Thursday, 20 September 2018

Sweet 16

Happy Birthday Tattoo

16th year of existence

Well, I'm a day late posting but it doesn't change the fact. Despite almost 3 years of being shot in the face (arm) with a laser, my tattoo still exists. Last year I said "I'm worried it's going to have a 16th birthday next year" and it has. However looking at last year's image, there's a big change. Here's a photo from today. Not a huge change from my most recent post.

20 Sept 2018
It's making progress though. There's a huge change over last year.

Tattoo fading from 1 year of picosure sessions
19 Sept 2017 / 2018
The Tattoo is now 16. I don't know what my next landmark is. I was hoping it wouldn't make it this far. I think January is my next check-in, that will be 3 years of removal. I am expecting I'll still have a tattoo then, but I'm not planning on getting another session before then. We'll see how it goes.
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Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Session 12, Picosure 8: The Fate of The Furios [Ink]

  Eighth Picosure Session

Twelfth removal session

Right so, I have run out of movie puns. I hadn't expected this to go so high when I started. I'm now 17 days since my last session. In some overwhelmingly sad news, the tattoo turns 16 tomorrow. At this stage, it should be planning for college and trying to figure out its life, not getting shot with a laser every few months.

So, funny story. On Friday 6th July, I was cycling home from work when a car and I had a disagreement about which direction we should go. He decided to turn left, I however, was quite committed to going straight. Unfortunately [for me], his car was bigger and heavier than both me and my bike. Fret not dear readers, I was relatively unharmed. A few scratches, bruises and a fairly badly sprained wrist. I was quite lucky, I did a fairly good job of damage avoidance, though not enough. Anyway, in late August I had a physio session so asked he to look at my arm, she suggested a heat pack. That evening, I asked my wife if we had a hot / cold pack. She went and got the one we've owned for several years. "What's so funny about this?", you ask dear readers. Cast your minds back to my earlier posts and you'll remember my wine bottle cooler thing trick, well I had a cold pack all this time!%^&!%^&&*!&*^!

Anyway, I used the cool pack this time. The laser session wasn't too bad, it was painful but not the worst. She did a double pass again. 17 days isn't much time, there is some fading but it's not normally for a few weeks before you start to see it. I had said that I hope it won't make it to 16, it has.

Anyway, tomorrow is sweet 16, I hope to post a latest picture for your enjoyment. We all know this is what you're really here for, without further ado, my photo diary.

Tattoo shortly before picosure laser removal
01 Sept 2018
Above was taken around 2 hours before the session. I have shaved my arm at this point. Looking at it now, it's interesting to see how faded it looks. I think right now, it looks less faded, because of healing time.

Tattoo 48 hours after picosure laser removal
01 Sept 2018
This was almost immediately after I got home. I had taken a little time so it was maybe one hour after the session. My skin is pretty swollen here. I had just taken the dressing off so it was the first time it saw air. This was before I used my new found cold pack.

Tattoo 24 hours after picosure tattoo removal
02 Sept 2018

The morning after, around 24 hours after the session. I don't think it would have been the worst, but I'm quietly confident that the cool pack helped.

Tattoo 48 hours after picosure laser removal
03 Sept 2018
Around 48 hours later. There's still some reddening but it's not so bad. I can't remember how long it took to totally heal.

One week after Picosure Tattoo Removal
08 Sept 2018
One week later. The swelling has totally subsided but there's still a little pinking of the skin on the tattoo.
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Thursday, 30 August 2018


The Beginning of the End

My (hopefully) last Picosure session

I have just on a whim booked my eighth Picosure session. I firmly believe that this will be my last session. I'm actually not even sure if I need it but I think it will be the one that blasts what's left of the ink. I am excited and weirdly nervous about this. The session is scheduled for 2 Sept at 9.45 (GMT+1). Removing the tattoo has been the goal for almost 3 years now. It's kind of weird knowing that soon it will actually be gone.

 The tattoo turns 16 on 19 September. I had hope this would not happen, I now think it will but I expect it'll be a shadow of itself, if even visible. Typically you don't see fading until about a month after the session. It will be interesting to see what this does / doesn't look on 19 September.

Tattoo fading before my seventh Picosure session
30 Aug 2018
Looking at the above image, I actually wonder if I need the session. To me it's still quite visible but I'm not sure if others will notice it. I spoke at a work conference 2 years ago, my hope was the tattoo would look like that for the conference. I'm speaking at the same conference in November, maybe this year it will actually be gone.

