No One Really Explained to Me About the TYPE of Blisters...- Tyler, TX

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I had my first laser treatment yesterday. I had it...

I had my first laser treatment yesterday. I had it done at Dermatology Associates of East Texas in Tyler, Texas. I'm very happy with my experience at the doctor's office. The laser did indeed hurt very much but it was fast. The tattoo I'm removing is about 1/2" to 3/4" wide and goes all the way around my ankle. Only the first laser hurt. (There were 3 different ones, had to change protective goggles for each laser.) The doctor went over what was going to happen during healing thoroughly. I guess I just didn't ask the right questions. He said several times, it's going to blister and swell. So I'm thinking...blisters, I got it, no problem. What people doing this technique need to say is, "It will blister like you've never even imagined blistering could be. They will be gigantic blisters like something out of a horror movie." They of course put the dressing on it after the procedure and I went on my way. It was uncomfortable during the first 6 hours after, sometimes twinges of deeper pain, very achy overall. About 12 hours after, I decided to change the dressing and get a look. Wow. Thank goodness I could instantly google and found out this happens to other people because I was freaking out. The picture I'm posting was about 16 hours after treatment. I'm currently 24 hours after treatment. This morning the pain level is much much better. The largest blister popped on it's own and I'm glad it did because any movement, even with the bandage on was really difficult. I assume the other blisters will pop sometime in the next day or so. I recommend not having to work the first day after treatment. I know I couldn't of with my monster blisters. I elevated it, took advil and laid in bed. My tattoo is 25 years old and was somewhat faded already. The doctor estimated it would take 3 treatments total, 4 max. I forgot to write down the type of laser machine they used but it's a new upgrade for this office and supposed to be the latest technology. From what I've read online, 3 treatments is a low number compared to other people. It will end up costing me a little under $1000.00 by the time I'm done. I'm writing this to warn others...the monster blisters are apparently normal, don't pop them and ride it out. I checked "yes" on this review when asked if it was worth it. Since I'm so early in the process, I can't really judge the final result but if this it what it takes to get rid of a tattoo I'm tired of hiding at my job and don't like anymore, then yes it's worth it to me. Last night when I was a whiny mess I wouldn't of thought so but 24 hours in, I'm fine now. The picture also shows how much my ankle was swollen, I'm a 120 pound woman and don't normally have a giant cankle.

I was way to optimistic about the amount of pain in my first post.

I'm now 5 days after my first treatment. Only the largest blister I showed in the photo popped, the others are slowly starting to absorb back into themselves but I can already tell this is going to take such a very very long time to heal. The pain has really set in. If nothing touches it, no pain, but since it has to be covered something is always touching it unless I'm changing the dressing.
I'm a teacher so I don't work in the summer. I can't imagine what people go through that have these wounds on the torso or any place that has to be bent constantly to function. Now that I've read so many of these reviews, I feel like I know so much more than I did before my treatment. My doctor's office had told me their machine was new for them, an upgrade (Q-switched) so in my naivety I assumed it was the newest technology. I wish I had done more research and used a picosure but hindsight is 20/20 right? I have discovered several places just a few hours away from me that use picosure so I've decided to switch practitioners for my next treatment in a few months since I have some green ink. On the picosure cynosure website, there is a place that shows all the lasers in the US and you can put in your zip code to find out which one is closest to you. I'm starting to understand why people get so bummed out about this process. I PAID someone to do this to my skin, pretty masochistic. ;-)

On the plus side, in the area of the former mega blister where the skin is basically raw meat, the black is already gone. A flower that was outlined in black with yellow petals now just has the yellow shapes with no black at all. Hopefully, 2 more treatments once I switch to pico and this will be over. I think my fast reaction is because of a few different things....

1. The age of the ink (25 yrs) since tattoos fade over time.
2. I live in a very hot climate, and am in the sun a lot. I've never fussed with sunscreen on my lower body as much as I do the upper. Sun expose will seriously fade a tattoo over the long run.
3. I really suspect the setting was up too high on the first laser and my mega blisters are because I got a massive dose.

I'll update in a few weeks but since so many posts ask about where the picosures are located, I thought it would be helpful to mention the locator tool on their website. So glad I found realself because other's experiences do make this easier.

About 13 weeks after first treatment.

I'm really happy with the changes after just one laser treatment. It's hard to tell what the larger image originally was. The entire tattoo looks much lighter. Some of the thin outlines are completely gone and thicker black lines are broken and dotted.

Had 2nd laser treatment, switched to Picosure this time.

It's been about 2 weeks since my second treatment. Changed doctors after finding a local plastic surgeon's office that uses Picosure. I decided against numbing cream since I've read it might interfere with the laser and iced my ankle for a half hour right before treatment. I couldn't tell that there was any difference in the amount of pain, from ice or the different laser. Still felt like hot grease shot over and over on my skin. I could tell from the first day that the laser burn seemed to be more concentrated and a cleaner burn if that makes sense. The first time the blisters covered everything, the tattoo and skin right around it were a big mess. This time only the skin with ink burned. Compared to last time the blisters were minimal. Normal sized, no monsters. The last time the burn took a very long time to heal. Things still were kinda raw after 6 weeks. I'm not completely back to regular skin after 2 weeks but it's close. I'm hoping to see a lot more fading in the next few months before I go back. I can't tell much difference yet except on the green ink. The green got brighter and more intense with the first laser, is much lighter now. The picosure was more expensive. My tattoo is 4 1/2 square inches. At 100 bucks a square inch, I'm hoping the doctor is right at estimating 2 more treatments needed. I've spent $850 so far and will need to fork over another 900 for 2 more sessions. I'm so ready to be able to wear skirts to work which I've never been able to do without wearing tights. I live in one of the hottest states so tights aren't much of an option. Staying optimistic and trying to be patient.

6 weeks after 3rd treatment.

I think the numbing cream I used interfered with the effectiveness of the laser. I don't see much difference.

Fell off the removal wagon but trying again.

I lost interest in getting rid of this for a while but am tired of a half there-ghosted tatt so I'm starting back. My 4th session was about a month ago. You have to get up close to it to tell it's a tattoo anymore, from first glance looks like some weird bruising on my ankle.

3 weeks after the 5th session.

There's always a strange point in the healing process for me where the tattoo actually looks darker than when I got it zapped. As if the ink is rising up to the surface before breaking up. I'm sure that's not what really causes it but freaks me out a little every time. tired of this. I think I'm about $1500 into it at this point. The doctor brought up "acceptance" as a topic this time, that I should decide on what I'm willing to live with in terms of the ink that's still there. He's basically saying it won't all go away. I kinda wanted to punch him. Weirdly enough, even with the massive blisters, no scarring so far.
Tyler Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Campbell was very nice, no problems but switched to Dr. Motlagh's office for a better laser.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
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