Friday, 27 October 2017

Session 9, Picosure 5: Mission to Make Go

The Benefits of Picosure

I had my fifth Picosure session around 15 hours ago. I thought I'd treat you all (at this time, I have no loyal fan base of which I am aware) to a different post format. As you all (who don't exist) are now aware, I typically do one post before the session, one just after and a few over the following days, thereby showing you all (you aren't) the progress. Well what with Halloween being upon us, I thought I'd spice things up and do a megapost! I hope you non-existent people are as excited to (not) read this as I am to write it.

For clarity, the session was on Oct 26, 2017 at 7pm. I shaved my arm in the morning. I don't think you have to do this but I don't like the smell of burning hair. The photos always look different with shaven arm. I took the one below while I was in the waiting area.

Tattoo moments before Picosure laser removal
26 Oct 2017
The session went well. He did what he called a double pass. As the name suggests, this is indeed two passes of the laser. Did it hurt? Yes, yes it did. The first pass was with a wider spot. This targets the darker (I think deeper) ink and should help smash that up into smaller pieces. After this he used a narrow spot. This should get the lighter ink. I think a part of this is that the darker ink has been smashed in the first pass and its pieces the get hit with the second pass. This should have a big effect. I do remember last time he used a wider spot I was skeptical but it in fact the wider spot made a significant difference.

He told me that the first session, wider spot would be the less painful of the two passes. I disagreed, it was painful. He then told me that the next one would hurt more but my skin was now more adapted to the laser so I wouldn't feel the pain so much. I'm not 100% sure I agree with this logic. It still hurt, a pain that's hard to describe, a bit like being shot in the arm with a f*$&@%g laser! I took this next photo just after I left the clinic. I would say this was around 2 minutes after the session.

Tattoo moments after Picosure Removal
26 Oct 2017
This picture shows the swelling starting. The tattoo is getting a bit red but it's fine. It's quite elevated from the skin. I wouldn't say it was painful but it was definitely uncomfortable. The weird shine is aloe-vera gel. The lighting isn't that good but I was in a busy shopping centre at the time. I chose not to wear my jacket home. I had cycled to work, to the clinic and was cycling home. I had gotten stuck in work so cycled fast to make the appointment, I was pouring sweat, like some sort of over-watered, disgusting smelling cactus. I thought it would be good to let some cool, Irish, October air at my skin.

Tattoo swelling after Picosure removal
26 Oct 2017
Above is taken about 30 minutes after the session whenI got home. The gel has settled in but you can see some spot bleeding beginning to appear. I had put a frozen tea towel over it to try to keep the swelling down. I didn't do this for long, I had to eat etc. so need my arm. He told me that spot bleeding is good, it shows the laser is getting down deep. If it's rupturing blood vessels, it's getting to the deeper ink. Again, no idea if this is true but he removes tattoos for a living so I believe him. Before going bed I thought I'd put more aloe on it. I washed off what was there and thought time for one last picture.

Tattoo swelling after Picosure laser removal
26 Oct 2017
This is about 3 hours after the session. I thought it was funny, it's so red. There's quite a bit of spot bleeding, I think the most I've had yet. It wasn't that sore but I was clearly aware of it. I took the photo, put some aloe on and went to bed.

Twelve hours after picosure tattoo removal
27 Oct 2017
I took that this morning, it was around 12 hours after the session. It actually looks worse than it feels. It's still quite tender and obviously red. We all know that I don't like my tattoo much, hence the blog, the removal and the pain; I definitely wouldn't show it off in its current state but it's ok. It's still tender but fine. I'm not in work today so am yet to shower. I have applied aloe only once to cool it. I actually keep forgetting that it was shot at by laser last night. This lack of pain is why I prefer Picosure. I honestly can't say if it's better or faster than q-switched. I can tell you that q-switched hurt a lot more and took a lot longer to heal. From memory, around two weeks. Last night's Picosure was a double pass, basically two sessions in one, and the swelling is almost gone. I'd say this will be completely healed on Monday. If you are getting removal, try to find somewhere with Picosure. Even if it costs a little more, the reduced healing time alone is worth it.

I'm curious to see what impact the double pass will have. He told me that you don't want to do this early on, you're better off waiting until later in the process. My thinking is that this is because the skin becomes more adapted to the laser over time. The double pass is different and hopefully more effective. I'm not sure when I'm going to get my next session. My first was on 4 January 2015 I had hoped this would take 6 months, a year, 2 years to be gone. It seems impossible that I'll make the 2 year mark now. If I have my next session in mid January, hopefully I'll know by mid-March if I need any more sessions or not. My feeling is that I will, but we'll see how this impacts.

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