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 Post subject: Laser tattoo removal
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:20 am 
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I have a tattoo I don't like, and was planning to possibly get it covered eventually. It would take many years for me to save up enough money for that, but it felt like my only option.

However, I might have a chance to get it removed for free (a doctor my husband does work for is looking for a volunteer for promo videos). I never really thought about it because I would never be able to afford it, but now I'm seriously considering it, and would love to hear of any experience with laser tattoo removal before I make a decision.

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 Post subject: Re: Laser tattoo removal
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:52 pm 
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It is incredibly painful. Like, beyond that which words can describe. I can't speak to long-term results because the first go-through was so painful I've been putting off the next treatment for, um, a year.

Apparently you can put numbing cream on which will take the edge off, but expect it to still feel absolutely awful.

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 Post subject: Re: Laser tattoo removal
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:57 pm 
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That was my main fear! I have a pretty high pain threshold, but I'm not sure I can handle it, especially if it takes a lot of sessions. Thank you for the honest feedback!

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Sometimes I think, it's really my lack of cybernetic implants that keeps me from being truly human. - Mars
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 Post subject: Re: Laser tattoo removal
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:17 pm 
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And the stress of trying to look as though you're not in pain because you're being filmed! It sounds like a great opportunity though.
I presume you're looking at tattoo forums for their experiences too? I have no knowledge of these things but it seems people report vastly different levels of pain for tattoos on the same body part so, whether it is down to the tattoo artist, the type of tattoo or the persons pain threshold generally or on that day, I guess removal might be the same.


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 Post subject: Re: Laser tattoo removal
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:26 pm 
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Mine is quite small (about three square inches) so it was quick--30-45 seconds, and it is in one of the worst spots for ink retention and pain of removal (way to think things though 20 year old J-Dub!).

That being said, if I could get it removed for free I would do it in a heartbeat. Yes it is painful and awful and you kind of want to vomit the whole time. But it's quick and you can't do it more frequently than every two months or so.

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"I'd rather have dried catshit! I'd rather have astroturf! I'd rather have an igloo!"~Isa

"But really, anyone willing to dangle their baby in front of a crocodile is A-OK in my book."~SSD


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 Post subject: Re: Laser tattoo removal
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:00 pm 
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May I ask where yours is? Mine is on my lower leg, just above the ankle, and is about eight square inches.

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Sometimes I think, it's really my lack of cybernetic implants that keeps me from being truly human. - Mars
Every time a man helps me put my coat on a stream comes gushing from between my legs. - Mr. Shankly


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 Post subject: Re: Laser tattoo removal
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:42 pm 
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Nape of my neck. It and inner wrists are apparently the worst for pain and retaining ink.

Edit: and mine is VERY black with a LOT of ink.

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"I'd rather have dried catshit! I'd rather have astroturf! I'd rather have an igloo!"~Isa

"But really, anyone willing to dangle their baby in front of a crocodile is A-OK in my book."~SSD


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 Post subject: Re: Laser tattoo removal
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:45 pm 
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Just a question, can you ask and pay for a local anesthetic? I know it is nothing like what you are looking at doing but I had laser hair removal and it hurt in certain areas (eyebrows) but the only option for that was a desensitizing cream. I'm just wondering if there are numbing options to help with the pain.

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 Post subject: Re: Laser tattoo removal
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:53 pm 
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Thanks for all the info! I will have to look into local anesthetic. I know there's numbing cream, but I don't know if there are any other options. My tattoo is black (which I've read is one of the easiest colors to remove), and it's faded quite a bit since it's around 10 years old, so maybe those things will help? I've decided I'm definitely going to set up an appointment with the doctor, and if I'm an ideal candidate and I like what I hear, I'll go for it.

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Sometimes I think, it's really my lack of cybernetic implants that keeps me from being truly human. - Mars
Every time a man helps me put my coat on a stream comes gushing from between my legs. - Mr. Shankly


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 Post subject: Re: Laser tattoo removal
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:01 pm 
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If you want to see the worst case, hyped up version, there is a documentary called Erasing Hate. The SPLC paid for a former neo-Nazi to have his face and hand tattoos removed so he could get a job and not be walking billboard for racism.

