Considering Removal on Very New Tattoos - black outline / thick black lines - New York, NY

My tattoos are barely a month old. I never...

My tattoos are barely a month old. I never thought I'd be here, so I'll say going into this that I know absolutely nothing about tattoo removal...I'm here to research and learn about it before diving in (like I did with my tattoos, lol). It's pretty clear from looking online that there are a lot of deceptive ads out there targeting people with unwanted tattoos, and I really want to avoid getting scammed, or heaven forbid, ending up with something worse than the tattoo! I'm really happy to have found this site, and so grateful to all the posters for sharing their stories. It really helps to know that I'm not alone in this, and to see what kind of results I can reasonably expect, what I should look out for, etc. Even though I'm very early in the decision-making process, I'm really taking to heart all the posts about trying to love your tattoo and making peace with it, because nothing else is guaranteed. I hear that, but I just know that ultimately I'll want to go for some kind of removal for all of them. The tattoos are pretty small (3 tattoos on my left arm: 2.5x3" dark outline above my elbow; 1x.75" dark outline on inner arm near elbow; and 3x1.5" thick dark outline on my outer wrist). I have wanted a full mock "sleeve" made of small and medium pieces that were dark mostly colorless outlines. I had an opportunity to get a simple few tattoos at a good price and went for it. It was impulsive, but I thought -- hey, the designs are cute and this will only be the beginning. I'd been wanting to start the sleeve forever! Uh oh...after initially forseeing them as just a stepping stone to bigger and better tattoos, I almost instantly disliked seeing them on me, even though I love ink and don't hate the tattoos for any particular reason. But the fact that I couldn't handle it made me think that putting more ink on to make me feel better was the WRONG option. Maybe I wanted tattoos, but maybe they're just not for everyone. I'm OCD, and not handling the change well. Anyway, going into this I want to have realistic expectations. I know that the laser is not a magic eraser, and that some sign of the tat will always be there (if there's ever been a complete removal, it's not on the internet xD ). But I've seen some people with degrees of fading and scarring that I think I could live with. And if I REALLY end up hating what's left after the removal process, there's always the option to cover it up, with something much more carefully planned. I'd like to know what kind of laser is ideal for these thick, dark lines. And how long to wait between treatments to minimize the risk of scarring. I've heard that the further the tat is from the heart, the slower it is to it harder to remove, or just slower? I appreciate any advice you all may have for me. I'm feeling freaked out, but wanting to find some happy medium of peace with these permanent marks, and investing in removal. I'm more okay with the idea of a ghost or shadow of the tattoo, then with a significantly red/brown scar in place of the tattoo. I'm sure some redness if unavoidable but if it's very dark, I think it's worse than the tattoo!

I am definitely leaning towards removal soon as I get the go ahead from a doctor. Because these tats are new, I know I'll have to wait a bit before beginning laser removal treatments. I've heard people say to wait up to four months after the tattoo, in order to let it fully heal. Mine definitely feel and look completely healed already at a month, so I'm hoping I won't have to wait a full four!

Before I begin, I want to do some research. I just don't know where to look. Everything online seems like a deceptive, preying ad. Any tips on where to begin?

Also -- I'm hearing different feedback about what is best to use on plain black ink (thick, dark like mine). I've read that picosure is unconfirmed for black ink; then I've heard that it works just fine for black. I know that results will vary with this process, but what is closer to the truth?

What I do know is that I want to go to an MD and/or someone who is licensed (a certified laser specialist?). I don't want someone who will willingly disfigure me for money -- I've seen some removal scars which seem to come from going wayyyy too far with treatment, disfiguring the skin in the attempt to get every trace of ink out. Scary! I just hope that professionals in the field wouldn't do that to someone for money.

What are people's thoughts on the process of scarring/hypo pigmentation? How can we best minimize the risk?

Thanks for your time beautiful people! I wouldn't be here feeling optimistic about this longggg game if it wasn't for everyone here.

Expensive consults!

So, I booked my first consult today for June 17. I could've come in tomorrow, but they told me the cost and I decided to wait and shop around more first. $400 for a consult! Granted, this place seems reputable, at least two of their doctors post on this site -- thats how I found them. The $400 is applied to figure treatments, but if for whatever reason I feel uncomfortable and look elsewhere, I have to eat that $400. Is this typical of reputable places? I understand a nominal consultation fee of course, but thought it would be lower.

Anyway, it's still nice to start making calls. Makes it feel real, even though I know it's still a while before I can even begin treatment!

As always many thanks to everyone commenting and sharing their thoughts with me :)

Two consultations booked today.

Sorry for the obsessive updating!

First I called my trusted dermatologist for a recommendation. They recommended Dr. Jeffrey L. Rand, who I found online but unfortunately he seems to have disappeared off the map...number not working. Oh well.

So I went ahead and booked that $400 consult with Dr. Krant at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center for June 10. They have the Q-switched ruby, Q-switched Nd:YAG, and PicoSure. (I am still not 100% sure which is best for my tattoos. All black outlines/thick lines. Some doctors assure that the picosure works on black ink, others say that the YAG could work. And what is the differential in terms of scarring/loss of pigmentation?)

I also read that the PicoWay can work better for "ethnic" people in terms of hypopigmentation. I am a bit tan because I am 25% hispanic. (What do people think of the PicoWay for my tattoos? I am definitely happy to hear about the better results with hypopigmentation, but is this the right laser for my ink?)

