Well Planned, Yet Impulsive Mistake-Q Switched Removal

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Sentimental Tattoo for Love and I Don't Love It

Right now I am trying to decide if laser removal is right for me. I regret my cover up tattoo, even though I had dreamed about it for a year and a half. I had a small tattoo done in college (2004 or 2005) which I never loved or hated. I had my baby girl in 2014 and immediately started thinking of covering it up! I got a poppy to go with a nickname for her. Well, cover ups are totally different than regular tattoos and I should've walked away or thought about it. However, I didn't and here I am. I don't blame the tattoo guy he showed me what it was going to be. I only blame myself. I've had some pretty serious depression about it, and some deep feelings of regret. Hopefully something can be done to change it, at least full removal of the big poppy. We shall see.

I've been to my first…

I've been to my first appointment/consultation for laser tattoo removal. The appointment I went to was with a Dr. who does plastic surgery and stuff. This doctor said he thinks 3-6 treatments for removal, which I know would be a great response because I've read typically it takes 10-12 sessions. For me it would cost about $350 per treatment. That's a lot of money, but would be worth it to me. Even if I got back to my original tattoo I would be happy. I have to wait 3 months before he will treat it, which is fine. It gives me time to shop around and think! The picture of my tattoo is one from about a week after I got it. This is when I started to realize I don't love my tattoo, and I also realized the ink probably won't stick very well that low. Hopefully the amount of fading without any treatment at all is a good thing!

First Removal Scheduled 2/1/2017

I decided to post another picture of my tattoo which will be one month old tomorrow. It has faded even more, some parts are gone completely. I hope this is a good sign for removal, and that I will have a successful journey. I have my first appointment for removal on February 1st, at a place in my city. I'm nervous about the pain, mostly the blistering part. However, I am excited to start this big journey. I've stopped being so insanely depressed over this, and have been able to focus on my life in general more. I feel almost guilty being so upset over a tattoo when there are such bugger problems in this world, but it's my body and it feels like a constant reminder of a big mistake. Two more people have noticed it recently at work, and I just get so embarrassed when someone asks about it. It doesn't even look much like a flower anymore. I will post more pictures after my first treatment. Wish me luck!!

First Session Tomorrow-So Nervous!

Tomorrow is my first session with the Quanta Q-Plus C laser at a place in my home city. My tattoo is one month old. I'm so ready to start this process. I know it's going to be a long journey, but I just hope and pray I get results.

One Day Post Laser

Yesterday was my first session with the Quanta Q Plus C laser. Oh my!!! I knew it was going to hurt, but it hurt WAY more than I thought! It wasn't soooooo unbearable that I can't go back, but I was just amazed at how much it hurt. The laser tech used a cooling machine that made it very cold and a little numb. The tech was very thorough and quick, so I was only there maybe 20 minutes with the consult. The actual laser maybe took 3. It's been 24 hours since I had the treatment, and I have maybe one small blister on top of the black color. It's hard to tell. I did think after would hurt way more, but it hasn't been nearly as bad as I thought. I even accidentally sat on my ankle and didn't realize for a few minutes. I hope the lack of pain is ok! I just want this to be as quick as possible as well as safe. I will probably post in 4 weeks or so. (If I can refrain from doing so!)

Too Soon for Hope?

I thought I would throw in a quick picture. I had a laser session like 5 days ago and maybe there is some fading? Not sure...I've read that sometimes it fades a little, then comes back then fades again after about 3 weeks. But it makes me feel a little better...maybe it is "real" fading? I believe I've done very well with the treatment so far. No blisters, it was only tender for a day...not even that really. I figure I might have some itching coming my way, but so far nothing in that regard either. I was going to have a second treatment at a new place at the end of March but I may bump it up considering I feel pretty good about the whole thing right now. I'm sure I will post more soon can't seem to stay away. Happy fading, and best wishes!

Update

Tomorrow will be two weeks after my first laser session. Never had blisters. There has been some itching this week, it will be bad for a second or two then it's fine. The super black part of my tattoo has a scab-like feeling to it, so I am wondering if that will peel or something. All in all not so bad. I scheduled another session for March 11th, new clinic and laser.

