The Journey to Get the Dragon off my Back - Oslo, Norway

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*Treatment results may vary

I got the tattoo when I was 18 years old (the...

I got the tattoo when I was 18 years old (the summer of 2003) when I had just graduated. I was young and got the tattoo for all the wrong reasons. Never hated the tattoo, but never loved it either. I have looked into getting it removed many times, but never believed that it would work and actually get removed entirely. Because of the new laser technology that is available now, I have decided to give it a try. Wish me luck

I had my first consultation and first treatment of Picoway the 4th of march 2016. It was painful, but I managed to get through the whole tattoo without paintreatment. I had 1 week of soreness, then 1 week of extreme itching and 1 week of swollen/raised contours. Did fade quite nice after the first treatment, but hope I will get better results next time.

My price of 1850 USD is a package of 6 treatments that the doctor estimated that I would need. If I need more treatments I will get a better deal based on the fact that only the outline of the dragons tale will need further treatments since it is more saturated with inc. Hopefully I will only need the 6. Crossing my fingers and my toes.

2nd treatment of Picoway

Just had my second treatment of Picoway laser, but this time hurt a lot more than the first time. I actually could not stand the pain through the whole tattoo. So embarrassed about it. The doctor did not want to torture me anymore and gave me a tube of emla to put of the rest of the tattoo for the next appointment in 1 week. Don't know why it hurt more this time. He said it might be my cycle or I might not be rested or something. Really hope the numbing cream helps, cause today it was really awful. Not looking forward to next week.

Have any of you experienced increased pain like this? Does the cream really help or is it just a psychological effect?

The Day after 2ND treatment

OMG! I took off the compress to clean my raw tattoo and put a fresh one on and it looks soooo faded already. I am shocked. I did not have so big improvements on my first treatment. Maybe he had a higher setting on since it hurt so much. It was not as red as this the last time either. What do you think of the results? Easy to compare from the first treatment when it is half treated like this. I am super happy!

Off to 2nd part of my 2nd treatment

Short update of the fading progress of the first half of my tattoo. Tomorrow after work, I am having the other half treated. Really Hope the numbing cream helps with the Pain. It was unbearable last week. At least the results are great and I got No blisters. Guess the temporary Pain and the itching is Worth the results. Happy thoughts

Just Finished the second treatment

Completed the bottom half of my tattoo and thank God for emla! I would say that it cut the Pain in half. He also used an icepack. He was Finished within 5 minutes. I was soo dreading this session but now I know that I have nothing to worry about for future sessions. Already booked my next one for May 12th.

By the way, my doctor said that the first treatment that I had in another clinic probably went easy on the settings since it did not hurt as much and I got very lottle fading. Very glad I went for this doctor. High enough setting to give alot of fading and low enough to not cause blisters or pigmentation issues.

My tattoo is all wrapped up now. But will post a photo in a few days when I take off the dressing.
Happy fading to you all

Oh lord the itch

The horrible itch kept me up last night. My tattoo is quite swollen and red, but no blisters or bleeding. Had to take of the dressing in the middle of the night in order to disinfect it. I applied some white Vaseline and cooled it down with an ice pack. Did help some, but still very itchy.
Do you have some itch remedies that might help?

Photo update of the day after

As you can see, it is red and swollen and very itchy. Have faded quite a bit but not as much as the front of the dragon that I treated last week. The tail did have more ink and will probably take longer to fade.

12 days post 2nd treatment

I am super duper happy about the fading. It is still very itchy but less and less each day. Really looking forward to tje next treatment in mid May.

Next treatment tomorrow

I have my third treatment tomorrow after work and I am really looking forward to it. I have bought some emla and am ready for the Pain. I am in such a good place in my life now and that is why I am not bothered about the tattoo anymore. I am feeling positive that everything. Problems Come and go all the time and if you spend your time worrying about them you will go crazy and depressed. I have been there a few times and it sucks. Summer is comming and I am going to enjoy it in my new swimsuit that covers my back. Wish me luck tomorrow. Will update again when I take the dressings off. Have a great Day

3rd treatment

I had my third treatment on Thursday afternoon, after work. This time it was a nurse who performed the treatment. She had read up on my chart and was very professional. The treatment went very well. Did feel some pain, but I was expecting that since the tube of emla is so tiny compared to my tattoo. She tested out the effect with the same setting as list time and turned it up a notch to get the desired frosting. She was finished within 10 minutes. So to the results. I do not see as big of a difference as list time, but I expected that. The nurse also warned me that the biggest effects are in the beginning when there are more inc. Still, I do see some improvements in the outline. What do you all think?

Some closeups

I wanted to post some closeups to show you how the Black outline is breaking up. This is much more noticable in closeups. The bortom part of my tattoo was more saturated with Inc and will need more work. Still it is fading nicely

4 weeks and still itchy

It has been almost 4 weeks since the third treatment and it is still very itchy. The itch didn't last for this long with the other treatments I've had. The outline is also quite raised in the places where there are more ink. I can really feel the outline of the tattoo when stroking over it. I guess it is still healing. I am very glad I postponed the next treatment until the 30th of June. I think I need those 7 weeks of healing, before hitting it again. Really looking forward to it :) Happy fading to everybody!

