Tattoo means “permanent”…or does it?

tattoo-progression

Like many other people, I had tattoos applied early on in life…like when I just turned 18 kind of early!  …or was it earlier?

It’s funny the mind set I had when I was young.  I remember wanting a dragon and tiger tattoo SO BAD to rebel against my parents, and celebrate my ethnicity (kind of).  Boy, was I naive!  I didn’t research artists and at the time, I was under the impression that all tattoo artists are created equal….I know better now.

So I walked out of the tattoo parlor, 7 hours later with a black “blob” on my back.  At the time I was happy, but I soon regretted it.  What to do?  Tattoos are permanent, right?  Well…maybe 10 years ago they were, but technology has come a long way…

Thank goodness technology is allowing us to “change our mind” – well kind of, at least!

I have (or had) multiple tattoos, and over the years, I have had procedures with different types of lasers.  I have had the “Ruby Laser”, Q-switched laser by “Alma Lasers“, and lastly the Q=switch by Lutronic.

I had the Ruby Laser done around 2004.  Tattoo removal wasn’t as popular as it is now, and i must say that it was the most painful, ineffective treatment I’ve had.  I was expecting to scar from the treatment because the doctor told me that I should expect it, and guess what? I did.

This tattoo was on my wrist and I must say, I had quite a bit of residual ink left AND a scar.  I didn’t mind though because I despised the tattoo and would much rather trade the tattoo for a scar.  It has now healed quite well though and you can’t see the scarring at all.

The second tattoo removal laser was the Alma laser.  This was the laser used for my back that I have pictured.  I had 2 treatments of this on my big black blob.  I must say that this was one of the scariest LOOKING because I scabbed over, and bruised.  The efficacy may have been better because the first few treatments are always the most effective, but man, it REALLY itched during the healing stage.  I was slathering on hydrocortisone ointment like it was nobody’s business!  I don’t have pictures of it, but it faded DRASTICALLY after only 2 treatments.  This was my favorite, albeit most painful laser.  I felt that the pain was well worth it because the tattoo didn’t scar, and faded enough to make me feel the “no pain, no gain” mentality.  The risk for infection was a bit higher though, so I opted for the nest “great laser” – the  Lutronic brand laser.

I think I waited about a year between the Alma laser treatment and Lutronic treatment.  The attached photo is sequential clockwise so that photo on the right hand corner is the “after treatment” photo.  As you can see, I am quite red and bruised, however, I had no scabbing at all.  I must say that even with numbing cream, this treatment BURNED!  I consider myself to have a fairly high pain tolerance but yes, I jumped a few times!

I still am unsure about how effective this treatment was compared to the other treatments, but it did work.  I bet that tattoo removal is going to get more and more popular as technology advances.  Anyone else have luck with this tattoo removal?

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