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So i've been getting a couple of pieces removed with laser and wondered what other laser technicians have said is good aftercare for customers.

Ive been using Aloe-99 cold processed aloe vera gel as soon as i get home. by then the treated area is beginning to swell and is red hot. I'll wash the area with some dr bronners liquid soap (i use it at home and the tattoo shop) and apply the aloe vera gel straight away.

i will repeat almost as soon as the last batch was absorbed and do this as many times as i can before bed, then i have recently discovered that if i wrap up my leg (thats where the offending tattoos are) with lots of the gel for the first day following treatment (and change the dressing a few times during the day), the swelling is minimized and the discomfort is minimal without clothes rubbing on it all day.

i'm on day 3 since my last treatment (ive had 3 on one and 4 on the other) and bruising has def taken over and the mad itching begins. no one told me how insanely itchy lasered skin gets, holy shit! it's primal, you cant stop yourself, ill even wake myself up in the middle of the night full on scratching with all my nails.

also it goes without saying that laser treatment needs the patience of a saint and shouldnt be taken lightly, for a start it hurts WAY more than the original tattoo ever did, it's not a quick way to remove or lighten any tattoos, it's expensive over time.

i know people whove been trying to laser off medium sized plain black tattoos for a couple of years and they are only beginning to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

your lasered tattoo WILL look like shit for the whole period of time you are treating it ( i reckon it looks a bit like mouldy bread), i'm lucky cos mine are on my legs and i got so many tattoos around them you almost don't notice somethings amiss unless you know what youre looking at.

i only recommend laser to my customers if they want a cover up anyway and it's gonna help lighten the original tattoo. ive seen that laser just aint the magic cure to completely get rid of tattoos.

ps. once it's all over and it's time for the cover ups i will post before and after pics, but really, it's not gonna be for a frickin long while!

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Very interesting post, not I'm in the market for getting anything lasered.

If you don't mind me asking, which one of dr bronners liquid soaps would you recomend for using on a fresh tattoo.

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any, they are the same just different scents. at the shop i usually use the minty one cos it feels very cooling on the skin and at home the rose one just cos it's my fave one. the baby mild one is scent free for those who prefer unscented cosmetics

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any, they are the same just different scents. at the shop i usually use the minty one cos it feels very cooling on the skin and at home the rose one just cos it's my fave one. the baby mild one is scent free for those who prefer unscented cosmetics

Many thanks, Valerie, mint it is then.

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it's interesting that you say it takes a long time and many treatments even to lighten black work.. i have really horrible all black tattoo on my foot that i've been told by a lot of people i could easily lighten with only 1-3 laser sessions.. mind you the tattoo is already pretty light because it was done by a moron... it's about 10 years old and looks about 50 years old haha... anyways def making me rethink the laser option as i'm not really interested in spending $1000 to get rid of it at this point...

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ursula, would you pay $500 and then get an awesome foot tattoo over it?

eventually, probably yes... the only reason i havn't done it so far is because i still have a lot of room on my legs and torso and even a bit left on my arm, i figure i'll get a lot of that done and then worry about fixing the shit.. i actually have another small area i'd realllllly like to laser on my arm, so i'll probly get that done before my foot but who knows!

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hmmm, about the ink stuff. i have been told different inks take to laser differently, though i dont know which are easiest are to take off, i dont mean hues by the way, i mean brands, when it comes to laser i'm almost as clueless are any other customer. i'm just looking forward to the cover ups, more tattoos, more tattoos!

Also the foot tattoo is a different matter if its really that small then doing a cover up 2ice the size will be easier even if its just a tad lighter, the tattoos i was talking about have other tattoos right around them so in this case the tattoo in question needs to be much lighter than if you had plenty of room around it to do a great big fucking cover up.

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Yeah unfortunately the tattoo is covering almost my whole foot and my ankle too and right beside it is another abomination worthy of the laser. So looks like I'll be going for the laser option to lighten and then cover as best I can. It won't be for a long time but I'll post photos when I do.

Thanks for the info Valerie it's been quite helpful

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Maybe you could wrap it at night with a tensor (known as an ace in the USA) bandage or something? At least that way if you're scratching while sleeping it won't be right on the wound

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hi,

i got a lot of lasering over the last years and i treated the lasered tattoo pretty much as i treat new tattoos. i left the bandage on until the next day. i always had a lot of pimples full of water which opened by just touching the tshirt. pretty disgusting, but as soon as the pimples all dryed it healed like a tattoo. i never had itching.

i just found it VERY important to wait at least a year to retattoo the lasered skin. one time i got the outlines and black shading just 6 weeks after the last lasering and it felt very wierd, bad swelling and was painful even after the actually tattooing was done and the lines faded a little bit.

i think the skin still was releasing the pigment instead of encasing the color. one the last lasered spot i waited almost 1,5 years and it worked out much better. i can only say very good things about lasering

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i do think the longer you leave to get tattooed after you very last laser session the better. an old friend lasered off a big thing on her back to get a color piece instead and at the time she wasnt told to wait a long while before getting the cover up so she went ahead and since then the tattoo has had to be redone a handful of times.

the laser keeps breaking down the ink particles long after the session.

