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laser tattoo removal?

(51 Posts)
namechangeforphotos Mon 13-Jul-15 08:06:05

Hi, please tell me about laser tattoo removal:
have you tried it?
does it work?
rough idea of price?
how long does it take?
how bad does it look while its happening?--does it hurt?--

Got this one stupid small tattoo on the top of my upper arm, wish I'd never had it done (its about 15 years old), its faded to fuck and was never quite the right colour anyway, and I hate the thought of having someone comment on it. This hasn't happened recently, because I haven't gone sleeveless except the odd desperately hot or unavoidable occasion. But I can feel people looking at it on the beach/swim pool and I hate it, I just cannot imagine a life where I walk round in sleeveless vests with it on show and quite frankly its starting to really piss me off.


namechangeforphotos Mon 13-Jul-15 08:08:24

Oh and yeah covering it with another would be a good option, given its small size and faded-ness, but I don't trust myself not to hate the cover up one too in 15 years, only it'll be bigger and I'll be 50, not for me thanks sad

Thisishowyoudisappear Mon 13-Jul-15 08:45:36

I'm having one removed with the picosure laser. I think it's got cheaper recently, will now be £79 a session for v small (under 3cm). Hurts a lot, but is very quick. Heals quickly after treatment but you must keep covered from uv light. I am pleased with how mine is going but it is a commitment. Why not have a consultation - if yours is small, old and faded it may only need about four sessions.

LassieKillsChickens Mon 13-Jul-15 08:52:35

I have just had my 13th sessions with Sk:n. I think I have paid about £500 so far. I have small flower on my arse. I thought I wanted a tattoo for years. I finally succumbed age 37. It cost me 40 quid. I hated it from the moment I had it and regretted it deeply. Eight years on I'm having it removed. It's been slow progress. It is very painful but bearable and over quickly as PP said. I just want to be rid of it. It's odd as no-one ever sees it, apart from DH and DCs. But I know it's there. Go for a consult at a couple of places.

Thisishowyoudisappear Mon 13-Jul-15 09:15:13

Ha, Lassie, you're not the only one ... Late 30s and changed my mind immediately! Live and learn!

TheAssassinsGuild Mon 13-Jul-15 09:34:51

Having removal here too. It's a slow process and painful, although it gets less painful as the ink fades. Mind has always healed quickly after each session. It's a long process - the longer you leave it in between sessions, the better, as your body needs time to break down the 'shattered' ink and get rid of it, so you wouldn't expect to be having sessions more frequently than every 8 weeks or so.

The easiest colour to remove is black ink, and the fresher the tattoo, the better it responds. They have to use different frequencies for different colours and some (not sure which) are particularly hard to shift. Mine was about 10 years old when I started to have the sessions, and she was unsure how well it would respond. You might have trouble shifting a 15 year old one.

Mine is a hand sized tattoo on my outer thigh, black ink only. I go to a dermatologist in Central London to have it removed and am paying £200 per session. I've had probably 7 sessions over the course of about 2 years. It is still visible, although much faded. Some areas have pretty much disappeared. I am white as a sheet though, so even the palest mark shows up on me!

To be honest, I am not sure where to go from here. I might try a couple more sessions. Apparently it is 'responding well'. A friend had a tattoo 'corrected' where the woman went over it in flesh-coloured ink. Now it is so much paler, this might be worth looking into. I haven't discussed it with anyone yet, so I don't know if it is a realistic solution or not.

At the end of the day the only way you will know whether it will shift is to try a session.

Good luck! And take painkillers half an hour or so before each session - ot does make a difference!

LassieKillsChickens Mon 13-Jul-15 10:01:33

Isn't it hideous - getting the darned things removed is much more expensive, time consuming and painful than having them in the first place.

I think red is hard to shift. Mine was black, red and green. The black has pretty much gone. Bits of the red and green have too. I have my sessions eight weeks apart. It can depend on what kind of ink was used and if one bit is deeper than another etc.

TheAssassinsGuild Mon 13-Jul-15 10:19:19

Which SK:n do you go to Lassie?

Are you going to keep on with the sessions?

The nurse who does me told me about a client who was having a tattoo removed from her arm, I think. She had a name across her wrist and had decided this would be far too painful to remove. It was the name of an ex. 'Fortunately' she had since married and had a son. And had given him the name of the ex that was tattooed across her wrist.... An alternative approach I guess...

LassieKillsChickens Mon 13-Jul-15 10:36:13

I go to the one in Southampton.

namechangeforphotos Mon 13-Jul-15 10:36:47

Oh gosh I had no idea it was that expensive shock. Think I'll have to stick it out til youngest is at school and I'm working again then sad

Thanks for the info though, good to know. Yes I cant believe no one has yet developed a skin coloured ink for cover ups, perhaps its just virtually impossible. Bloody thing was supposed to have been navy with black outline, it came out bright blue anyway so it was wrong from the beginning, but I could live with it at the its a joke sad knowing my luck it will probably turn out that bright blue is the hardest colour to get rid of haha grin

Psycobabble Mon 13-Jul-15 10:38:00

I'm considering this literally all that puts me off is the pain. How bad is it ?? Worse than gettin the actual tattoo? Because that hurt enough confused

LassieKillsChickens Mon 13-Jul-15 11:00:02

It's really not too painful. My place gives you a squishy ball to hold and squeeze. As a PP said, just take pain relief beforehand and control your breathing. It is literally all over in a few minutes (depending on the size of course).

TheAssassinsGuild Mon 13-Jul-15 11:07:27

I found it much worse than getting the tattoo. It's like being flicked HARD with a hot and stiff elastic band. They should put local anaesthetic cream on first, and taking pain killers does help. Afterwards it is very sore like a burn. Will be red and can go crusty. I've never had a break in the skin, but I think it can happen. I leave a dressing on for the first couple of days and then it is OK to leave open.

