Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Laser, Next Treatment Number......15?!

After the last treatment and the skin resurfacing procedure, I promised to show pics of healing, and overall it heals rather well:



Following my last removal that I posted about back in February of 2014, I heard on television of a new laser, and I checked with the office that I usually go to and they didn't have it. I wasn't thinking, or rather believing, that it was as amazing and great as it was being put out to be, after all it is something to be sold, but I wanted to try something new and different. So this time around, I headed out of town to go to the only clinic in my state that has the laser. Like all respectable places, they also offer anesthesia free of charge and had reasonable rates, so I thought, what do I have to lose?

Between that procedure done in February of 2014 and one that I done in November 2014 with the new Pico Sure laser, I had seen a lot of pigmentation of my regular skin color return, so it was a bit easier to see what I wanted to remove, and what ultimately, I might not even care too much about in the end. What was interesting about going to a new place is that I was able to speak to them about the laser skin resurfacing. TIP #1 from that discussion for others about to embark on laser skin resurfacing following these types of procedures: I was correct that the resurfacing laser was cutting off chunks of my skin and the local anesthesia sits just under the skin, so most of the local anesthesia is removed by the process of resurfacing with a laser, hence, the pain and that most others getting resurfacing get the twilight-sleep type of anesthesia (whatever that is). Either way, I got over it, it healed, and I was happy about that.

TIP #2 would be: wait until the entire removal process is over and done with to get laser skin resurfacing. Tattoo removal always leaves lighter skin (in my case white chunks), because the laser struggles to discriminate skin pigment from ink pigment, so it takes it all. In fact, if you look at the images below, you will even see that through the course of this, the laser tattoo removal took off a big freckle! So, I am not sure there is a benefit to doing skin resurfacing any sooner than when you think you're finished. Perhaps, they thought I was nearly finished, but I wasn't and this new clinic respected that it will be up to me when I stop as well. 

So following treatment number 14, that was a two-pass process with the Q-switched YAG laser, followed by laser skin resurfacing around the entire tattoo, and about 10 months later, this is what it looked like last week of November 2014:

Before Pico Sure Laser and After 14 Treatments 
I was pretty happy with how much color had come and thus how much scarring had gone, but there was still too much ink. I had the Pico Sure laser treatment done, but just to the black/green ink. I did not go over the entire tattoo, as I wanted to see how that faded. That was at the end of November 2014, so it's been about 2 months since I had it done and the after pics are from today.


Before....
and.....
 After!

It's had with the variation in lighting to see exact changes, and I was out of the habit of taking my usual pics and had forgotten! But, I do think the Pico Sure removed a good amount of ink, more so than the other laser would have removed. The other difference I noticed (but didn't document) was that the healing was sooooo much better! You could tell that the laser hit under the skin and not atop it, so there was no blistering nor serious bruising, and it healed in half of the time (about a week versus two weeks). I'll post healing pics next time, as I plan to get another treatment done with this laser.

Today, 2 months After Pico Sure Laser and  15 Total Treatments

A couple more thoughts about the laser skin resurfacing, it really does work to bring pigment back to the area, and subsequently, there is now a 1 to 2 shade darker halo around the tattoo area than my skin color. My guess, and as you can see from the healing pics at the top, is that they went just outside the removal area with the resurfacing laser and this has resulted in excessive pigment surrounding the removal area. It could be my eyes playing tricks on me, but I think this is obvious in the pictures as well. So, I think the TIP #3 would be to ensure that when they do the resurfacing that you ask that they stay inside the removal area when resurfacing, and ensure that the increased pigment stays inside the lines and actually better minimizes the look of the removal area. I haven't run this hypothesis (if they stay in the lines of the removal area, than there will not be a darker halo around the area) by anyone in the field, but I will next time though, so stay tuned! I'll also be asking to do the laser resurfacing at some point in the future, and when that time comes, I'll ask that they blend it out, whereby now resurfacing up and around the halo. That is if summer tanning holds this halo, as I think it will. 

Let me know what you think? This has been a long process, but I think I will be done by the end of the year! Based on what I saw from just one resurfacing treatment, I'm pretty confident that with a couple of them back to back I will see all of hypopigmentation disappear.

Also, I have not answered questions in some time, so my plan is to have another treatment in the coming weeks and then do a post with a video to reply to all of your questions. 

2 comments:

  1. Hey sara, great blog. it helped me alot going trough some hard times removing my tattoo. im currently on my 5° session

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  2. Me too! keep us updated. I am on the same boat. about how much does the skin resurfacing treatment cost? I may need that too.

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