Dennis

Look at this laser session!

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The tattoo isn't even poorly done, and it doesn't look like he has any other work. Strange that you would get a tattoo of that size (which obviously required multiple sittings) and then regret it enough to laser it. :confused:

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That's true, it is just surprising. Usually the work getting lasered is awful!

I have considered getting a tattoo I have lasered off. It's not terrible it just is taking up a place that could be used better. Knowing myself, I'll probably just "panther" it.

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I have one I'd consider lasering, though it isn't covering a lot of space on my body and it isn't particularly well done (first tattoo). I think it would be easy enough to just cover as is though! We'll see. I most certainly can't imagine getting an entire backpiece lasered!

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That's true, it is just surprising. Usually the work getting lasered is awful!

In my experience, that's not true, in fact that only accounts for about 1/3rd, maybe 1/2 of my business. Sadly, I lived through the early / mid 90's when anyone who had a visible tattoo, or a facial piercing was a vagrant, low life or non-employable punk, according to society. About 1/4 of the clients I'm seeing are removing tattoos not because they are awful, but because they got something small a decade or more ago in "prime real estate" and now want to do a sleeve or larger piece and it's in the way. Another 1/4 of clients have sub-par quality tattoo's from the early and mid 90's, and simply don't want them anymore.

The number of people who are having "regretful" tattoos removed is far lower than you might actually think.

I know shit about lasering.. how much does it hurt after and how virgin is the skin when it heals?

Rob

The sub titles in that video explain the process, but it hurts. The vacuum like thing you see in that video blows cold air onto the skin, a about -30f, some people like it some don't. Most people will tell you that a treatment feels like a hot rubber band being snapped over and over. I'd say from my experience that feeling is pretty accurate. What many don't understand is that the time per treatment is a fraction of the tattoo time, which you see in that video. They go through about 1/4 of the back in 4 minutes, that tech is very experienced, some may take a little longer to cover the same area. Most (including myself) feel no pain within minutes of the treatment ending, and by the time the heat dissipates your skin (totally within about 20 minutes) you're left with virtually no pain at all. The most amazing thing to me was the shower the following morning, expecting the sunburn feeling from being tattooed, there is no shower pain. The skin is also not sensitive to the touch.

Answering the 2nd part of your question, if the client properly treats the treated area, within 4-6 weeks another treatment can be done. Most people are suitable to receive another tattoo 8-12 weeks following their last treatment (wither lightening or total removal). In my personal experience healing mine, the skin "looks" normal after about 3 weeks. The best thing I can do to further explain it is this: As a kid, I'm sure you had a scab. If you waited a few days to pick the scab, so it wouldn't again bleed when it came off, under it you'll see a shiny, almost silver-like skin. That appearance on my skin was totally gone within about 25 days.

Since tattoo removal relies almost entirely on how well your immune system disposes of the fractured ink partials, you'll continue to see fading of a treated area for up to 6 months in some clients.

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I've got a question @Mike Panic, in the video the red ink doesn't appear to be affected by the laser. How do they do the colours? I'm assuming they change the wavelength/intensity of the laser for different colours? Or maybe a different type of laser all together?

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I've got a question @Mike Panic, in the video the red ink doesn't appear to be affected by the laser. How do they do the colours? I'm assuming they change the wavelength/intensity of the laser for different colours? Or maybe a different type of laser all together?

That's a great question @Dennis, without going into all the boring details, both of those factor into doing treatments but black & red are actually treated almost identically. With that said, what you see as "affected by the laser" isn't actually anything more than water vapor exploding within the layers of skin, that's white color looks like. If you watch towards the end of the video the video pans back to where they started and you can see the white has started to go away, this usually happens 5-15 minutes after the area has been treated.

Because the laser only facilitates the immune system to dispose of the ink, you don't actually "see" the fading right away. Most people will see more fading between weeks 3-6 of treatment than weeks 1-3, and this is assuming you take a photo before hand to compare it with.

What I usually tell people is that tattoo removal is similar to weight loss / gain. If you look in the mirror every day you might not notice that over a 6 week period you put 10-15 pounds on, because you see yourself every day. A friend you don't see on a regular basis will see the difference. That's part of the reason we document every treatment, for a comparison / reference. If the treatment facility "you" go to doesn't, I'd suggest doing it for yourself.

