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Wow, I posted about getting tattoo removal on Instagram and had an onslaught of messages and texts saying, tell me more! So, I figured it would be perfect to put together a tattoo removal before and after post. This is a process, it will take months and multiple sessions to see the end result, so this will be updated as time goes by. Enough people wanted information NOW that I will start this now and keep you updated!
The basics, I got a terrible tattoo when I was young and dumb. I’ve hated it for nearly a decade and I finally decided, with my wedding coming up I decided it was finally time to do something about it.
Now, I am not a doctor, this is my experience. Your results may be very different. You may not be a good candidate for tattoo removal. So, do your own research, talk to your own doctor, and figure out what is going to be the best course of action for you.
So, the basics of professional tattoo removal is lasers are targeting the ink in your tattoo and breaking it up. Then letting your body heal and absorb the ink. One thing I found out when I was looking around and calling offices was that not all lasers are created equal. My tattoo was colored, specifically had green, which is difficult for most lasers. After talking to multiple offices, they all pointed me toward Seattle Skin & Laser. If you’re in the Seattle area, they are who you want to talk to, they have the best lasers, and are capable of taking care of the most colors.
I set up a consultation, and I was really happy with the dynamic office, and team. They were exceptionally professional and made me feel very comfortable. They were also honest, they were sensitive to the cost, and told me, it’s going to hurt.
Tattoo Removal Before and After
My first session, I was so nervous. I didn’t know what to expect on the pain front, and I am a baby when it comes to pain. I had the handsome hunk drive me because I didn’t know how I would be feeling after the procedure. Long story short, I’m happy he was there, but he didn’t need to be. For future sessions, if it works in his schedule to be there and drive me home, especially since my tattoo is on my right foot, he will. However, if he isn’t available, I’ll be fine without him. So, if you need to drive yourself to and from, you’ll be okay.
Yeah, it hurts. There is no way around this. I was warned that it feels like hot grease on your skin. And, that is completely accurate. However, it’s fast. The laser is crazy fast. As soon as you register pain in one spot, they have already moved on, and as soon as they do, the pain stops in the previous location. So, yes, it hurts, but it’s completely manageable. I used a numbing cream before hand, and a cool air blast that helped manage the pain during. After, it felt like a really bad sunburn. Unpleasant, but not terrible.
A long time ago, I read that you should budget about 10x the cost of your original tattoo for the removal. I have no idea how accurate that is. There is so many different factors, color, size, how much you originally pay, etc. However, the idea is just so you know, it’s a lot more expensive to remove a tattoo then it is to get one. The 10x cost is pretty accurate for me.
The Next Day
The next day I still had a little swelling and my tattoo area was still black and blue (from being bruised, not the tattoo). The pain had gone down as well, it felt more irritated than anything. Like, when you have a sunburn, and you feel fine, and then you move, and oh yeah, you remember you have a sunburn.
This is the hardest part, you have to wait. Patience is not a virtue I naturally posses, so this is extra hard for me. It takes multiple sessions, about 8 weeks or so apart, to remove a tattoo. It takes those 8 weeks between the sessions for your body to heal, break down the ink, and absorb it. So, it will take months and multiple sessions, for me to see my full results.
When you first have the laser on your skin, it turns everything frosty. Within half an hour that has subsided. Instead the area where my tattoo was puffed up, and turned black and blue. Once I got home, I elevated my foot with some ice. This helped with the pain and swelling. It took a couple weeks for the bruising to subside. And, then over the next several weeks, I noticed my tattoo turning gray and getting lighter.
Let’s take a look at my tattoo removal before and after photos after one session…