I know the doctors will tell me that their equipment will work be best suited for my tattoo since they're both great technologies, but I want to hear from neutral sources what they think of these different treatments for my specific tattoos. I have even heard the the Enlighten laser could be great for plain black tattoos like mine -- but I am so wary because that is what I see all the med spas using. Though maybe their bad reputation is more for amateur use of the tech, or because they intentionally lower the settings? Anyway, I haven't found a trustworthy dermatologist or clinic yet that has the Enlighten, but I will keep looking. In the meantime, thoughts on Enlighten, or any of the above?

Thanks to all! <3

Expensive PicoWay treatments for very new tattoo?

Yes, $400 for a consult seems sooooo steep, even for well-established reputable doctors. That appointment, with Dr Jessica Krant, is scheduled for June 10. That particular clinic has the Q-switched and PicoSure, but not PicoWay. I like the fact that they have Q-switched also,so I have options in case PicoSure isn't ideal for my black. I still can't get a sure answer what is considered best for black ink and carries minimal risk of complications. Because I have olive complexioned skin which tans easily, I became interested in the new expensive PicoWay laser because I've heard a) it has better results (less complications) with olive complexions and b) it may not leave as much of a ghost as PicoSure. Both of these reasons make me really lean towards PicoWay. However, I have only found one practice in my area which has this PicoWay laser, and they are very high end and pricey -- $450 a treatment for small tattoos (!!). I'm really hoping all my tattoos are considered "small." However, I am looking to remove at least two to start with -- the one above my elbow and the small cat on my inner forearm. This consultation only requires a $100 deposit, and so isn't as huge a gamble like the $400 consultation. I'd pay $100 to get an experts opinion on my prospects, and if PicoWay is ideal. That appointment is scheduled for June 8. Now on to my real question. These tattoos are FRESH af. Just over a month old. Would you guys recommend doing some initial laser treatments with a less expensive laser like the q-switched, and saving PicoWay for later in the process? I hear with new tattoos that it just takes way more treatments to make a dent in the fresh ink. If I dive right in with a couple $450 treatments with PicoWay, will I end up barely making a dent in the ink? Or will it be a good start? Is it foolish to go with super expensive treatments for the first passes over very fresh tattoos? I would really appreciate any advice on this :) I became interested

Go! Tattoo Removal?

Since my last post I have booked three additional consultations, and attended very my first consultation, with Dr. Amy Perlmutter. The consultation was free, but they only have the Picosure, and having heard that the 1064 laser is better for black than the Picosure, the price was too high -- $350 each for the rose and octopus, and $100 for the cat. That comes to $850 per session for a relatively small amount of surface area. This place is high end, and I know Picosure is expensive, but at that price it'll take me too long to save up for my sessions. The remaining consultations I have coming up are all with dermatologists, and they're all expensive. They're all around $200 for a consultation, which will go towards subsequent treatments. But now I'm scared that I'll go in and get quoted another crazy high price, and feel pressure to go for it because I've already put ~$200 down. And only one of these places has the Q-switched laser. So I'm considering cancelling them all and starting over. I have been looking exclusively at dermatologists because I want to be in a doctor's hands. But in NYC, any dermatologist specializing in lasers and tattoo removal are SO expensive. I'm trying not to get discouraged. From another recent post here, I've learned of Go! Tattoo Removal in PA. I live in NY, but would be willing to travel every 3 months for treatments. The price is so right! $200 per session? They have the Q-switched AND Picosure? The pictures look great, and more authentic-looking than anything I've stumbled upon on the net so far. Is this too good to be true? What am I missing here? xD Do people have any experience with Go! Tattoo Removal? Are they really better than your average? Despite the amazing reviews, it makes me nervous to begin this process without a doctor. Any input you have would be greatly appreciated!

Beginning treatment in more photos of my tattoos

Beginning treatment at Go! Tattoo in mid-August, making it 3 months and some days post-tattoo placement. They have the Q-switched laser and the Picosure. I'm going to take their advice on which to try first. I know it will be a multi-year process (I'm thinking 15+ treatments for complete or near-complete removal). There are things working in my favor and working against me, but I'm hoping if I stick with it, and wait plenty of time between treatments, that I will get results I can live with by the time I'm 30! (four years from now). And in the interim, there will be years of lightening, and I'm really hoping that the lighter they get, the better I'll feel. And the two tattoos on my upper arm (octopus and cat), I am more willing to consider coverups. It's the rose on my wrist that I'd really like complete or as close to complete removal as possible. I don't like the placement, so a coverup isn't ideal. I'm really hoping for removal on that one. In the meantime, I'm going to stay active, eat healthy, sleep more, and stay hopeful. Thanks guys <3

(one more photo)

Decided NOT to go with lasering...yet.

It's been a while!

I still don't love my tattoos, but I've made peace with having them in general. My goal is to eventually fade them enough to get coverups that I really love. I'm having fun devising ideas.

I'm no longer really freaked out about how they'll affect me professionally. Looking back on where I was five months ago, I can't believe I let them devastate me and dominate my life. It was just about getting over the initial shock of the change. It passes, and trust me, I was in a pit of anxiety.

I'm planning to take it reeeeally slow and not rush into lasering. Let's see how I feel one year post. Until then, I'll be planning and dreaming of beautiful coverup tattoos. :)
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