before the holidays. I can fit in three more treatments before my wedding in May, hope to see some good fading in the new year.

Happy fading all!

7.5 weeks post TX 2

Hey guys! It's been 7.5 weeks since my second treatment for the black ink in my tattoo (4 weeks since my first treatment for the red ink).

I'm starting to really be able to see the difference now- especially on the right side there is a lot of small patches of skin coming through! The ink was always a bit less dense there. Overall the whole tattoo is a little bit lighter. Feels good! Like seeing a light at the end of a tunnel. It's still super far away but YKNOW. I spend much less time being stressed by my tattoo regret- I've recently started going to therapy to help with the anxiety. Cold weather and lots of long sleeves is probably helping too.

I have my next session on Monday in 6 days! I'm not sure if I'm doing a full session on both black and red ink, but I'm looking forward to making more progress.

Thanks! Happy fading everyone.

Before & Post 2TX

I want to add this collage I made of my tattoo before treatments and after two. A long way to go but it's so insane to see some of it disappearing!

TX 3

I just had my third treatment on the black ink a few hours ago. It's currently verrrrry angry and very sore. The treatment was painful but I feel like I've gotten better at getting through them. This time I didn't look, I kept my eyes closed and counted to ten over and over till it was over- I think this helped it go by faster.

2 days post TX 3

It's been two days since my 3rd treatment of the black ink in my tattoo. My arm is very very swollen, kind of red and hot to the touch. I've never had swelling this bad in my previous treatments, I think the settings were higher this time and gave more trauma. I've had no blisters at all this time around though.

The fading is already pretty noticeable, hopefully I'll see more once the welling subsides!

I couldn't take off work this week so healing has been a pain- I have a couple of holiday parties this week too so uh, hopefully I get through it ok. I was really determined to get one in this month with time to heal by Christmas. I'm trying to get in as many treatments as possible with 8 weeks apart by my wedding in May!

Tx 2 on red ink

Happy New Year, everyone! I had a treatment on the red & yellow ink of my tattoo on Friday, this picture is 3 days post. I had a big blister on the tongue the next day and small blisters all over.

It's crazy how much less the red ink hurts when being lasered, still not pleasant but way easier than the black ink. No swelling or bruising, but this is also because there is much less red ink than black.

Same as last time, the red looks darker while is scabbing. Last time it lightened up after the skin healed, so I know not to be discouraged by the way it looks now.

I'm going for my next treatment for the black ink in February. Happy fading everyone!

8 weeks post TX 3

Hey guys! Just wanted to update on my results so far. It's been 8 weeks since my third treatment on black ink (and 4 since the second treatment for red & yellow ink).

I'm having my 4th treatment next Friday, hoping I can do the black & red ink all in one go.

4 days post TX 4

I had my 4th treatment on Friday and had a long weekend to recover. This time we did the black ink and red ink all in one go and will be doing that going forward which is awesome! Less visits with the laser.

The healing has been going oddly well- all the swelling had subsided already yesterday after only three days, and it's in the peeling stage already. It usually takes about 7 days to be at this point. I thought the healing process would take longer as I got a cold the same day as the treatment. I'm guessing it's due to the ink being less dense?

My technician said she's very impressed with my fading so far, so that was really good to hear!!! Hope to see a lot less ink under this peeling once it heals ^__^

5 weeks post TX5

Just wanted to share my progress since treatment 5 with the medlite.

Little patches of skin are starting to come through, which is great. The ink was very dense and fresh, my technician is pretty pleased with the progress so far.

The blue/green hasn't been getting treated- only once at my request. They said only the picosure will make it budge but I'm going to start asking them to go over it anyway from now on and hope it makes at least a little improvement.

Next treatment in a few weeks!

Oops, typo. 4 treatments.

In my last post and on all the pictures attached I said it was results from 5th treatment but it was actually only the 4th. 5th is in a few weeks!

I can't edit the post, sorry for any confusion!

Treatment #5

Hey guys, I had my fifth treatment with the q-switched revlite laser a week ago today. My last update I said it was the fifth, but it had actually been my 4th!

This treatment hurt more than any other treatments, besides maybe my first- it's a close call. My technician said she used a more aggressive setting this time, so hopefully I'll see some aggressive fading!! My arm swelled up really huge from the trauma- more so than my last few treatments but besides that healing has been going as usual.

I took four months off between treatments instead of only 2 this time- I had my wedding and honeymoon and wanted to give myself a while in between. I'll be going back to 8-9 weeks between again now, though!

It's been exactly one full year to the day since this whole experience started for me. One year ago this day I was sitting in the chair making that mistake. And my next appointment will mark one year from my first ever laser treatment. It's been a rollercoaster ride- last summer I couldn't imagine that I'd ever stop being consumed with regret and completely miserable... but here I am, thinking it's crazy I put myself through all that anguish!! I still get pangs of regret but mostly I am just moving forward.

2.6 weeks post TX 5

There is a lot of fading happening- seeing patches of skin starting to come through is really crazy. I'm pretty hopeful I'll get some more fading over the next weeks before my next treatment. I took some close ups that show it pretty well.

I got a skin colored arm cover, one of those used for elbow injuries. I've gone out wearing it so I can wear t-shirts and stuff without feeling self conscious- it felt really great so I'll be wearing it lots this summer. I'm definitely more comfortable with people thinking I have tennis elbow than a tattoo I don't like lol.

Happy fading, folks.

4.5 weeks post TX 5

I made this comparison pic of before treatment, after TX 3, and after TX 5. Getting lighter slowly but surely.

Tx 6- Trying Enlighten laser

Hey guys,

I recently saw a groupon for tattoo removal with the Cutera Enlighten laser and decided to go for it as I will be getting 3 treatments for $400 as opposed to $300 for every treatment. I've also heard lots of great things about the Cutera Enlighten and want to see if it's more effective on my tattoo as it's said to work great on black inks. I went in for a consultation with the doctor and decided to do the treatment on the spot, even though I'd usually wait an extra week.

The experience and pain felt more or less just as bad, but as always pretty brief. So far just the regular swelling, but I've had no blisters. Curious to see how this will look when it's done healing- this pic is just a couple hours after treatment.

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