A young woman tells us her story of laser tattoo removal.
Please note: This story has been published with permission from the author, but neither clinic in this story was ENRICH Clinic. It is being used as an example of an experience of laser tattoo removal in Melbourne.
I had just turned 19 and was out in the world with my little sister, who was 17, and we decided to get our star signs tattooed. Being a Scorpio, I figured my butt cheek was the best place for this, being pretty sexy and quite cool, if you don’t mind. My inch-squared crab-like scorpion, with shading, chosen from the book of tattoos, was a very exciting new development. It hurt more than I had anticipated.
A year later, I decided to get a pair of ballet shoes tattooed on my wrist. I am not a ballet dancer, but I fancied myself as like a ballet dancer – you know, graceful and elegant. Then another year after that, I got a cross on the back of my hand. A friend and I had this joke about religion that got out of hand, it seemed like a good idea at the time. She got one too, but on her back. All my tattoos were just plain black (it was cheaper to just have one colour).
After having these tattoos for 13 years and becoming increasingly bored and disappointed with them, I decided that I would invest some time and money getting rid of them using laser tattoo removal procedures.
By this point, the scorpion just looked like a smudge, the ballet shoes like a pair of idiot peanuts, while the cross still looks just like an ornate cross. None has held up in good stead as a tattoo meaningful to me in any way, and none are worth salvaging.
Tattoos, it turns out, take quite some time to remove using laser tattoo removal treatments. The laser breaks up the pigment into tiny little pieces, then your body just reabsorbs them as part of its normal junk scavenging activities. It was a pretty slow process, with appointments every 4-6 weeks, depending on my schedule.
At my first appointment, my tattoos were analysed and I got a quote on how many sessions they thought it would take to clear them. They said, probably about 6-8 sessions, but it would depend on my immune system’s ability to clear the pigment and heal over between sessions. It also mattered the position of my wrist and hand tattoos – the further away from your heart the tattoos are, the longer they will take to clear due to less blood flow.
The first laser tattoo removal place I went to was using an IPL laser, and it was painful and slow. After a few sessions, I looked up the best lasers to use, and realised I was making a mistake in both time, pain and money, and so found a clinic that uses a picosecond laser. It was far superior for laser tattoo removal. It was much more comfortable (still sore, but not as much), and treatment times were quicker because the laser was more powerful. If you can afford this option, take it. It is far superior.
The practitioners at the new laser tattoo removal clinic had clearly done this many times before and were able to quickly and efficiently navigate my skin, moving me around as necessary, and we did multiple tattoos in the one treatment session, sometimes two passes, whereas in the last place they charged me to do more than one pass at a time. The second laser tattoo removal place also took photographs after every session and at the beginning of every new session to measure progress.
I can’t tell you how much impact each clinic had on the tattoos regarding the time it takes, but my tattoos are completely gone after seven sessions, three with the first place, and the rest at the new clinic with the great laser.
So. About the pain. I was really nervous about how painful it was going to be. I had anaesthetic injections under the skin at the first clinic, which actually left my hand and wrist really swollen, and I could still feel the lasers, but it was helpful. The second place only put a topical numbing cream on (they offered me injections, but I opted to try the cream to try to avoid the swelling). Eventually, I stopped being scared of the pain – it’s not worse than getting the tattoo in the first place, just more of it. The treatments were short enough anyway. I got better at it.
My experience with laser tattoo removal has been very good, but my advice would be to choose a great clinic with the best quality laser you can find. It makes a big difference.
Clear skin is a phone call away.
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