I am in the process of a Tattoo disaster that goes...
I am in the process of a Tattoo disaster that goes back a few years! Stupidly when on a stag do in Magaluf I had a black & grey dragon done on my upper arm that was terrible but I lived with it as it was out of sight. I had it reworked not long after getting back but that was just to firm up the lines.
Fast forward to a couple of months ago I decided to have it reworked again and also to add to it to become a Japanese style half sleeve. The artist talked me into a samurai mask below the dragon, again blank and grey, but the picture I provided and the end result were miles apart, it was also far too big for my liking as it dominated the whole sleeve, I expected it to be a small feature. Also the placement was terrible, whenever I flex my bicep the face scrunched up! I immediately cancelled the next session and went into a panic.
A few weeks later I went to a different highly regarded artist with the intention of covering it, however he advised all he could do was try to fix it, however he has just made it bigger & darker and added a load of cherry blossom around it. I am gutted.
I immediately started looking into Tattoo Removal & stumbled across this site which was a huge help. Knowing I wasn't the only person to have made this type of stupid mistake was reassuring.
I considered several laser places before deciding on Wayne Joyce at the Reset Room in Soho who has the PicoSure laser. I am currently on the train to London for my first session. My early impressions of Wayne are very good, a real down to earth guy who seems to know his stuff and laid the cards out on the table from the start. He is hopeful that I could be ready for a cover up in after about 3 sessions which would be incredible... I expect it to be a few more!
Wayne was recommended to me by a couple of Tattoo artists I spoke to and also has excellent reviews. Fingers crossed.
I will update this review after my first session with some before and after pictures.
Wish me luck!
The Guy with the Dragon Tattoo - First Session Done!
So it has been about 24 hours since my first session with Wayne at Reset Room and I'm feeling positive. I have added some before / after photo's.
Loads of the dark shading has already gone and some of the thinner lines are breaking up. Overall the whole lot seems to have faded, difficult to tell in the photo's because of photo quality / light etc.
Considering the fading is supposed to continue for several weeks after a session I have my fingers crossed that Wayne's prediction of 1-3 sessions before it is ready for a cover up may not be too far off.
So the actual lasering itself was uncomfortable rather than painful and lasted around half an hour, not bad for a large area. Wayne uses a cool air machine as he's zapping so that keeps the area nice & chilled.
Last night it was very red, swollen, hot to the touch & the blisters starting appearing 2 of which are very bulbous & seem ready to burst at any point! I kept an ice pack on since (except when I was in bed!), this helps.
Today my arm is still hot, red & swollen but not as bad as last night.
Wayne provided plenty of after care advice which I will try to follow. It is now down to my body & it's immune system to shift that ink so the after care is crucial.
Feel free to ask any questions & I'll try to answer as best I can.
2 weeks since session #1
So it's 2 weeks since my first session with the PicoSure so I thought I'd post a quick update with some pics.
My arm was gross for about 1 and half weeks after the laser. Lots of blistering, my whole arm swelled up, the whole area was red and sensitive to touch.
I'm fairly pleased with the progress, there is definite fading and most of the shading has gone, some of the thinner lines have started to break up. However there is still a lot of dark area's, in certain light I catch a glimpse and think it is really faded then in other light it looks like there's no change. I guess it's my mind playing tricks on me.
I forgot to mention in my earlier posts that we did not take on the red in the first session. The reason was that the red will definitely blister and Wayne thought it best not to traumatise my skin too much first time around, we'll be attacking those bits next session!
I've added some photo's including a side by side view of the mask.
Would love to hear peoples thoughts.
Session Number 2 Complete
I had my second session with the PicoSure laser on Monday. We took on the whole arm including the red ink and this time it hurt more than my first session! It has blistered horribly as well, so it's going to require a lot of care. My bicep and lower forearm has swelled up again and the skin has turned a variety of colors... it's all pretty grim to be honest.
My mood swings from positive to negative. On the plus side I can definitely see fading and bits that have started to disappear. However on the negative it is still a big dark mark on my arm and now looks a complete mess. Summer is only a few months away and I'll have the dilemma of keeping it covered up by clothing or letting people see what a stupid mistake I have made.
