If you read my previous post (Tatoo? What tattoo?), you are aware that yesterday was my first date with the Art Erase laser. Instead of having the entire surface zapped (as I anxiously imagined), the laser tech performed two patch tests. Why? Well, here are a few reasons why it’s important to do test patches.
- Everyone’s skin reacts differently to lasers and various laser settings. (Read: The technician was looking out for me and my delicate skin.)
- I could not answer the technician’s question about titanium (found in white ink). At the time I received the tattoo, I didn’t know to ask the tattoo artist if he was using a pink ink or a red ink mixed with white ink. It seems titanium reacts to lasers in the opposite way other non-titanium inks do. They get DARKER!!! Don’t want that. (Again: the technician is looking out for me, this time it’s my sanity she’s concerned about.)
- Sun exposure of the area can play tricks with the technician’s eyes, and therefore decrease the quality of the removal. The technician wants to be certain that the treated area matches the normal tone of the surrounding non-tattooed skin. (Again: a sign that the technician is skilled and cares about the results and keeping the customer happy!)
- We all have different thresholds for pain. The technician used the patch test as an opportunity for me to ease into the pain instead of thrusting me head on (in this case, forearm on) into agony. (Again: the technician wants me to have a pleasant and fulfilling experience.)
My tattoo is not much bigger than a quarter, as you can see from the image above. Regardless, the process to have it removed is just over $1200.00. (I was able to get a deal and am only paying $600.00.) At first, I thought this was a bit much. (Hell, I didn’t even pay for the thing in the first place!) But after visiting the technician yesterday, I realized that I am paying for the skills of an expert team of health professionals. I want zero remnants of this “thing” to remain and am confident that my wish will be granted.
(By the way, there was little pain involved. Because it was just two zaps of the laser, I declined any numbing cream. They just felt like a rubber band being snapped across my arm. A few minutes later, the skin raised and warmed in the two spots. Nothing a little bit of Vaseline and band-aid couldn’t soothe. My next visit is February 7.)