The gradient laser removal project started August 17, 2007 when Adam Walsh of Hold Fast tattooed the bars on the inside of my right arm. We chose 9 because an approximate spacing of a half-inch seemed to work well aesthetically, and 8 treatments seemed to be a reasonable estimation to remove a black tattoo.
I began treating the tattoo on September 19, 2007. This was of course quite soon to start the removal, but the process was as much about experimentation as it was to show my clients how the process worked. As you can see by the first treatment, the ink was quite resilient, breaking down in an uneven fashion. This result is actually fairly uncommon, usually only seen when treating newer tattoos. Also, in treatment number two you can see an unusual result. The white patch on the right side of the bar was from a scab that I accidentally pulled off. Of course total ink removal is a plus, but I could have been left with a scar. Thankfully I was not.
Treatments three through five all went as planned with only one constant issue. The 9th bar, and sometimes number 8, would often blister post treatment. This was most likely attributed to heat generated by my bicep touching the area when my arm was bent. Treatment six also went as planned with another minor problem. Again I accidentally pulled a scab from the area. This time however the area did not loose color. In fact, the opposite happened. The scab was more superficial and the underlying dermis was exposed leaving a very dark area in the tattoo. It took a few months, but in time the epidermis regenerated and the color evened out.
Treatments seven and eight went well. I increased the energy quite a bit to knock out as much color as possible. I was a bit more aggressive than normal, but the project was nearing completion and results needed to be more dramatic if possible. Bar number 9 is not perfect. There is still a bit of tattoo ink left, the tissue feels slightly different and depending on ambient temperature the area will turn red at times.
The removal project ended with the final laser treatment on February 17, 2009 and the outlines tattooed on April 2, 2009. Overall I am happy with the final product with one minor exception. As can seen in the photo, the bars that were once straight and symmetrical, have changed shape dramatically as they were progressively treated.
In time the bars will continue to fade and the outlines will soften. So, in the future I will be updating the photo and possibly the story behind the project.
Removing tattoos might be our business, but removal can often mean editing an existing piece or making room for better work. Today is prime example of that. I have an old armband that has been treated twice and is now ready to be covered. Well, not quite. Mike worked on it for an hour or so today, but stopped because some of the areas are still too dark to cover. Looks like one more treatement before the tattooing can go any higher.
Wow the elbow is uncomfortable
I want to thank Mike for all the work he has done on my left sleeve…and in case you haven’t heard of the guy, here is a little background on him:
…or possibly from his portrait of Maddox Jolie Pitt
One day everyone will really know him for his controversial paintings
…but me, I know him as the light handed tattoo artist with the SWEET ‘STACHE
Sorry, Mike….it had to be done.
Mike Tidwell Awards
Best Color Small – Texas Tattoo Roundup – 2002
Best Color Medium – Texas Tattoo Roundup –2004
Most Realistic– Texas Tattoo Roundup –2004
Best Portrait – Texas Tattoo Roundup –2004
Most Unusual – Texas Tattoo Roundup –2005
Most Unusual – Texas Tattoo Roundup –2007
The real story here is that The Enigma and Serana drove up from Austin to have a tattoo removed from her foot. But in true Enigma fashion this story deserves a bit of embellishment. So for reading pleasure I give you, “Attack of The Enigma!”
It was an average day here at Fade Fast when a strange thing suddenly appeared in our office.
It seemed friendly and curious so we decided to let this strange blue creature stay and observe.
Suddenly it became extremely agitated.
But the gift of protective eyewear seemed to soothe the savage beast.
The creature became inquisitive. What was about to happen?
Its native language was strange, but I swear it said, “Why Would She?”
Questions soon turned to Confusion…Confusion turned to Horror.
“Why remove tattoo???”
“OOOOO Evil Green Light!!!”
It poised to attack.
I had to think quickly…or I new I was doomed!
Of course his only weakness.
Threatened by the awesome power of the laser, the giant blue puzzle stood quietly and watched.
Would the laser have stopped the Enigma? I guess we’ll never know.
In all seriousness, I would like thank The Enigma for making the trip to Dallas and trusting us to do a removal and his lovely girlfriend Serana Rose.
And of course thanks to Stacey Potter for coming in and shooting the photos.
Over the last few months Fade Fast has been testing a new product that is specifically designed for healing of tissue that has undergone laser treatments. We have now entered phase two of our trials and are looking for clients that are interested in using free samples of this product. If you would like to participate, you only need to meet two criteria:
You must have undergone at least one laser tattoo removal session prior. This will help establish a baseline to compare the differences in healing while using Humatirx.
