The video is in Finnish, but I write in English as usually. So finally, I’m done with all my tattoo removals! They couldn’t be removed completely, but the colors faded enough, so I can get nice cover-ups on them. The tattoos were rather big, one on my arm and one on my ribs/belly so it was a lot of ink. I started this process about two and a half years ago, so it’s been a long and painful journey, but I’m happy I did it. I never took proper before and after pictures, as this was something I wanted just to be done with and push it out of my head. But as many of us are today dealing with unwanted tattoos, I wanted to share my experience here.
Plastic Surgery Center – Helsinki
I had moved back to Finland from Asia a couple of months before I started the removals. I looked into the options in Helsinki, and ended up at a place called Plastic Surgery Center in Helsinki. I went there about eight times and my tattoos did fade almost as planned. The colors from the one on my arm disappeared almost completely just after a couple of sessions, except for the yellow color, which is hard to remove, but on the other hand, easy to cover with a new tattoo. The black outlines also didn’t disappear.
Eraze – Stockholm
I moved to Umeå Sweden in August 2015 and wasn’t sure how and when I would continue the process. As I was also having my orthodontics done, I ended up going to Stockholm for both, getting my braces adjusted and my tattoos removed. As there’s no Picosure laser available in Finland, but there’s one in Stockholm I decided to try that. At this point, it was quite obvious that the tattoos wouldn’t fade completely, so I only got the black parts lasered, as there was very little color left and that would be easy to cover. Also, getting lasered hurts quite a bit, so I rather had it lasered less than more. I went to Eraze twice and I think there was some fading, but it wasn’t that clear. Before and after photos, again would have helped, but I didn’t take any. As the fading happens slowly, and when there’s less ink it becomes less obvious so at this point, I couldn’t really see it. But when looking at the pictures below, taken about eight months apart from each other, there’s some fading at least.
Estetic Walk-in Umeå
I had been in Finland for the holidays and wasn’t planning to have trip to Stockholm anytime soon, so I decided to give a try for a local plastic surgery place. I only had my arm lasered, as I was tired of all the pain, which was far worse on the ribs than on the arm, so I went. After the session my arm was very, very burned… It healed quite fast, as always with lasering, but it looked so ridiculous I decided to stop having it lasered. I guess the colors faded a little bit, as always, but at this point the change wasn’t as evident as after the first sessions so my motivation was gone.
This was also something not available in Finland, but in Stockholm. Since Swedes are the most tattooed people in the world after some tribal populations, there’s for sure a demand for removal methods as well. So as I didn’t see much difference after my Picosure sessions, I wanted to try the third, and last option available. Though my tattoos had faded enough for pretty good cover ups already, I still wanted to see if I could do more. So I went to a tatt2away consultation. I was told that as my tattoos had been lasered, the risk for scarring would be much higher, as laser does damage your skin and after my latests lasering session the lines on my arm were already swollen and the skin was damaged. I’ve never gotten cheloids or anything and all the scars I had gotten in the past had healed well, so I wasn’t too worried about it. But if you consider tatt2away, you definitely should be aware of the risks involved, we’re all different and I’ve seen some pretty horrible pictures of the results.
Tatt2away hurts. It hurts a bit less than getting tattooed, and is faster than tattooing, but it takes longer than lasering and how your skin looks afterwards is nothing pretty. I do pole dancing and was trying to hide my arms and ribs until the scabs were gone, but it was difficult. The healing process also takes much longer than with laser, about 14 days for the scabs to form and fall off and then a few months for your skin to get back to normal, if it goes back to normal in the first place. Tatt2away worked pretty well on my arm, and some of the black lines were gone completely, in some parts they just faded a bit, but it definitely did something. On my belly it didn’t work that well, but the tattoo was already faded enough for a cover up anyway. I got two sessions done on my arm and after the second one I got two small scars, but I’m sure they’ll fade away with time. I’m planning to get a cover up on my arm next spring. You can see the current state of my arm on the video.
What I’ve learned?
My tattoos were tough, they faded but none of the methods removed them completely. However, I’m happy with the results. It was more of an issue for me at the beginning, but I guess at some point I just stopped caring. It might be because I’m a couple of years older now and looks just don’t matter that much anymore. At the end it’s just skin, it’s not that big of a deal and at least I’ve been well besides this mess. As many others have said, I wouldn’t go through this again, but it’s definitely been worth it and I might like my picture a little bit more when looking in the mirror. The thing that’s been bugging me sometimes is people asking me about my tattoos. No one has judged me, but it’s been kind of boring to explain over and over what I’ve done and why. Though I understand their curiosity, especially if they’re considering tattoo removals themselves. And that’s why I wanted to share this here.