2016 the year of changes and self improvements

I have set myself a few goals of self improvements this year and I am very happy with the half way progress. Not only am I well on my way in removing this tattoo, but I just finished my Masters degree in Economics. I took all my classes a few years ago, but hit some hard times health wise and decided to give up on finishing my thesis. So when my health got back to normal, this unfinished business has been on my mind since then. This year I decided to do something about it. It has been A LOT of hard work for months. I also work full time and I am a mom of a 1 year old. In May I handed in my finished thesis and in June I had my oral defense of the thesis. It was approved and I finally have my Masters Degree!! I am sooo happy and proud of my self. Now I will enjoy the summer with my family before I start my next project in the fall. My next goal is to apply for an hopefully find a new job. I need an upgrade. Do you have any goals for this year?? Would love to hear about them if you do. I also have my 4th laser treatment on my tattoo in 2 days and I am really looking forward to it. Will let you know how it goes. Happy holidays!

4th treatment

Went for My fourth treatment yesterday and it went down as usual. Applied the numbing cream 1.5 hour before and it made the Pain tolerable.

I asked about the level this time and she Said I was treated with 1.6 last time and started with that also this time on the bottom part of my tattoo that still has more ink. On the lighter parts (like the head) she turned it up to level 2.0.

The results are not very noticable yet. It actually look darker but I have heard that is normal. It is still very red and swollen, but luckily no blisters. Will post more photo updated in a week or two. Next treatment is booked for August 13. In the meantime I will enjoy my 3 weeks of holiday in a swimsuit that covers my back. Have a great summer everybody

Tanning by the pool

Hello everybody! Hope you all are enoying your summer. I am enjoying my last few days of holiday in Spain by the pool. Have not been tanning much, but when I have, I have been using spf 50 and covering up my tattoo. Will not be a problem to keep my next laser apointment the 13th of august. Will post a fading update when I get home from Spain. I will hopefully be tattoofree next summer. Cant wait!

6 weeks update

So it has been 6 weeks since the 4th treatment and I am going for my 5th tomorrow. Wanted to post an update and show you the progress. Was hoping for more fading, but oh well. What do you think?

The day after my 5th treatment

Had my 5th treatment yesterday. It hurt pretty bad even with the Emla cream on. Might be because I have my period, but not sure. Anyway I got through the whole thing. The nurse said she kept the same setting as last time on the dark parts of the outline since I still got good frosting with that setting. On the lighter parts of the body and head, she had to turn it up quite a bit. She she went up to setting 3 and reduced the spotsize to 4mm on all the lighter areas in order to get frosting. It did cause some some bleeding and bursting of some blood vessels in the skin, but that will heal she said. It looks pretty ugly right now. It is soar, tender and itchy at the moment. Hope it will heal fast and give me lots of fading.

Progress after 5th treatment

Hello everybody. I am back with a photo update of my fading tattoo since the 5th treatment. It has now been 5 weeks and I have my next and last prepaid treatment in a week.

This last month have been shit :( Life has been giving me tons of lemons and my positivity has been absent. I just cannot believe all the bad luck I have had lately. Need a plumber, Need an electrician, had a fight with my mother in law, might loose my job because of cut downs at work.... Those are just some of the troubles I have been dealing with. Will know by Wednesday the 21th of September if I get to keep my job or not. Life is so hard sometimes.

At least my fading is still going strong. What do you think?? How many treatments do you think I have left to get full removal? Would love to hear your opinions.

6th treatment

Just came from my 6th treatment session and oh lord the pain. Is has not been this painful since the first time when I tried it without numbing cream. I am almost threw in the towel. It felt like she used a scalpel on me. She asked me if I had my period or if I was stressed and I have been super stressed out lately so guess that was a trigger. Now it is a bloody mess and it is throbbing. Have to take it easy for a few days for sure.

She used the same settings as last time, but I will wait 8 untill next treatment since it is getting so light. We want to give my body the time to clear out the ink. Need to stress less for the next treatment for sure.

Did end up loosing my Job and was super stressed out about the whole thing. Got some help from the union and get to leave very soon and get 6 months pay covered. So I have my last work day on monday. Not a bad deal. Got plenty of time to find a new Job. Wish me luck.
Happy fading to you all.

Update 1 month after 6th treatment

Just wanted to post an update of my fading over the last month. Since the last treatment was such a bloody mess, I did not want to post a picture earlier. It had lots of scabs all over for about 2 weeks and it did look much darker for a few weeks after that. Now it has started to fade again and hope it will continue to get lighter towards my next treatment. I have it booked for the end of November. wanted to prolong the healing time in between sessions. NOT looking forward to it since it was soo painful last time.

