Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tattoo Removal

As you all know, i have a incomplete half-sleeve and i never got to complete it because my bf doesn't really like tattoos. I stay with him 3-4 days a week and in his house, i am always in long sleeves. 24/7. His parents are aware of my tattoos, but do not like it. There was once, they even asked why i didn't want to get it removed. It sure wasn't a good feeling hearing it but for the first time, i actually considered having it removed. I cannot force my boyfriend to like tattoos. It's like forcing me to like Bitter Gourd (ok quite out of point but that was the first thing that came into my mind).

In the past, my ex-boyfriends and their parents were perfectly fine with my tattoos. So i was actually proud of it and loved to flaunt it. Till i met D and his family, everything changed. They couldn't accept it, at all. But i didn't want my tattoos to be the reason i cannot be with D, so everyday, i just cover myself up top to toe. It was depressing to not be able to wear a dress without throwing a blazer over. Everyday for 2 years++, i lived like that and so, i decided i have to do something about it. Yknow, everyday i had to act like it didn't affect me, like i enjoyed wearing long sleeves!

Do i regret my tattoos?

...yes i regret placing it on my arm. I wish the tattoos were stickers, i'd be able to tear them off my arm and place 'em on my back. I really like the My Little Pony tattoo and the Cupcake tattoo a lot. :( If i were to laser it off my arm, i MIGHT get it done on my back. Lol. Don't get me wrong when i say i regret my tattoos, I LOVE tattoos. It's like....ME. People think of me, people think of tattoos! I cannot imagine life without having my tattoos? Haha. I just wished i wasn't so impulsive and thought of the day i meet people who cannot accept it. My mom allowed me to get tattoos done because she knows that i really like it and i'm going to get it someday anyway. So i went ahead and i guess i got carried away because no one actually stopped me from getting it on my arm.

The tattoos on my arm has actually caused me to lose out on a few endorsements from brands i like as well. Not VERY sad about it lah, but i realized it is true that tattoos will affect your career opportunities etc. Unless you know for sure, what industry you want to be in and know that having a full sleeve won't affect that, good for you! Just hope you don't suddenly meet this guy you're really into who doesn't like tattoos (lME LOR?). Hahaha. If you are thinking of getting a tattoo, i say...."SURE! GO AHEAD! JUST NOT ANYWHERE OBVIOUS."

I did my homework, spent days on Google researching on different tattoo removal techniques. Came across sites recommending Tattoo Removal Creams....etc! No pain. The easy way out. So i was confident and nearly bought it but then i did even more work and asked around and it's actually quite risky and might not even work. It'll damage your skin and will look even crappier than having a tattoo there. So the most effective way is still, Laser.

I decided to go to the National Skin Centre for consultation and well they seemed to be really experienced and good for tattoo removal so yeah. If you know of a better clinic in Singapore, feel free to share with me! 

It's SO difficult getting myself to go to the clinic. It's even more difficult than going to get a tattoo done!  In fact, i've made 3 appointments and kept postponing it because I JUST COULDNT DO IT. :( But finally, i made it to the clinic and...


Here's how this morning went...

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NSC Mandalay Laser Clinic

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Got changed into comfy slippers

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They applied a numbing cream on my arm and i had to wait around 45 min for it to take effect. 

Went into the Laser room and was told to lie on a bed. I wish i could sit up cus lying down made me feel more nervous and scared? Had to put on goggles so i couldn't see the whole process. :( I could only hear the "piak" sounds and smell burnt skin. Worst 20 min of my life. 

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Walked out on the room with a bandaged arm. IT WAS BURNING IT WAS SOOOOO BAD.

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Got home and unwrapped it to find my arm SUPER SWOLLEN. 

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Results after 1st session - Colors did lighten a bit!

How was the pain like?

Those who said it was very pain. YES THEY ARE RIGHT. I felt like rubber bands snapping on my skin non-stop for 20 min. Doeesn't sound THAT painful but it is! The nurse did put numbing cream all over my arm but it still hurts, i could still feel the pain. Oh and she didn't put it around my wrists properly, SO THE PAIN AT MY WRIST WHEN THE LASER HIT WAS SOOOO BAD. Mine is a huge area so I could hardly move my arm after the session. The doctor suggested i do bit by bit the next time round cus he could feel my pain. It was so painful i couldn't breathe. Lol. And the pain right after the lasering is done IS MAD. My arm felt like it was on fire. It also kept "pounding" it had a heart! YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN RIGHT? I'm so bad at describing stuff. I actually think if it's just a small tattoo, it's still pretty bearable and not that bad. TOO BAD FOR ME MINE IS HUGE.

How much did it cost?

I paid $100+ for the consolation at National Skin Centre. Then for the 1st session, it costed me $400 including the medication etc. So in all i paid $500? Every session i've to pay around $250-400 depending on how much i'm gonna laser that day.

I do my laser tattoo removal at 2 places now, National Skin Centre and Trinity Medical Centre (Marine Parade).

1st - 5th session were done at National Skin Centre. Est. $300-400/session.
6th - 7th session were done at Trinity Medical Centre (Marine Parade) Est. $300-400/session

Bear in mind that my tattoo area is big, but if yours is like say, less than palm size, it should cost $100-200/session.

How many sessions do you need?

Different clinics use different machines to get rid of the tattoo. For me, i went to Trinity Medical Clinic as the machine got rid of the black ink way quicker than at National Skin Centre however at Trinity Medical, i couldn't get rid of the green and blue ink so i still have to go back to NSC once the black ink is gone.

For tattoos, it is advisable to go for 7-10 sessions. Even after 10 sessions, not all the ink will be off. Some inks like yellow, white, orange, brown are almost not possible to go off. :( 

I wish myself a speedy recovery and kinda looking forward to get this over and done with.....but also dreading the next session cus of the pain. SIGH.

For those who are considering Laser to remove unwanted tattoos on your body, i hope this post will help you a little and do follow my journey! :D