3 Weeks After 1st Treatment

I can definitely see a difference. I had some peeling over the last 7 days, and I think the darkest black spot is going to peel again. I am excited for my next treatment in about 2 weeks! Boy is this thing ugly now. I never loved it, but it's really hideous. I am going to a different place this time. My first removal was with the Quanta Q-Switched and then this place has a picosure (which really won't help me....) then another laser that I can't remember what it's called. But I am anxious to try again!

One Month Post Laser

Well I got a new phone and this looks darker in the picture than in real life. Seriously cannot wait for my next treatment (3/11). I can see where patience is going to be a serious virtue! I did try wear a big band aid over it, and I am pleased because the whole thing fits under a large bandage. Seeing that I can easily cover it really helped put this whole thing in perspective. Does anyone have some good cover up makeup they'd suggest? Everything I have tried has been too peachy....looked like I smeared myself with pink paint. I guess that's the red coming through.

6 Week Update!

I have my second laser session on Saturday. I am going to a Medi spa that has a Spectra Q-switched laser as well as a Picosure laser. They do NOT have the part that treats red though. These are the results of my first laser removal session. The pictures are from the night prior and now (6 weeks post laser). I never had any blisters and had minimal peeling. Looking big forward to more fading and good results! PS- I have gotten a new phone recently, and it picks up color better than the older phone. The new pic of the tattoo is definitely darker than in really life.

Second Removal Session

Second session was today. I got a small zap with the pico on the little black was left. The rest was treated with a Spectra Q switched laser. Pain was still the same, no numbing, just cold air. Tonight is much easier that last time. Doesn't even hurt at all. Here's hoping for easy healing and happy fading! I've attached a pinch of fresh ink, before 1st treatment, and today before 2nd treatment. So far so good!

4 Weeks After 2nd Session

Well here is a quick update. No blisters this time, very tiny bit of peeling, and some itching. I keep forgetting I'm getting it removed, but I certainly don't forget about the tattoo. I still hate it so much. I am having another removal session on May 10th....I'm looking forward to it.

Hello Original Color

I've been super depressed lately over this tattoo, sometimes forgetting all the wonderful things in my life. (Which is ridiculous, but I think we all do it after reading on here.) I've even cried a couple times this week over it, feeling stupid and worthless....even though I know I am neither of those things. But today I sat outside I noticed I can see the tiniest bit of my original tattoo peeking through. (I've been able to see some of the original black for a while now, but no other color.) I can see just a little bit of yellow showing right in the middle of this "flower". This makes me happy because in the original cover you couldn't see it at all. I know yellow is difficult to remove and may do some crazy color changes, but I feel like ever little bit of progress counts. I held my baby (she's two but still my baby) extra close tonight and thanked the good Lord for the things that mattered, instead of dwelling on this dumb old tattoo.

6 Weeks post treatment #2

Ugh, so many emotions around this stupid tattoo. I try not the play the "I wish..." and "what if..." games but it's so hard not to. I completely understand I am in for a marathon, but I cannot help but worry constantly in between sessions. I've accepted that my skin won't be the same, and I'm preparing for the fact there might be a scar (there is a bit that has raised up a little), and while I don't want that, I will trade my ink for a scar. More than anything, I just want to forgive myself. I knew in the tattoo shop it wasn't exactly what I wanted. I knew that and yet I kept on going. I just I could let it go. It doesn't help I'm diagnosed OCD and this just gives me fuel for that fire. I've been wearing the scar strips you can buy at the drugstore and that seems to help, but I wonder if it's just a mind game. My tattoo itches from time to time and it seems pretty late to be itching, since I was treated almost 6 weeks ago. My husband keeps telling me this time next year you might have gotten to a point where you're ok with the amount of fading and can move on, which helps put it into perspective. I have another appointment May 10th and I'm already so nervous. I'm giving the Alex Trivantage a try this time. I've read some reviews where they've talked about trying different lasers to find one that works for you for a while, so that was my thought process. I seem to be doing ok with the two Q switched I've tried, and I hope to have success with this one as well. There is not a pico locally that has a way to treat red so that eliminates the picosure. There is an Enlighten close to Indianapolis that I would be willing to drive for. Sigh....I'm just rambling now. I've attached a current picture. Only change is the yellow is starting to pop out a little more and then general fading. If you look close enough, you can see where I believe I am scarring. Hopefully this anxiety/obsession over this damn thing will pass....time seems to heal most everything.