Wayne has suggested I need to leave it 6 months after my last treatment before going for a cover up and was also talking about 2 / 3 more sessions. This takes me well into next year and means I'll have this mess of a tattoo whilst on a couple of stag do's where I will struggle to keep it hidden. Unfortunately lads being lads they will take the piss rather than be supportive.
But trying to be upbeat have spoken with a couple of artists regarding my cover up and they were positive about what could be done. Seeing a guy in a couple of weeks who is going to draw some ideas onto my arm to see what I think.
I'll post some pictures once the blisters & swelling have calmed down so you can see my progress.
Apologies for the negative post, hopefully I'll be happier when it has healed a bit :(
48 hours post session # 2 photos
Ok I have decided to put some gross photos up, would be good to hear what people think...
2 weeks post session # 2 photos
So it has been a couple of weeks since session number 2 and it has healed nicely. I was a bit down just after this session but I'm a lot more positive now it has healed and I can see the results.
I have added some before and after pics of the dragon & mask which show how they looked 2 weeks after my first session compared to how they look 2 weeks after my second session.
I have also attached a pic that shows how it looked before I started compared to after session 1 & 2 all side by side which shows the fading really well :)
I'm still investigating artists for the cover up, every time I think I've decided I back track... probably because I've been let down by other artists before.
Any questions give me a shout.
Session Number 3 Complete
I’m not sure if anyone reads these updates but here goes anyway… I had my third session yesterday with the PicoSure laser at the Reset Room. We cranked the energy up to 2.6 this time, my 2nd session was 2.8 and the first was 3.0 (the lower the number the stronger the laser), and boy could I tell! The pain wasn’t much worse but the subsequent blisters are horrific and the skin is an angry red colour! The blisters keep weeping as well which is pretty gross!
We didn’t touch the red ink this time around. However a couple of consultations I have had with artists have suggested the red isn’t too much to worry about when considering a cover-up.
I have uploaded a few pics from today and will post again in a couple of weeks once I am all healed.
Happy to answer any questions if you have any!
2 & a Half Weeks Post Session 3
So I'm all healed following session 3, the blistering was awful this time around and has taken longer to heal. I have also noticed a bit of scarring in places so I'm using Rose Hip Oil to try to reduce those.
There has been some fading but not as much as I had hoped. The thick dark lines seem to be quite stubborn. But there is some skin colour creeping through in the eyes and mouth of the mask which is a positive.
I've added some new photo's for your perusal.
I've mentioned on a couple of comments about scarring. I've added a couple of close up photos to show you all. After some of the blisters have healed I've Ben left with raised and/or smooth skin I.e. Scar tissue. It's not a lot but I can tell.
Session Number 4a Complete
So yesterday I went for session number 4a! This time I've decided to split the treatment into 2 sessions due to the difficulty & hassle with the aftercare of such a large area. We did the dragon and cherry blossom yesterday.
Wayne was concerned by the slight scarring in the mask that I have mentioned previously. He believes this has been caused due to the relentless stress the skin has been under within the last year with 2 lots of tattooing (original plus rework) and then 3 laser sessions. We are going to leave the mask for a few more weeks to allow the skin to repair itself and then make a decision what to do next, whether we agree the skin has healed sufficiently to laser or we avoid the damaged areas in session 4b!
I was quite downbeat by the news as I wanted to attack the mask asap but Wayne is a very honest guy who really has his clients best interests and well-being at heart.
I've added some photos of the dragon and flowers from this morning, I'm pretty pleased with the reaction to yesterdays treatment, not much blistering at all just some very small ones and the red ink hasn't blistered at all.
I will post an update once it has healed and I've decided on my next steps...
Session 4b Complete
16 Aug 2016
4 months post
3 weeks ago I completed session 4b which focussed on the mask, I've attached some recent photos. We avoided the scar area in the corner of the left eye which I was worried about. It didn't blister too bad & the healing process was easier. Overall I'm pleased with my progress despite hoping for more fading, hopefully this will continue gradually over the weeks / months. After around 10 months of tattooing & lasering I'm taking a break from it all to give my arm a break & a chance for the skin to repair. Good luck to everyone on this frustrating journey, I will be keeping an eye on everyone's progress :)
In the Right Light...
21 Aug 2016
4 months post
In the right light it looks a lot more faded!