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I've had 3 sessions of lasering done on a large portion of my lower leg (about half of it), and have had great results. I go to Allan Faulkner (fade fast @ suffer city in Dallas), and because of his professionalism and knowledge would never want to get hit by someone else. After 3 sessions pretty much all the black is pretty sparce, and most of the color is pretty light as well. I've always iced it after the session is done (which feels awesome!) comfortably for the first 24hrs, and because my last session was in the middle of a road trip he hooked me up with some "Humatrx" (a microclysmic gel for treatment of tissue trauma) which was pretty nice. It kept it feeling a bit cooler for the first couple days. I've never had itching, but the 3rd session did cause blistering, which wasn't really a big deal. I just took a safety pin rubbed with alcohol and drained the bigger ones (as per a doctors recommendation). I have never been able to get out there more than once every 6 months (and he recommends longer between sessions is better, and def not sooner than 6weeks). I've also discussed the cover up, and been told waiting at least 6 months is necessary. It's a wonderful tool to aid cover ups! but, it is definitely very very painful.

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My buddy Falkner, who owns FADE FAST in Texas had nine bars tattooed on his arm, each getting either 0, 1, 2, etc sessions with his laser to show the progress of removal.

Allen Falkner

That was with his old laser- he's upgraded since then, but it gives a basic idea on what's possible.

He also tends to hook tattooers up with free appointments, though that's recently been taken advantage of. (someone made a fake business card!)

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thanks shawn, that's a really neat thing he did.. it's interesting to see the progression side by side like that.. the tattoo on my foot looks like bar 2 or 3 already so if mine reacts like his then i'd probably only need a couple sessions to get it light enough for a cover up.. the stuff on my arm is more like bar 1 or 2 so probably would need more sessions or more intense sessions..

it's also really interesting how the tattoos on Allen's arm have changed shape after the treatments.. that's something i wouldn't have even thought of

his site also has some amazing before and after photos

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I got a laser treatment a few weeks ago, and while the pain was bad for a few hours, that was it. There was no itching and certainly nothing that woke me up, and I really am a light sleeper. Its a big piece that I want removed, a black tribal cover up, so he had to do half of it and I will go back next week for the other half, but I am hoping the combination will only take about 5 treatments.

Glad others think its worse than getting tattooed, I could just about take the pain of the treatment but we went for dinner after and my arm was BURNING !

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I had my first bout of laser yesterday on my upper arm for a full sleeve cover-up in progress. The actual lasering wasn't as bad as I thought, today it's really hot so following Valerie's advice with the aloe gel which feels nice & cooling but soon absorbs!

I can see already the black lines are breaking up and going but there's also a lot of red in it that looks no different, over the next few weeks how much more will this fade? I'm looking to go back in 6 weeks for the 2nd hit and the technician doing it has said that if my skin has taken it well then she will up the laser very slightly (is that right???).

looking to start the tattooing over it next march hopefully...

also what are the downsides for a tattooist working on lasered skin? I read that some don't like to tattoo on it.

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i do think the longer you leave to get tattooed after you very last laser session the better. an old friend lasered off a big thing on her back to get a color piece instead and at the time she wasnt told to wait a long while before getting the cover up so she went ahead and since then the tattoo has had to be redone a handful of times.

the laser keeps breaking down the ink particles long after the session.

Hi Valerie Glad to hear you are enjoying your lasering!

By way of an introduction My name is Matt I own Cornwall Tattoo Removal and one of the studios I work from is La Familia in Newquay down in Cornwall you may remember the owner Oli and his wife Jess have been to your studio work.

Anywho on with my actual point, just to be pedantic the laser isnt still breaking down the ink after treatment causing ink to need topping up. The laser breaks ink up in the dermis and your body "eats" it. New ink isnt broke so you body will seal it in. Logically the laser energy cant possably sit waiting in your body waiting. If you put new ink in too soon the reason it seems to fall out is simple the dermis is still suffering from trauma and it rejects the ink harder. The waiting time is purely to rest your dermis.

Hope that helps with peoples understanding at least a bit.

Love your work by the way.

Peace.

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I had a large, brand new, pro black and grey tattoo lasered off a few years ago. It took 9 sessions, a lot of money and a load of pain to achieve its current, barely visible condition. After the first two treatments I started using Emla cream before each session & Bio Oil massaged in several times daily (on advice of laser clinic) afterwards. I also drank plenty of water, took zinc supplements and arnica & used a vibrator on the whole tattoo once the skin damage from the laser had healed. No one advised me to do this but I figured that since the laser works by breaking down the ink so the body can eliminate it, the vibrations might prevent the skin from re-encapsulating the ink and allow the system to expel it more efficiently. Can't say for sure, but I think it helped. A friend with a very old, amateur, black tattoo started getting hers lasered at the same and did everything I did except the vibrating. According to everything I've read, being years older and amateur, her tattoo should have faded faster but it hardly changed while mine had started to visibly fade after the second/third session. I realise there are a lot of variables to consider here re: health etc. but thought worth mentioning.

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I had a large, brand new, pro black and grey tattoo lasered off a few years ago. It took 9 sessions, a lot of money and a load of pain to achieve its current, barely visible condition. After the first two treatments I started using Emla cream before each session & Bio Oil massaged in several times daily (on advice of laser clinic) afterwards. I also drank plenty of water, took zinc supplements and arnica & used a vibrator on the whole tattoo once the skin damage from the laser had healed. No one advised me to do this but I figured that since the laser works by breaking down the ink so the body can eliminate it, the vibrations might prevent the skin from re-encapsulating the ink and allow the system to expel it more efficiently. Can't say for sure, but I think it helped. A friend with a very old, amateur, black tattoo started getting hers lasered at the same and did everything I did except the vibrating. According to everything I've read, being years older and amateur, her tattoo should have faded faster but it hardly changed while mine had started to visibly fade after the second/third session. I realise there are a lot of variables to consider here re: health etc. but thought worth mentioning.

I do agree with this, I would say that by doing that to the skin (I massaged it instead of vibration) it helps the lymphatic system to take away the broken particles of ink.

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