3rd Treatment Next Week!

My husband and I are visiting Texas this week, such a beautiful state! I'm trying to keep my tattoo covered with a bandaid to protect it from the Texas sun! I thought I would throw in a quick photo update before I go in for my next session on the 10th. I'm so ready to go back, but I'm nervous too. As anxious as I am to remove this tat, I also know slow and steady wins the race. I just pray that it all works out each time. Anyways, at work the other day, I got a nice compliment...a colleague of mine asked what was "wrong" with my tattoo. It makes me very happy that it's so noticeably different.

One Week After 3rd Session

This treatment was done with the Alexander Trivantage, just as painful as the others. They did two passes, one for the small amount of black and one for the red. Seems to be healing well. No blisters or peeling. Minimal itching. Hopefully I will see some good fading over the next 7 weeks! I included a side by side picture of pre 3rd treatment and post 3rd treatment. Next treatment in July. I will have next two treatments with the Alex Trivantage because I've already paid for them with a local coupon, so I really hope this laser brings some great fading. Fingers crossed!!!!

3.5 Weeks After 3rd Treatment

Thought I would stop by for an update. I've included an updated picture, this is my tattoo 3 and a half weeks after my 3rd treatment. My next one is scheduled for July 10th and I can't wait.

I have two more sessions paid for at my current place and I am going to ride those out and see where I am at when the time comes. That should be sometime in August/September.

After that I am considering driving to an area around Indianapolis to try out the Enlighten laser. Any thoughts? It would be able 4 hours or so driving round trip. I don't mind doing it, if it really is such a great laser. I've also been looking for a Picoway (or a picosure with the red attachment) around the Louisville/Lexington KY area...but haven't had much luck. I also might go back to the second place I went to....I think that was a spectra laser for red and pico for black. Who knows? That's still a long way off and I have some fading to do in that time! I'm open to any suggestions. :) I know time is the biggest key, and I've certainly upped the diet/exercise/hydration/skincare component....just also trying to maximize my treatments!

6 Weeks After 3rd Treatment

Here's a little picture update. 6 weeks after my 3rd treatment and I think things are going well. I'm excited about treatment number 4 on July 10th. I let the area get a little sun last week on vacation, but it's been back to sunscreen and bandaids since Monday. (My laser place allows sun except for 2 weeks prior and 2 Weeks post treatment.) I'm happy with the progress I've made, and don't beat myself up as much lately. I'm still anxious to get it gone, but have stopped constantly wishing time away. I have a two and a half year old (who the tat was supposed to honor...oops) and I don't want to waste any time with her. Time is too precious. Other than that, I've been trying to improve ME--better food, moving my 31 year old body, being happy, etc. I just pray I keep seeing good progress. I'd say for 3 laser treatments I'm doing great and should be thanking my lucky stars! Hope everyone is well! :)

Side by Side for Comparison

This picture is with brand new ink and then 6 months and 3 laser treatments later.

48 hours After 4th Treatment

Ugly as ever! I really hate the first two weeks after a treatment because it brings out all the color. This treatment was particularly painful, because I forgot to ice. I don't bother with numbing because the area is so small but ice usually helps. Oh well, it was over quickly. I have one or two small tiny blisters, which doesn't usually happen. I hope all the red dots are normal, I guess they are so bright because the laser was turned up. Hopefully that means the laser picked up on the pigment. Here's to hoping there is good fading!

Quick Update

I was so worried about all the circles on my skin after the last treatment, but it seems all of those have cleared. I've got some peeling going on and maybe a little hypopigmentation. I'm going to play the next treatment by ear (it's scheduled for September 5th). If I'm unhappy with the healing of the skin I am going to push it back. This is definitely a marathon, not a sprint!

Postponing Next Treatment

Here is a quick photo update. So far, I'm getting good results. I'm putting off my next treatment because I can see some white circles from where the laser hit, and I want to give the skin time to return to normal. I was supposed to go next week, but I'm thinking about putting it off two or three more weeks.
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