You must be willing to answer a short survey. Either in person or by email.
So far, in phase one of the trials, we have received about an 85 percent positive response, 15% neutral and zero negative responses.
General Positive Response – Reduction of post treatment discomfort and shorten healing time. General Neutral Response – Saw little to no difference between using Humatrix and other healing methods.
Humatrix® Microclysmic Gel exhibits endothermic and biometric properties which cool traumatized tissue and aid in the homeostasis of healing. Humatrix® Microclysmic Gel provides the ultimate moisturization for burns, autograft procedures, radiation irritation, glycolic acid peel irritation, mechanical injuries, laser treatment, and chronic wound therapy. Advanced biochemical technology provides several unique benefits. First, the time release of water molecules provides the traumatized tissue a consistent level of humectancy to promote tissue regeneration. Secondly, Humatrix® provides a protein template to assist the biological regeneration of fibroblast cells necessary for wound healing. Thirdly, the cooling process of Humatrix® lowers the surface temperature 8 to 12 degrees within three minutes preventing further tissue damage caused by dehydration of cells. Humatrix® Microclysmic Gel is a bacteriostatic, protein enriched formulation designed to maintain a moist, sterile environment which promotes and accelerates cellular regeneration by replicating the natural fibro-connective template and promoting fibroblast activity, the precursor of collagen formulation. The fibron network maintains homeostasis via the product’s bio-chemical process by the addition of an analog of extracellular matrix. Humatrix® assists in the reduction of hyper-granulation, scarring, and hyper-contracture as well as increases both the extensibility and flexibility of human skin with the addition of the glycosaminoglycan matrix. Humatrix® is an excellent adjunct to wound treatment. Humatrix® maintains a sterile, moist environment for the healing of chronic and acute wounds by modulating the osmotic pressure of tissue by the timed release of moisture for cellular regeneration.
Channel 11 news was in the shop two days ago doing a story on story on Lilly and now it’s exploding all over the internet. I heard it even made the front page of Yahoo News and CNN.
span class=”cbstv_attribution”>DALLAS (CBS 11 News) ― According to Lilly Hibbs, tattoos are a way of life. Her mom works on body piercing and her dad is a tattoo artist. The 9-year-old said she just wants to follow in his footsteps.
“Monkey see, monkey do,” said Stephen Hibbs, Lilly’s dad. “I guess she watches us everyday she wants to be a part of it.”
Stephen said he just couldn’t be prouder. “Most parents would say, ‘I can’t believe your kid wants to be a tattoo artist.’ Where I say, ‘I can only be lucky if my kid turns out to be a tattoo artist,'” he said.
Lilly spends her day at Suffer City Tattoos in Dallas, doing what she says comes naturally, learning the skill of body art.
“When I was 7, my dad asked me if I wanted to tattoo him and I said yes,” she said. So, Lilly tattooed her dad with a picture of Patrick from SpongeBob SquarePants.
The video was posted on YouTube. “One person saw video of me tattoo. They just stopped in saying they wanted a tattoo by me,” Lilly said.
One person even drove from North Carolina to get a tattoo by Lilly. “He wanted an anchor, so she drew him an anchor,” said Stephen. “He loved it.”
But Lilly has a little help. The needle is heavy, so her dad holds on while she draws.
At only $5 for each tattoo, Lilly realizes that she won’t get rich any time soon, but she is saving up for something a little zany: a gigantic plastic gingerbread man.
“I don’t think I will ever buy her a plastic gingerbread man, she will buy it for herself,” said her dad.
Lilly has drawn about six tattoos and says she realizes she has a lot of art classes to take before she can perfect her skill. Meanwhile, her dad worries that, like most kids, she will rebel — throw in the needle and run off to join a sorority.
So you’re stuck with a dark tattoo. You want to get it covered but your options are limited. In most cases, your choices are bigger and darker. Well, what about lightening the piece first? Below is a great example. With just 3 laser treatments, Caleb was able to cover his old tattoo with no sign of underlying tattoo. (Click the image for close-up view…you will see NO TRACE of the old kanji!)
We have several things going on right now. Testing a new post treatment gel, honing pain reduction techniques and further research into topical tattoo removal products, but today’s blog is all about results.
Of course everyone wants to see a portfolio, and laser removal technicians want to display their best work. We agree, however, there is more to laser tattoo removal than just final results. It would be fantastic if tattoos were removed in just one session, but that’s rarely the case. So, what should you expect after one, two, three treatments? Below is a collection of photos in different stages of removal.
Click Images for Larger Photos
Tattoo removal is more than just science
At Fade Fast better artwork is our passion