Tattoo Removal Case Study – George’s Barbed Wire Armband Tattoo

03 Jul

Customer name – George

Age – 42 years old

Type of Tattoo – Barbed wire armband on left bicep. Black ink.

Age of Tattoo – approximately 20 years

Description of Tattoo – George’s tattoo is a classic 1990s barbed wire armband on the upper arm.  It does not go all the way round his arm – just the outside. When George first came into the clinic it was very dark. The ink was so dense it looked raised up in places.

Story behind the Tattoo – George got his tattoo around 20 years ago, in the mid 1990s.   A friend asked George if he wanted to go with him and get an armband tattoo.  George agreed and they went to the Illustrated Man in Sydney. He didn’t know what kind of tattoo he was going to get – he just walked into the shop and picked one off the wall. Initially, he thought it was cool.

Reason for Visit – A year or so later, George started to have second thoughts about his tattoo and decided he didn’t like it any more. For the next few years he just lived with it, ‘forgetting it was there’.  He had no idea that tattoos could be removed, but In 2015, he found out about about laser tattoo removal from a friend who had got one lasered off previously.

Before treatment of George’s armband tattoo

Initial assessment – We gave George a patch test initially, and he came back a week later to start the full treatment.  We don’t always do a patch test for new tattoos, but if we suspect that there may be any adverse reaction we do it as a precaution. A patch test is simply treatment on a small part of the tattoo.  We would always do a patch test on red ink tattoos and ones where the owner has mentioned that they may have had an allergic reaction when the tattoo was first applied.

Treatment overview – George started his treatment in July 2015. He has now had 8 treatments. After the 7th George didn’t return for nearly 2 years!  This wasn’t because he’d been unhappy with the treatment; just that he missed his next scheduled appointment and forgot to rebook. Time passed by, and he never got round to rebooking (despite the best efforts of Fade to Blank to keep in touch with lapsed clients!)  However, he didn’t forget about his tattoo and eventually came in again for his 8th treatment a few weeks ago.

George’s armband tattoo has faded significantly but not as much as we expected after such a long absence. Usually the longer the period between treatments the better it is in terms of ink clearance by the body. The immune system is constantly working to expel the broken down ink particles weeks and months after the last laser session.

George’s tattoo ink has been more stubborn than we expected and we think it will need another 2 or 3 treatments for complete removal. We will post updates on this page as soon as we get them.

George’s armband tattoo after 7 treatments

After treatment – We apply some antiseptic cream or cooling gel to the treatment area, and put on a simple dressing to protect it. George told us he gets some blisters the day after the treatment sessions. Blistering sometimes happens, but it’s not easy to predict which tattoos may get blisters and which won’t. For those people who do get blistering they are painless and subside after a day or two. It’s best to cover them with a clean dressing, and try to avoid popping them.

Equipment used – At Fade to Blank we use the Quanta Q-Plus C. Wavelength used is 1064nm for blank ink and a 4x4mm spot size.

No of treatments – 8 sessions so far.

Summary – Tattoo removal on small black tattoos is like George’s armband is straightforward. Tattoo removal is a long process; in fact the longer you leave it between treatments the better.  The immune system is still carrying away the ink particles weeks and even months after the laser session. Of course, several laser sessions are needed, so there has to be a balance between giving the body time to expel the ink and carrying out the treatments at regular intervals.  That’s why we leave at least 8 weeks between treatments

Call us today on 0479 123409 or fill in our contact form if you’ve got a tattoo you no longer love.

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