Comparison pic

Here is a comparison between the healed result after the 4th treatment and after the 6th treatment. The fading is quite satisfying, although it has slowed down since it is less ink left. What do you guys think?

Treatment 7

Went for my 7th tretment of picoway yesterday. I has been dreading it for many days because of the pain last time, but somehow it was not that painful at all this time. I took sone paracetamol and applied emla 1 hour before the tx. I am also not stressed out from loosing my job anymore since I have now a new job. I start the first of February and have a few months to have fun at home until I start. Still get paid from my old workplace so no financial stress either.

Back to the tattoo. It looks like the filling is all gone. She did adjust the settings some, but forgot to ask about the numbers. Not as bloody as last time, but it is incredibly itchy. Hoping for great fading. A bit anoyed that she missed a tiny spot though. Can be seen on the second photo. Next treatment is booket for January 17th.

Black Friday sale on tattoo removal

My tattoo removal place actually had a Black Friday offer today. It was too good to skip. They had 3 offers depending on the size of the tattoo. I had to go for the biggest (and most expensive) offer. It was about 1170 USD for 6 treatments on a tattoo that is 20x20 cm in size (normal price is 2340USD). Yes I know it is a lot of money, but I have already spent over 2000 USD on my 7 treatments. I think I will need AT LEAST 3 more sessions at 350 USD per session. If i need more I guess they are "free". Well, I am not happy about all the money I have spent on this stupid tattoo, but this is the last dime I will spend on it for sure. If it is not gone after a total of 13 treatments, I give up.
Sigh... this sure took a bite out of my savings

Would you pay unlimited amounts in order to remove your tattoo? (saying you did not win the lottery)

Weird answers to my Q&A question

I posted this question or the doctors: "Will Emla numbing cream reduce the fading after getting laser treatments?"

Link :

I got plenty of good responses, but many of the doctors commented that Picoway is not a good laser for my black tattoo. They recommend that I use the best wavelength for black ink which is 1064mn. This is what I don't understand. I asked the nurse that treats me and she said that they use the 1064mn wavelength on me. On the website to my clinic they say that they use The PicoWay laser from Syneron Candela and "the laser operates in two different wavelengths, 1064 and 532 nanometers which makes it possible to remove almost all colours. 1064 nm is effective against black, blue, brown, green and purple, while 532 nm is effective against red, yellow and orange". Why are so many doctors commenting that Picoway is not right for a black tattoo?? Are they trying to sell me their services? Are they just not that familiar with the Picoway laser and commenting on something they know nothing about? What do you guys think?

10 week update since treatment #7

Here you can see a couple of pics of my progress so far. I am going in for my 8th treatment tomorrow. I had an appointment 2 weeks ago, but they moved it since the nurse was home sick. Can't wait to get zapped again. It is getting very light, but I have already paid for 6 more treatments and think I might need them all. Hopefully they will be my last. We are planning to have another baby soon and might not get through all 6 treatments before I have to take a minimum of 1 year off. I hope I can get 4 done before the summer is over and I'll have a long break after that.

As for life in general; I am starting in my new job the 1st of February and I can't wait. Looking forward to moving forward in my career. 2016 was a shitty year, will work hard to make 2017 a great one.

Results after 8th treatment

It has now been 8 weeks since my last treatment and it is getting very hard to see the progress in the photos. Disappointing I must say. I have not been paying much attention to my tattoo lately since I have started my new job. I have been doing this for 1 year now and I am getting so impatient. I was hoping that I would be tattoo free this summer, but it does not look like it is going to happen. I have time for one more treatment in May before the summer sets in. What do I do?? Should I keep getting treatments through the summer as well and cover my self up or should I take a break and enjoy the sun on my "whiter than a ghost" body???

I have my 9th treatment tomorrow after work.

2 hours after my 9th treatment

Here's a pic of my current situation. Bloody and tender to the touch. I am icing it down. The nurse explained that the lightest parts (like the head for example) don't have much ink left, and the laser won't have much of an effect anymore. It is the body that has to clear the residual small ink particles. It can take a long time. I will have my next treatment in the end of May and then take the summer off. I deserve to enjoy the summer in a bikini and the resume treatments in September.

5 days after treatment

It is healing well since my last treatment 5 days ago. Is has gotten crusty and the outline looks much darker than before this treatment. It only looks dark since the blood has congealed and makes it appear dark. It will lighten up in a few weeks. Hopfully the healing will Remove the ink AS well. I have already paid for 4 more treatments and really hope that I won't be needing any more. Next treatment is the 23rd of May.

Fading from treatment #9

Here is an update of my fading. Photo is taken outside in daylight. I am super pale at the moment. My back has not had any sunlight in at least 1,5 years. I have had lots of fading but it sure has slowed down since it is little ink left. I have my next appointment for the 10th treatment on Tuesday. It will be the last one before a some time off. Perhaps not untill September. I want to enjoy my summer in a bikini this year. Have a nice summer everybody.
Dr. Martin Steen

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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