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I got my first session done by these guys. They seem legit.

I agree his work was too nice to laser but who knows, he might be tired of dragons.

It should also be noted that that white dust goes away within minutes. They were

up front about that during my consult.

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thats so odd that he doesnt have any other work! if he did, id probably be more inclined to believe that he was shopping for a better back peice. but on youtube, southcoastmedspa videos are a lot of people getting a lot of work all taken off for being in "direct conflict with their religious beliefs" and shit like that. theres a few clips of some nice work getting peaced out..

- - - Updated - - -

The number of people who are having "regretful" tattoos removed is far lower than you might actually think.

man that pisses me off so much how the "tattoo removal" business is all about guilting and shaming people for having tattoos.

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man that pisses me off so much how the "tattoo removal" business is all about guilting and shaming people for having tattoos.

Couldn't agree with you more. That's why we aren't a "med-spa" or offer other services like hair removal. I also went out of my way to work with my connections in the tattoo community so I can work with tattoo artists - I get it.... I want THEM to be able to do the best artwork they can - if that means lightening an older tattoo so it can be covered, so be it. The majority of our clients are lightening, not removing. Most of the people removing aren't doing it out of shame either, it has to do with career changes or bad tattoo work honestly.

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I'm getting mine removed because it was bad work.

I went with the med spa because they seem to have the best reviews and the price is affordable.

Are there any red flags I should be looking for that say RUN? The place is clean, they offer numbing cream,

use the Q-switched laser, etc.

I'm currently paying $200 per session to remove a half sleeve outline done in black.

It was initially around $250 but I talked them down. Is that price about right?

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shinobi, thats a really good price. do they treat it all in one session? im getting the majority of a sleeve lasered, half at a time, because it could fuck up blood flow if you go around the whole arm. i didnt mean to imply that soutcoast was bad. i just think their youtube videos are hilarious, in that it shows people with some dope work just not wanting tattoos anymore and getting them all taken off. did you get to see any before and after pictures or know anyone else who got treated there?

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I'm getting mine removed because it was bad work.

I went with the med spa because they seem to have the best reviews and the price is affordable.

Are there any red flags I should be looking for that say RUN? The place is clean, they offer numbing cream,

use the Q-switched laser, etc.

I'm currently paying $200 per session to remove a half sleeve outline done in black.

It was initially around $250 but I talked them down. Is that price about right?

Where are you going to get your laser treatments? South Coast? I haven't been there. I did get a quote from Dr. Tat-off but it was over double what you were quoted. Did you have to sign up for multiple sessions and pay upfront?

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dude, over double that is waaay too much. i dont know if youre down to travel, i ended up opting to do this, and i pay around what shinobi does at a place with a good rep that keeps the $$$$$ in the tattoo community. even with travel expenses its nowhere near what dr. tattoff wants from you, thats insane.

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I'm getting mine removed because it was bad work.

I went with the med spa because they seem to have the best reviews and the price is affordable.

Are there any red flags I should be looking for that say RUN? The place is clean, they offer numbing cream,

use the Q-switched laser, etc.

I'm currently paying $200 per session to remove a half sleeve outline done in black.

It was initially around $250 but I talked them down. Is that price about right?

Personally, I avoid creams and injections, there's too many variables that can lead to too many problems. My biggest issue with topical creams is that the laser, a concentrated beam of light, now has to go through the cream you applied and there's a possibility of it being reflected or refracted. In either case, it's losing intensity and effectiveness.

Having had treatments done, I will tell you they aren't fun, but they are usually so quick anyway, I'd rather just have it done then sit around and wait a half hour for them to take effect. Using an ice pack will deliver similar results, or find a place that uses a cryocooler.

The price is about right, like anything in this world location, demand and competition will control it.

The only red flags are the same with tattoos. Look for rubber gloves, cross contamination practices, etc. Something I hear a lot during consults is "sorry for all the questions" to which I reply - asking a lot of questions shows me you care and have interest in what's happening to you. I'd rather you ask a hundred questions, since the majority of the success will come from your ability to maintain proper aftercare, then if you came in, did a treatment and walked out.