Only way to find out is to try it and see! It depends on where it is on your body - thinner skin and more nerve endings equals more pain. And just how you cope with it.

Psycobabble Mon 13-Jul-15 11:12:59

Squishy ball Eh , no gas and air ?? sad haha

The tattoo I want removing was the most painful tattoo iv had felt like been burnt so I assume it's be even worse to remove as must be a sensitive area .

I think il just have to bite the bullet and try it! If it's to painful to go back I won't really be any worse off

mandy214 Mon 13-Jul-15 11:26:28

Same here. Paid £25 to have a small flower on the top of my thigh great decision, not as a post-university rebellion. Had it removed about 10 years later at a cost of about £600 I think. Never liked it, just reminded me of a rash decision that clearly back fired. Black outline went very easily, green and red harder to shift. I have tiny little bits left, looks a bit like a bruise.

Feels like someone pelting you with very small, hot ball bearings. Hurts much more than getting a tattoo in the first place. Yes to it feeling like a burn and being red and crusty afterwards. So worth it though.

LassieKillsChickens Mon 13-Jul-15 12:01:57

Mandy are you happy with the results? How did you know when you'd got to a point with the removal whereby they'd done all that they could?

mandy214 Mon 13-Jul-15 13:48:39

Well I wouldn't say happy, more like I have other stuff to worry about now. Mine was / is probably the size of a 10p piece. The other time it can be seen is on holiday if I'm wearing a bikini. Like I said, it looks more like a bruise now, the green has faded to a bluey grey - there is no red or black left. If you were up close & knew that it used to be a tattoo, you could probably still make out that the green was probably leaf-shaped in a former life but I think I just got to the point where I was trying for a baby and didn't want to put myself through that and spend £80 or whatever it was per session. I'm sure with more sessions it would fade even more, but I very rarely think about it now.

daftyburd Mon 13-Jul-15 17:31:11

I am having one faded and then getting a cover up. I have had 3 sessions so far. £50 each session for me and I can see real fading. Hurts bad though. Mine is blistered and bruised. The therapist did have it at highest setting so it will go quicker. For some reason she thinks I can handle it. Why didn't I wait until this was available...

ILovedThe90s Mon 13-Jul-15 20:39:44

I'm going to start having mine removed in September when the DC go back to school. A new shop has opened in my town and they do YAG laser to remove the tattoo, at a cost of £40 per session and I was told I'll need about 6 or 7 sessions. I was also told that green tattoo ink is the hardest and most expensive colour to remove, I luckily only have black, red, white and blues. I had mine done 20 years ago with a boyfriend. I was underage, and told my mum it was a stick on, she believed me for over a year lol! It's an awful tattoo on my upper arm that I tried to cover up with another tattoo 10 years ago, but still hate it. The tattooist who covered it up, said I went to a really bad place the first time round as they scarred my arm.

I just want to be able to wear an f*in sleeveless outfit!!!

LassieKillsChickens Mon 13-Jul-15 21:14:19

Good luck Iloved. Just be prepared to end up needing more sessions. I was told I'd need 6 to 10. I'm now on 13 and will need another 2 or 3 I imagine. I'm never sure how much they manipulate the amount of sessions you need tbh. I know they can only go to a certain frequency, and I don't think they would risk hurting/scarring you anyway. Tell you what though, where I go is heaving with ppl having tattoos removed. Never, ever again!

ILovedThe90s Tue 14-Jul-15 10:41:12

Thanks Lassie. Hoping it really will only be 6 sessions... I'm tempted to get a little tattoo where no one will see, once this other one has gone! Bad idea? I thought a little one around my belly button grin

LassieKillsChickens Tue 14-Jul-15 13:33:13

DON'T DO IT!!! Get a temporary one there and live with that for a while, then do it if you really want to.

ilovetosleep Tue 14-Jul-15 13:42:04

I've been reading this and also massively regret my tattoo. Like a pp I usually have other things I worry about but once in a while j obsess over it for a few weeks until I forget agai. It's on my Lowe back, about the size of a small pear. Black only. The thing that worries me is that I think mine scarred me, I have a slight raised bump where the ink is. Is that normal, and if not had anyone had removal where they have had this kind of scarring?

DollyTwat Tue 14-Jul-15 13:44:38

I've had one removed at Sk:n
It was a small playboy bunny so not a big tattoo. It does hurt, but it's over quickly

I was under the impression that older tattoos are easier to remove, as the inks they use now are more vibrant

Sk:n will do a test sample for you so you get an idea of how well it will fade, and they do discounts so worth waiting til they have a promotion. I think the machine they use only works when there's ink to target, so once the tattoo had faded as much as it's going to, that's it.

SophiePendragon Tue 14-Jul-15 13:54:50

I had I think one or two sessions a long while ago as I had a horrid tattoo that I had felt bullied into having done, never liked from the start and really wanted it to disappear.

It was very painful. I didn't like the person doing the removal and felt they probably quite enjoyed inflicting pain, which didn't help.

Also I felt the reaction it produced in terms of harm to the skin was quite appalling - looking it up a few years ago it seems they have not ruled out a link between laser treatment and skin cancer so that concerns me.

My tattoo had faded a lot after the session(s) I had and so I decided to leave it, as it looked much better like that anyway and you couldn't really see it so much or tell what it was properly.

Now it's a half-reminder of my foolishness in letting someone do that to me, and I don't mind it being there as it is covered most of the time anyway.

I have other things to spend money on too - using it for that feels a bit unfair on my children when it was my mistake to begin with iyswim.

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