The Story of a Tattoo Removal: Part 1

Have you ever done something you regret? I don’t have many regrets in my life and I wouldn’t rank this anywhere near the top but as I am knocking on the door of 37, I made a silent vow to be a better version of myself by 40. It gives me three years to get some of my shit together, cross some things off my bucket list and get my ducks in row for my next decade. A formalized plan of how it will go down? That I don’t have. I know better…now. But a general sense of where I need to steer my ship, that’s what I need.

My lofty to-do list includes tackle all things:

  • Spiritual
  • Financial
  • Relational

Looking at this list makes me think that Oprah and her pals would have a heyday with me. I would make an ideal case study for her Super Soul Sunday series. But I am not in dire straights here, so let’s lighten things up a bit and focus on something decidedly more fun but no less impactful on happiness, the aesthetic.

Before I turned 30 I wanted to find the perfect shade of red lipstick. I have discovered that there is no one perfect shade, but several. I now have the perfect day red, evening red, dramatic red, playful red . . . and a list of sinfully expensive reds that I will treat myself to the next time I have enough loyalty points to redeem at the beauty counter. At 35 I made an appointment with a top dermatologist in the city and I wanted her to give me the once over. I wanted her to scan my moles for potential cancer, berate me for my teenage addiction to tanning oil, and share with me the secret elixirs that Jennifer Lopez uses so I too can look dewy and youthful instead of dehydrated and tired. I now apply my potions and look at my face an inch from the mirror every morning. A girl’s gotta monitor progress.

Last year upon my annual visit with my derm, as she scanned my body for wayward moles, I decided to ask her about the removal of my tattoo, a discreet tattoo that I hastily had inked on my right hip just before my 19th birthday. I surprised myself when the words tumbled out my mouth as I stood arms and legs spread apart like a starfish, wearing nothing more than my underwear.

“Oh yes. I don’t do that here but make sure you go somewhere good. Make sure you go somewhere where they have the best, most current technology.” She says this, as her face is a centimeter from my abdomen looking at what I thought was the ink. “Maybe the laser can take care of these stretch marks too.”

Great. Is there no escaping the wrath of childbirth?

Childbirth. It’s the reason that I want the tattoo removed. Contrary to what many people told me, and many think, it’s not that I want the tattoo removed because I care what my children think of it or in turn think of me. I know that I have raised my children to see past stereotypes of people’s skin – the colour of it or how they have chosen to adorn it. It’s something that my dad said to me after he found out that I had tattooed my body. He wasn’t angry or annoyed; in fact, he wasn’t anything other than confused. He looked at me with a look of trying to understand, “But you were perfect just the way you were. Just how I made you.”

All of the armchair psychologists are probably having a field day with that one.

When my dermatologist said make sure you go to the best of the best, I called The Plastic Surgery Clinic. I was first introduced to The Plastic Surgery Clinic years ago through their Miracle 10 Skincare, so when I learned they used PicoWay for tattoo removal I made my consultation appointment.

PicoWay is a laser that uses ultra-short pulses that targets the ink in picoseconds (that’s one trillionth of a second!). It’s considered to be the best option for tattoo removal currently available because it’s powerful and fast, so patients typically require fewer sessions. How the laser targets the ink, is that it essentially shatters the ink particles allowing your body to naturally clear them.

Clearing. A clean slate. It’s a time of transition and changes, and I am ready for a clean slate.

Be sure to follow along as I share this experience with you. I will be writing again next month to update you on how the consultation appointment went and what I can expect as I go forward with removing my tattoo.

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Read Plenty more about my experience with Chemical Peels: Myths Debunked and WTF Is Going On With My Skin!?

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