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in some of the southcoast vids theres comments about their sanitary practices- no gloves, lady wearing her ring, etc. as well as people suspicious of if the machine is turned up enough. those are just comments i saw, you should check them out yourself, they have a bunch of clips up on youtube.

mike, i used an icepack. as we went down the arm id press down the icepack on the next area to be treated, and just moved down as the laser did. the areas were i pressed down hard enough, i could barely feel. but i could tell where i didnt hold down hard enough, because i could really feel that shit. atleast now i know for the next round to press down like a motherfucker..

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Where are you going to get your laser treatments? South Coast? I haven't been there. I did get a quote from Dr. Tat-off but it was over double what you were quoted. Did you have to sign up for multiple sessions and pay upfront?

Yeah South Coast in Newport.

They offered a package of 10 for 2500 w/ unlimited treatments after 10 if 10 doesn't finish it.

I figured I'd pay per session because I want to do a cover up and not sure how many that could take.

I've heard anywhere from 3-5 sessions, maybe longer since mine is new.

Hey that leads me to another question for Mike, what's your experience with new tattoos?

Easier or harder to remove? I would imagine harder as the sun has done a lot of the work for you

with older ones.

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in some of the southcoast vids theres comments about their sanitary practices- no gloves, lady wearing her ring, etc. as well as people suspicious of if the machine is turned up enough. those are just comments i saw, you should check them out yourself, they have a bunch of clips up on youtube.

mike, i used an icepack. as we went down the arm id press down the icepack on the next area to be treated, and just moved down as the laser did. the areas were i pressed down hard enough, i could barely feel. but i could tell where i didnt hold down hard enough, because i could really feel that shit. atleast now i know for the next round to press down like a motherfucker..

Having been hanging out, working in (as a counter person) and been involved with the tattoo and piercing industry for the last 17 years, and having too many friends than I care to admit who own shops, tattoo, build machines and pierce, I know why gloves are so important. Furthermore, cross contamination, when you understand it, will make you skeeve out next time you visit the dentist or go to the hospital. A box of gloves is $4, some common sense knowledge is priceless, add them together and you and I stay healthy and clean.

Regarding the ice, same thing applies, make sure they bag the ice pack and dispose of it properly. For icing it, we've also found the gate theory to be very effective. Essentially, put ice next to the area getting treated and the cooling sensation will help what's being treated. Same concept as, having a cast on your ankle and scratching your knee to relieve an itch on your ankle. It works way better than you'd think. My experience over my last treatment session, where I was on the receiving end, was 3 tattoos at once. After the initial 2 minutes my body, while increasing in temperature got used to it, albeit via some shortened breathing too - which any technician should be watching for and taking a break as you need them. I've found, like getting tattooed, that after a few minutes your body just accepts the pain and deals with it and it's not nearly as bad as the first few pulses.

Hey that leads me to another question for Mike, what's your experience with new tattoos?

Easier or harder to remove? I would imagine harder as the sun has done a lot of the work for you

with older ones.

Once a tattoo has fully healed, usually 8-12 weeks, we can start treatment. Age does factor in, but no more so than skin type, immune system, quality of tattoo, pigment used and age of person who has the tattoo. They are all variables, everyone is different, but the laser only targets pigments within the skin.

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awsome, man. really appreciate you sharing your knowledge with the boards. one last question, tho.. the results after treatment one on your leg were really impressive. did you find most of the fading to take place after week 3? or was that picture shortly after getting treated?

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@YOMONEY The before / after on my leg was about 9 after. I do find that my tattoos get darker the first 2 weeks then fade, which makes sense with how the whole procedure happens. We tell (as do most people) that you need to wait 4-6 weeks between treatments, this is to facilitate the skin tissue to heal properly - the reality is you can see fading, granted it will be very slight and gradual, for up to 6 months between treatments if you stretched them out that long. Most people don't want to do 2 treatments a year though and wait 5-7 years for a removal.

Today is two weeks past my 2nd treatment, and 1st on two other tattoos and I'll update my thread before the next treatments.

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