So today I went for a consultation to have laser...
So today I went for a consultation to have laser treatment on a 4 week old tattoo on my inner arm. It's the black outline of a robin with the robin's breast cross-hatched in red...it was supposed to be a cute, little and REALISTIC sketch but turned into something quite cartoony and I hate it! I have found the only Picoway laser in London am am hoping that it really does work faster than traditional nanosecond lasers and will work on the red. I don't want to remove the tattoo completely, but just fade it enough so I'm not restricted with a cover up. I love tattoos and would just get a traditional cover up if it weren't for the fact that it'd be bigger and darker and would therefore not be appreciated by employers. I already have a couple of other sometimes-visible tattoos and anything big/dark/bright/in your face would be pushing it.
So today I had a quick test spot done to see how my skin reacts, just the feet of the robin were 'zapped' I think just twice on each one. I have an appointment booked in 2 weeks time for my first full treatment but will see how these tiny bits are doing nearer the time - I might postpone if I want to see more of the healing process. I have quite sensitive skin and scar easily so I'm entering into this very warily. I will also be discussing cover up ideas with a tattoo artist who might advise me that not all of the tattoo needs to be treated...which would be great if it would lower the price!! £150 per session is NOT cheap but I really wanted to give the Picoway a chance after things I've read about it.
As for the laser itself...it hurt. BUT...I think I was so worried about the pain it actually didn't feel as bad as I expected! I had no pain relief, numbing cream, ice, cold air or anything but was advised that for the full treatments numbing cream and ice will be used.
The little areas went white when treated...I was told that this was a good thing and that if they hadn't done then it would have meant the power of the laser wasn't high enough. The areas are now very red and quite tender.
I will post a pic at some point of the feet after the laser and will keep you updated!
Finally started the process!
After a long time considering my options, I went for my first removal session with the Picoway at the PHI clinic on Harley Street yesterday. It didn't hurt as much as I expected it to and was very quick.
It has been about 13 hours, the area is a bit bruised and swollen. I will update with any progress!
A few days after second treatment
Apologies for the rubbish photo and that I'd just put vaseline on it! I had my second treatment a few days ago. Again some bruising and scabbing but no blisters. The red is a different colour now and lots of the fine lines are going. I only waited 4 weeks between treatments (it was healed within about 10 days the first time) but I might leave it a bit longer this time to see if it does any more.
A couple of weeks after 3rd treatment
The thicker black lines are finally starting to break up and the red is faded...happy with the results so far although I obviously wish it was a faster process. It was a very new tattoo though. I'm going every 4 weeks to speed the process up but obviously that means it's costing me a fortune! However...I'm very happy with the clinic, I don't envisage any scarring and I haven't had any blisters so it feels worth it. It is my arm after all!
Day after 4th treatment
25 May 2016
7 months post
Argh! Blisters! The laser was on a higher setting for the fourth treatment and now I have blisters for the first time.
Nearly a month after the 5th treatment
26 Aug 2016
10 months post
Really happy with progress on the black but the red...it just doesn't go away!
I have been away and in the sun so have to wait another few weeks before I can go again...I am starting to think about cover up ideas because the red is so stubborn I doubt it will ever go.
Really happy with the Phi Clinic.
24 Sep 2016
11 months post
So I had a 2 month gap between treatments because I was on holiday for 3 weeks and really didn't want to avoid sun exposure. My 6th treatment was about a week ago, the laser was on higher settings (not sure exactly what) but I ended up with a scary huge blister! I kept it covered for a week and really tried not to put pressure on the blister and it has now drained and seems to be healing fine. It was quite sore and pretty gross though!
Totally worth the blistering!
26 Sep 2016
11 months post
So happy loads of the red has gone!
I haven't posted for a while but I did have one more treatment in 2016...which was number 7. The results weren't as drastic as from number 6. Then it got cold and I had jumpers on and I didn't think about it! Looking at it recently...there is slight raised scarring on the outside of the bird shape. I am therefore now a bit scared to have another treatment so am looking at cover-up options.