November 2, 2020

Laser Tattoo Removal - My Experience

Tattoo removal can be an anxiety inducing google search for those of us who have been left with unwanted tattoos. That first late night Google search is the beginning of admitting that we are not happy with what was meant to be a permanent piece of one-of-a-kind art in the name of self expression. This is embarrassing to admit but I had started to feel like a stranger when I would catch myself in the mirror with a full arm of brightly colored YA novel tattoos. I will ALWAYS love the subject matter, I fell in love with reading when I disappeared into the world of Harry Potter as a stubborn 3rd grader, hell bent on never enjoying a single book. I no longer want it all over the skin of my right arm.

I am that person who always worries that I'm going to be unhappy with my tattoos. Some of my tattoos I absolutely love and wouldn't dream of having them removed, to be clear, I have nothing against tattoos.

I was admiring the fruit of my removal sessions the other day and thinking about how scary it once felt to admit that I didn't like these tattoos, and even more so, the sadness and frustration that comes with not feeling at home in my own skin. I can tell you that based on my experience and research that the “You’re stuck with it” days are a thing of the past. 

I am currently 6 sessions in to a removal on my left forearm and 1 session into the almost full sleeve on my right arm. My first few sessions were completed by a nurse in a plastic surgeons office. I went maybe twice a year and the progress was mind numbingly slow.... and then I discovered Invisible Ink, which is now Removery. Removery instantly caught my eye. The office that is local to me is not in a clinical setting, they have an active social media presence and to be blunt, they just seemed really cool. They were able to easily quote me a cost for a full removal. No - they won't be able to tell you exactly how many sessions it will take, because they didn't do the original tattoo, they don't know how heavy handed the artist was, what kind of ink was used, or how deep the scarring is, but they do offer some great benefits to offset any uneasiness you may have regarding the journey you're about to embark on.

1. It's budget friendly! You can pay via a monthly (interest free!!) payment plan which makes the process very affordable long term.

2. If you end up needing more sessions than quoted to achieve your level of desired fading/removal, than you will receive a certain number of free sessions to complete the project or get you closer to your desired outcome.

3. Their website is chock full of information if you're like me and you want to know the science behind what is happening to your skin during and after your sessions.

You won't see me sugarcoating the process. In my own experience, it is about 10x more painful that getting a tattoo but takes about 50x less time. My pain tolerance is high but the surface area being covered is immense. It's worth it, but it is not by any means comfortable or fun. I have incredibly sensitive skin to begin with so the treated area always blows up like a fluid filled balloon for about 4 days at which point it begins to go down. All in all, my recovery time between sessions is about 5 days, After 5 days I can wear form fitting shirts again. I have been going back about every month. A 3 week recovery time in between is recommended for the ink to work its way through your system.

Now let's talk before/after - the real reason you're still reading, am I right?!

My first removal session on this tattoo was in 2016. I loved the dot work in the beginning but it very quickly began to fade and blend together so I decided to have this piece removed. I have had 6 sessions so far, only 4 with Removery:

All of this to say, I have dozens of photos in my phone of this particular piece over the past 4 years, the change/fade doesn't happen right away but being able to see the progress and see that there is an end in sight is half the reason I'm writing this post.

Keep an eye on my blog for more before/after goodies on my Potter arm. I'm already seeing the changes after just one session but I want to wait until it's more dramatic to share.

If you have any questions about the process in general or my experience with it please do not hesitate to reach out!



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