Managed to nab a session due to a last-minute cancellation. ✌️
Since the red bit of my tattoo from the Patch Test blistered, they lowered the settings for this session. The outlines (dark brown) were done first, then the inner lines (red…it was supposed to be light brown 🤦🏻♀️).
The skin was cleaned then cooled down for a few minutes before lasering, and the room was air-conditioned. Pain-wise, I’d say the outlines were a 5/10 (sometimes 7/10, but not often), and the lighter bits were 3/10. Apparently, this rating isn’t normal and people tend to flinch. 😅 As with tattooing, everyone’s pain threshold is so different, and things like stress levels, quality of sleep, hormones or even the weather can affect your tolerance on the day. I’d say it hurt 1/4-1/3 more than tattooing, so however you felt about getting the tattoo…add that. 🤷🏻♀️
The cooling helps a LOT and I don’t even wanna know what it’s like without it. It definitely stings more if the area isn’t cooled down enough first.
I didn’t take paracetamol or ibuprofen beforehand, to see what it felt like as-is. I don’t think I’ll bother with numbing cream as it’s too much of a faff and I did fine without it.
We ended up doing the whole thing in on sitting, and extra time was spent cooling down my tattoo before I left. I didn’t opt for a dressing, as I intended to use Saniderm when I got home.
My back was stingy and the skin felt somewhat rigid, but I was able to drive back fine (leaning forward, ’cause I didn’t want anything touching my back until it had a dressing on).
We have a mini air con, which we use on hot days. I sat in front of it for like…1-2hrs when I got home. 😂 Zan (husband) applied Saniderm for me, I made dinner, then after some chill time, noticed my back started feeling warm again, so used the mini air con until bed time.
Cooling soothes. ❄️ I’ll be keeping the Saniderm on for a week, so the skin has time to build a new layer before the film is removed. Not making the same mistake again, lol.
Sessions are booked two months apart, so your skin has time to heal properly. Quite a few of my (coverup) clients have mentioned that the longer they left between sessions, the more their tattoo faded. I booked in 6 for the sake of getting it over with and having a discount for paying in one go. I’ve been saving towards laser and a cover-up for a while, so had enough backed up.
Whenever I’m warm, my back really heats up, so I have to use the mini air con to cool it down. Lately, I’ve either been working or meditating in front of it until it feels better. I happen to have this weekend off, which is lucky! Trying to keep it as cool as possible to avoid blistering…
The first 2-3 days were super sore and annoying. Oddly enough, staying active distracted from the pain almost immediately. Doing DIY around the house alleviated more pain than sat in front of a fan whilst updating the website. 🤷🏻♀️
Despite the large area covered, I only developed one small blister at the back of my right arm.
Only the thick outline was worked on this time, and it didn’t hurt much at all. Tbh, I barely felt anything during the healing process, which made me a little sceptical on whether it would have faded much at all during this round.
Overall, I’d say 3-4/10 for pain, except for the area behind my right shoulder (7/10), which is pretty much always in pain due to repetitive strain from work. 😅 I did take a paracetamol beforehand to see if that would do anything, so maybe it did? I rarely ever take painkillers, so imagine they’d be more effective than usual when I do.
I described the first session feeling like a sharp “zap” of pain, with a slight burning sensation. This time, it was more like a pin prick (albeit, lots of them!). My back didn’t feel like it was burning this time, which was surprising.
I didn’t think it would have changed much, given how little I felt, but it looks like the top and middle sections have faded more than the sides…not sure why!
My skintone has recovered in the inside areas, though I think it needs one more sesh to fade it completely. It wasn’t touched during the second session, as they didn’t want to risk damaging my skin. Now that it has evened out, I’ll ask for it to be lasered as that was more painful when healing compared to the outline, and I’d rather get that out of the way during the Winter!
I can’t find an artist in the UK who specialises in the art style (Chinese ink brush) to the standard I want, and frankly don’t care enough about the coverup to travel abroad for it, soooo I’ve decided to fade this one as much as possible. I’ve booked 6 sessions and will see how much is gone by then – if I need more, then I’ll do that. Who knows, maybe I’ll get inked further down the line, but I’ve got other priorities I want to put my finances towards atm. Joys! 🤷🏻♀️
I was interviewed by Wales Online! Full article here.
…quite like being called ‘stoic’. 😛 Apparently my ratings of 4/10 for pain is weird, and 8/10 is more normal, so bear this in mind if you’ll be getting your tattoo zapped. Much like tattooing, your pain threshold can be negatively affected by things like poor sleep, hydration or going in on an empty stomach. Do what you can to keep your body in good shape and you’ll be in a much better place for the procedure. The rest (imo) is down to the practitioner, their equipment and technique, and your mindset. I noticed that clients who are happy and easy-going tend to have a smoother ride when getting inked, and I imagine it’s the same when being lasered. It’s why I put so much effort in keeping the environment and my demeanour steady and peaceful at NAOHOA, so that anxious clients can be encouraged to calm down in their own time. Laserwise has a more clinical vibe, though their staff are super patient and friendly.
I wrote a blog post called Keeping a Calm Mind a while back – check it out if you need a hand!
Had a go at being lasered at a faster speed. Big nope for a tattoo my size, so went back down to the slower rate. It doesn’t take long to do my whole back (maybe 15-20mins?) – it’s more the cooling and medical checks that bulk out the session. I’m usually in-and-out within an hour, sometimes slightly longer.
The rate of fading has become much more subtle lately…decided that I’ll be booking another 6 rounds and hope most of it will be gone by then. 🤷🏻♀️
The tattoo artists I like are either based in Korea or America, and I don’t particularly care enough about getting a coverup to travel that distance, though I’d consider it if one I liked guested in the UK…
Same old, same old! Something I will mention is that it hurts more in areas where I have inflammation due to RSI (behind the shoulder blades and my right arm)…so if you suffer from chronic pain, bear this in mind and maybe work on that condition (if possible) and/or take some painkillers ahead of time. I forgot to today, but got through it.
We didn’t work on the inside of the tattoo, due to loss of pigmentation from previous sessions. My skin tone will come back eventually – it just takes a while. One of those things where it’s best not to overwork the skin and it’s hard to tell if it even needs more work until it’s evened out anyway. This is more of a concern with mid-dark skin tones – light skin isn’t affected in the same way (at least, not to the point where it’s noticeable).
We think the middle section has faded more than on the arms due to the artist tattooing too deeply, plus a higher level of circulation along the spine flushing out the old ink. I read somewhere that different body parts will fade tattoos at different rates, depending on circulation. Exercise and massage (within reason) would be good to improve this, I think, along with adequate hydration.
There will be a longer break than usual between now and the next session, due to a family holiday later this year. They advise you stay out of the sun for 4 weeks before and after laser treatment, to reduce risk in skin damage and altering pigmentation. I won’t be sunbathing, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
(comparison images to come after 8 weeks)
(Due August 2022)
Head to Page 3 to see Tips! 📖✍️ (link below)