Undoing Permanent Ink: My Desicion to Do Laser Tattoo Removal

Updated on January 20, 2018

As soon as the needle began to permanently ink my skin, a weird anxiety struck. I had been inked before, but had never experienced so much uncertainty in the moment I was being tattooed.

My freshly inked tattoo.
My freshly inked tattoo.

Think Before You Ink

In July of 2014, I made an appointment to get a tattoo I had been conceptualizing for months; a lotus flower (a common symbol in Buddhism) connected to a cross (a symbol in Christianity). As a Religious Studies minor, I had come to learn about different world faiths, only to reaffirm I believed in Christianity. In this reaffirmation, I identified I was a Buddhist sympathizer, an individual who does not subscribe or regularly practice Buddhism, but appreciates and incorporates aspects of the Buddhist faith into their own life. Buddhism helped me improve upon and strengthen my personal beliefs in significant ways. Because of this experience, I came to appreciate the imagery and meaning of a cross integrated into a lotus flower.

With the image in my head, I stopped by a tattoo shop in Atlanta where the artist drew a beautiful version of my vision. However, I declined to put the art on my body because the size was larger than I would have liked, and we could not come to an agreement on a smaller, less detailed version. A week later, I made an appointment with a shop where I had had other tattoos done. The artist there drew something much closer to my original vision. Admittedly, it was larger than I had intended; I wanted a simple outline, but took the advice of the artist that going too small would take away from the art of the tattoo.

As soon as the needle began to permanently ink my skin, a weird anxiety struck. I had been inked before, but had never experienced so much uncertainty in the moment I was being tattooed. I kept my thoughts at bay and let the artist finish. He was great, and let me give input as he was tattooing, redoing any line that was not to my satisfaction. Of the artists that had tattooed me, he had the lightest hand, so the tattooing process barely hurt. In the end, it was beautiful! I loved the art of the tattoo, but...

The Tattoff employee asked how long I had had the tattoo, to which I replied “Three days”.

“Oh no, what have you done?” she asked half laughing.

The Moment Of Uncertainty

...BUT

I realized too late the placement on my wrist was not to my liking. Since I had not thought to lift my arm vertically (as if I was raising it or waving) when I had looked at the stencil design in the mirror, I did not realize my tattoo would go crooked with the twist of my wrist. As much as I tried to convince myself I was happy with the tattoo, each minute that passed I recognized another reason I was not 100% certain I wanted my new ink.

The day after I got the tattoo I was already looking up safe and recommended methods for removal. Three days later, I called Dr. Tattoff in Atlanta to ask how long I would have to wait to start the removal process. The first question the Tattoff employee asked was how long I had had the tattoo, to which I replied “Three days”. “Oh no, what have you done?” she asked half laughing.

I am sure there are people who may think I did not contemplate my wrist tattoo thoroughly. The truth is I did, for months. It was not until it was on my body and I was living with a visible black tattoo, that I realized I preferred my tattoos subtle and easily concealed. I have 3 other tattoos that people rarely realize are in plain sight. I was disappointed I wanted to remove the tattoo, but more importantly, I knew if I was not 100% happy with what was on my body, why wouldn’t I do something? If I found myself wanting to cover it, why wouldn’t I change it?

Removing The Tattoo

Fast-forward to September of 2014, my Dr. Tattoff consultation in Atlanta. When I went to my consultation appointment, I felt so much relief to know I was a great candidate for laser tattoo removal (simple black ink, on fair/light skin complexion), and they were confident they could remove it in about eight treatments. It is a commitment to remove a tattoo; doing it safely takes time and follow-up. By the time my consultation arrived I had become fond of my tattoo, but the consultation gave me the confidence to go through with what I knew I wanted more, a plain tattoo free wrist.

As of today, some of the ink is still visible because the company I was receiving treatment with closed its doors. It is also hard to predict exactly how many laser treatments it will take for complete removal, as everyone's body reacts differently to the treatment. As pictured, 11 treatments and the majority of the ink is gone; the black ink is not nearly as bold or visible as it once was. I am happy with how subtle the tattoo is now and do not regret the process of getting it done or removed. As much as you may think before you ink, it is possible to decide you are not 100% about your tattoo. Thankfully, ink is not nearly as permanent as people believe it is, and removal or fading is possible.

11 laser treatments later.
11 laser treatments later.

If you have a tattoo, have you ever considered removing or fading it?

See results

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Nilza

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

        Tim Truzy 

        10 months ago from U.S.A.

        Tattoos are tricky. I've never had one, but I respect people like you who are bold enough to do so. You are a brave soul, my friend.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, tatring.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://tatring.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)