Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My Journey: Tattoo Removal - Part 1 of 2

Okay, this isn't really "my" journey...  But it is my husbands.  And it is a topic that I think some of you might be interested in.

When my husband was in 8th/9th grade he and a friend gave each other tattoos!!!  YIKES!!!  His is a small cross on his arm.  Of course, my in-laws were not happy and this is something that, for a few years now, my husband has been embarrassed by.  It is a small tattoo (just slightly bigger than a quarter) and it is hidden by his work shirts but it is still embarrassing for him when people do see it.  

Anyone that knows my husband also knows that me posting this picture was very embarrassing for him.
But, he married me and I am all about sharing information that might be helpful to others - no matter how embarrassing! ;-)

For a few years now we have discussed ideas of professionally done tattoos that could maybe cover the one he has.  The ideas were often dismissed as he really just wished he never had a tattoo in the first place.  So, what I am going to share with you on this "journey" is the process he is going through to have the tattoo removed.

Don't get me wrong, we are not completely against tattoos.  I have one too, but it was professionally done and in a place that I can hide very easily.  Also, for some people, body art is a great expression of their personality.  

Have you heard about Mark Wahlberg's decision to have his tattoos removed (one that he had originally covered up by another tattoo)?  Did you know that prior to having them removed they had to cover them with make-up for his movies!  And he had a lot of tattoos!!!  He decided to have his two oldest children join him during the painful removal process in hope that it would discourage them from ever getting tattoos.

Now, back to our experience!  My husband had his initial consultation with Dermatology Associates of West Michigan.  Here are some details about my husbands tattoo and the expected process:

  • His tattoo was done with India Ink (you can buy at craft stores) which is often referred to as a "prison tattoo".   This form of tattoo is usually easier to remove because the ink doesn't go as far into your skin as a professional tattoo.  Which means he will need less treatments than he would have if it were a professionally done tattoo.
  • His tattoo is a little bigger than a quarter.  Size matters when it comes to how much this process will cost and how long it will take.
  • When you have a tattoo removed you must do it in a few treatments (sessions).  
  • They have proven that two treatments can be done successfully in one session.  For example:  My husband will have 2 treatments done during his first appointment.  They will perform the first treatment (zap the tattoo with a laser), he will sit for about 45 minutes while the area starts to bubble, and then they will zap the tattoo again.  Two treatments - one appointment.
  • They can numb the tattooed area prior to each laser treatment.  There is no additional cost to him for this.  The treatment, without numbing, is expected to hurt as much as it did to get the tattoo.
  • My husband is expected to need 2-3 visits (4-6 treatments) to complete the process.
  • His appointments need to be about 6 weeks apart.
  • The first appointment (2 treatments) should cost about $300 and the following visits (up to 2 treatments each) should be about $150 per visit.  
  • So far our out of pocket cost has been a $25 insurance co-pay for the consolation appointment.

This is part 1 of this journey.  I will have a follow-up post once the process is complete.  That will include his experience and out of pocket cost.

1 comment:

  1. Okay I want your opinion on a question I want to ask the guy who did my tattoo about ten years ago, its an older tattoo but Ive been doing an at home "Abrasion" on it with a pumice stone for the past month now and its starting to look fresher now so im sure the ink is comming to the surface from being pushed up and its "cleaned" up a heres the question I want to ask him, can he run that needle gun over my tattoo with no ink on it to "expose" the ink under the skin and then "wash it" out with either a saline solution or hydrogen peroxide, im sure their would be some scaring but dont you think its worth a try? or better yet , finding the right color of ink and blending that into my skin to sort of cover the tattoo with a skintone color, the tone of my skin is fair....but its a green shade of color ink tattoo..ehhh....anyways, ideas? would I sound like a jackass asking this to a tattoo artist?
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