I made the decision to have the tattoo on my back removed for various reasons:
1) I made the mistake of having a tattoo of words, which is a quote that I don’t feel that strongly about anymore.
2) Since having my hair in a bob I hated that it was always visible, and that people would try and read what it said (and get it wrong). I found I was choosing clothes to wear that I knew would cover it up.
3) I didn’t feel the tattoo looked that nice anymore and was a bit ‘blobby’. If I ever get married I would absolutely hate for it to be on show on my wedding day.
So, with all that in mind, I decided to go for a consultation with Pat at ‘Never Forever’ in Ripley and I would highly recommend. Pat explained everything to me; how it works, how many sessions I’d probably need, the cost, aftercare etc. And then came my test patch! I’ll explain a little bit more…
How it works…
Admittedly, I hadn’t really done any research as to how my tattoo would be removed. I just assumed that the laser would burn away at the ink there and then, and may scar. It turns out that the risk of scarring is actually quite small! During my consultation I was very surprised to learn about how the process works. The laser shatters the ink into small particles without harming the surrounding skin, then those particles are flushed out by the body’s immune system. The stronger the immune system, the better it should work. The ink particles enters the blood stream, pass through the kidneys, and… COME OUT IN YOUR WEE! I found this absolutely bizarre (no I haven’t noticed anything different about my wee). The closer the tattoo is to the heart, the quicker your body should flush out the ink, so tattoos on wrists, ankles etc are much more difficult to remove. After a session, the tattoo will continue to fade over the next 6 weeks or so as the body flushes out the ink particles. I had my first session just over a week ago, and I’ve booked my next one for around Christmas time.
How it feels…
As I hadn’t done any research about how it works, I hadn’t done any research about whether it would hurt. Well, it did. I expected it to be around the same level of pain as having a tattoo, which I never found particularly painful. I’d consider myself to have a fairly high pain threshold; tattoos, blood tests, piercings etc have never bothered or hurt me. But this was painful. The only way I can describe it is a very strange burning sensation, a bit like hot chip fat hitting me in the back over and over again. It can’t have been THAT bad, otherwise I wouldn’t have gone back, but in terms of treatments etc that was probably the most painful thing I’ve had done.
After my test patch, my skin recovered fairly quickly and wasn’t very sore later in the day. After my first full session, it was stinging quite a bit for a few hours after and was swollen, but Pat was kind enough to provide me with aloe vera gel (99% purity), which really helps to cool and sooth it. A bit like a sun burn. I haven’t had any problems or adverse reactions, but it was been itching quite a lot over the last few days.
So, now for the pictures.
This first picture is my tattoo prior to any removal session.
Here is the tattoo immediately after the first session.
Here it is a few hours after the first session. The ‘e’ at the end of the second word was used as my test patch so has been blasted twice and it is very faded now.
And finally, here it is 6 weeks after my first session. The itching and rash have gone. This just goes to show how much it fades as the weeks go by. The ‘e’ at the end of the second word has pretty much disappeared and so has the shading inside the flower.
I am very happy with the progress so far and I cannot wait for it to be gone completely. My advice to anyone who really wants a tattoo removing is to just go for it! Mine looks a mess now, but it won’t eventually. A further post will follow after my next session.