I'm going to take a photo of my shaven arm, as is tradition, on Saturday morning. I'll probably not post on the day but will keep track of healing and recovery. My plan is to get a photo updated on 19 September to see what 16 looks like.
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Thursday, 5 July 2018

Babe I'm on Fire

 3 Years of Tattoo Removal Later

So it's almost 2 months since my last session. They said that the last one might be my final but I really don't think it will be. There is good progress, there is a lot of fading. Sadly, I still have a tattoo. I had hoped it wouldn't live to see it's 16th birthday but it will. Many times now I have thought that it will be less than one year before it's gone and each time I have been wrong.

I have no idea the impact here, it's possible that if I just wait it will eventually disappear. However I know that another session will speed this up greatly. I'm going to take my time, I think he said decide in August or September if I want another one, that's still more than a month away. It's possible that by the time my awesome tan fades I won't need another session.

Black ink tattoo fading from picosure laser
5 July 2018
Looking at the photo you really can see how much it has faded. That's my arm with a tan by the way, in case how tanned I am isn't apparent. Factor 50 and avoiding the sun has once again given me a splendid tan. Among the best I have ever had.

The tattoo turns 16 on 19 September. I am still hopeful it won't, but not confident. My next decision will be when is my next session. If this summer weather continues, I'll likely wait until October for the next session. That's still 3 months so there may be some significant progress by then.
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Monday, 14 May 2018

Session 11, Picosure 7: The Force Awakens

Seventh Picosure Session

Just back from my seventh Picosure session.  I had asked for the woman who did the last session and was told it would be with her. However when I got there, I was treated by the man who had done all the others. Nothing against him, he's a really nice guy. I just felt my last session was the single biggest impact session on the whole removal journey, I genuinely felt one more with her may have cleared it. When I went in, he thought it was fading really well. He thinks at this stage that maybe this session will be my last and wondered if I even needed it, he said maybe one more at the end of the summer and then it will just be a matter of patience.

As I feel he goes lighter than he needs to, definitely for me, I suggest he go in as heavy as possible for maximum impact. He said he was going to do a double pass. I was ok with this as the last double pass was the second highest impact session. I should always question though, while she caused me a lot of pain last time, the fading is cumulative, maybe that was unnecessary, I will never know. Anyway, it's currently pretty sore. I did my wine bottle cooler thing with this one. I had expected another really harsh session so left a tea towel in the freezer overnight.  It's just over 90 minutes since the session completed, the below photo was taken after about 60 minutes of cooling. I'm going to wait until this heals before publishing (Apr 21, 15:44 UTC+1).

Tattoo 60 minutes after Picosure removal session
21 Apr 2018

It's now 14 May 2018, apologies to all who follow my blog (all 0 of you) for not updating sooner. I was away for work and too busy. Things are looking good on the tattoo front, it is definitely showing signs of fading. I really think one more, if that, is all I'll need. Going to ride this one out until September and see how I feel. If it's still pretty visible then, I'll go for what I expect to be my last session.

Tattoo One Week After Picosure Laser Removal
28 Apr 2018
The above was take one week later. It's still a little swollen and my skin is a bit red. It's not easy to see in the photo but I'm going by memory. If you look at some of the (much) lighter ink you can see it's more raised than it should be. I think the total healing time was close to two weeks. I was in California for work, while it wasn't hot, it was sunny, sunny enough for my Irish skin to burn. I was applying lots of sun cream, despite being cold.

Tattoo fading from Picosure Laser Removal
14 May 2018

I took the above today, it's getting really faint now. In some light, you can't even see some it it, though it looks visible in the photo. Like I said above, I'll wait until September before deciding if I need another session. At that stage, I'll be approaching 3 years of laser removal, far more than I anticipated I'd need. He only charged me €50 for the session on 21 Apr, it was normally €75. That's a total of €500 I've spent on Picosure, I think there was a €30 consultation fee and I spent €240 on q-switched. So far that's a total of €770 on removal. Still cheaper than the first place I went to. So that's an €80 tattoo that has cost me nearly 10 times that to remove. There's the professional awkwardness and the hassle of removal. If you want a tattoo, get one, but think about it for at least 24 hours. If you regret it, it will take a long time and a lot of money to remove.
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