In my late teens to mid-’20s, I got MANY tattoos that my mother would say, are “pointless or ugly”. She always told me, “you know how hard that is to remove?” Being a typical young adult, I ignored the advice of others and continued to get tattoos that had meaning to me at the time. Many of them no longer represent who I am and the older I got, the more I hated them.
I reached out to an artist about doing a cover up to my back and arm, old tattoos that no longer had meaning to me, the back was able to be covered, the arm was not. Thus began my laser tattoo reduction research. Laser Tattoo Reduction can lighten a tattoo to the point it is nearly invisible to the naked eye. It can also reduce the appearance of colors and lines to allow for easy cover ups by your favorite tattoo artist. Truyu, where I have worked for 3.5 years is the only place in town that offered tattoo reduction, YAY ME!
Prior to starting my first treatment, I iced my arm for 5-10 minutes. The closest thing I can compare the sensation of the removal to is splattering hot bacon grease on your skin. Immediately after my first treatment, my tattoo had frosted over; it turned white, had a scaly appearance, and was raised. After the frosting subsided, the area had a bruising appearance, but the bruising resolved in about a day. After the bruising, a red ring around the tattoo remained for 3-7 days. After about a week, the skin was back to normal, and over the course of the next 12 weeks, my tattoo slowly began to fade.
I figured if I could sit through a tattoo for hours, I could sit through a reduction, which takes less than 30 minutes in most cases. I need about 3-4 treatments to lighten the black for my cover up, much less than needed for complete reduction. I’ve had one treatment, I took pictures during treatment and post. The last picture is about 4 months since the initial treatment. I will continue to have reduction and when I am done with fading my arm ink, I have about four others I will have treatment on until near-complete reduction is achieved.
Some tattoos can be harder to lighten than others, it’s hard to say what the colors had been mixed with to create the color that appeared on your skin. Reds are the most difficult to remove but can be done.
Interested in learning more or wanting to see if you are a candidate? Call Truyu to schedule a consult for tattoo reduction with Nikki, RN or Ceara, RN at 701.780.6623.
Written By: Nicolette Castle, RN Laser Specialist at Truyu Aesthetic Center