He had more treatments and suffered more than you would unless you have secret facial tattoos that you hid really well...

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 Post subject: Re: Laser tattoo removal
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:07 am 
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I'm currently having a couple of large-ish pieces lasered off. One is about the size of my hand, and the other is double that. I first had a consultation at a local skin clinic and the girl I spoke to was super ditzy and tried to answer all of my questions by looking at YouTube videos that would cover it. I didn't go back there. I ended up going to a tattoo shop in Sydney which has one guy that just does laser, and he's great. It's really nice to be able to go into a shop and have people be really nice about it rather than nurses or beauticians who might make comments about how tattoos are stupid.

On the recommendation of my laser guy, I've used a cream called Dr Numb. To be honest, I don't actually know if it's vegan but he swears by the stuff and I was a bit intimidated about my first session so I just bought it. You rub it over the whole area about an hour before your session and then cling wrap it. You take the cling wrap off when you're about to start, wipe off the excess cream and you're good to go. It works really well, I was sort of poking the area with my nails to see how it was working and I couldn't feel it. Of course, the laser goes into the skin so you do still feel it, but I found it tolerable. To me, the sensation was exactly like when you put chopped garlic into too-hot oil and it splatters. It hurts, but it's bearable. The thing that really struck me about the whole process was how fast it is. It only took a couple of minutes for my hand-sized piece to be lasered, and I think I was only at the shop for about 10-15 minutes all up.

Here's my before and (immediately) after:

Image

This was taken while I was still in the room so it's pretty angry-looking, but it calmed down really quickly. Healing was much easier than healing a tattoo, and there was no soreness at all the next day. It came up really well- it's light enough to easily cover (which is the plan) but there are a couple of darker spots which stuck around. I'm going to have this quickly lasered once more just to even those spots out (so that we don't have to really think about them when drawing up the cover up design), then I'll move on to the other piece. As you said, black is fairly easy to lift. Some colours are trickier- and luckily for me, the other piece I'm having lasered has the two hardest colours to remove (red and dark green).

Let me know if you have any other questions! I talked to the laser guy pretty much throughout the whole process and he told me a fair bit about it, so hopefully I can help to answer anything I might have missed.

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 Post subject: Re: Laser tattoo removal
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:46 am 
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Wow! That is a huge improvement. Mine is so black that afterward my friends would look and go "um...I think maybe it's faded a little bit?" And the Dr said he expects it to take 8-12 sessions. There's a lesson somewhere here, kids.

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"I'd rather have dried catshit! I'd rather have astroturf! I'd rather have an igloo!"~Isa

"But really, anyone willing to dangle their baby in front of a crocodile is A-OK in my book."~SSD


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 Post subject: Re: Laser tattoo removal
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:00 am 
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Wow, thanks Erinnerung! Yeah, mine is very black, so I'm guessing it will take a lot more sessions to get it that faded. I'll just have to wait and see what the doctor says.

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Sometimes I think, it's really my lack of cybernetic implants that keeps me from being truly human. - Mars
Every time a man helps me put my coat on a stream comes gushing from between my legs. - Mr. Shankly


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 Post subject: Re: Laser tattoo removal
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:28 pm 
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Good luck poopiebitch.


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 Post subject: Re: Laser tattoo removal
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:58 pm 
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Erinnerung wrote:

On the recommendation of my laser guy, I've used a cream called Dr Numb. To be honest, I don't actually know if it's vegan but he swears by the stuff and I was a bit intimidated about my first session so I just bought it. You rub it over the whole area about an hour before your session and then cling wrap it. You take the cling wrap off when you're about to start, wipe off the excess cream and you're good to go. It works really well, I was sort of poking the area with my nails to see how it was working and I couldn't feel it.


That sounds like EMLA, or lidocaine. I quick internet search found it available commercially in the US from amazon, but you might be able to get a prescription for a stronger formula.

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