Ten years ago MD ESTHETICS Concierge, Anne Marie Harris, was in Ontario, far from her beloved British Columbia and missing deeply the natural beauty of her west coast home.
“It was a transitional time for me,” she said.
Her longing for the trees, mountains and rivers of the west coast prompted her decision to reflect her memories and feelings in a tattoo. She wanted a beautiful image that demonstrated her love of nature – one that would remind her not only of home but also freedom from the serious relationship she’d left behind.
The tattoo didn’t quite turn out as planned.
Heading to a shop that had been suggested by friends, and armed with the experience of her two smaller tattoos, Anne Marie thought she knew what she was after.
“I should have been more thorough about researching the artist and the procedure. I was inexperienced and unaware of quality art and inks.”
While the tattoo artist had a basic outline drawn of the image, he told her that a freehand approach was best. After three, 3 1/2 – 4-hour sessions spaced four weeks apart she thought she was happy with the finished image.
Anne Marie soon began to realize that tattoo image was of poor quality.
“In the past ten years I’ve seen other very good tattoos, and I’ve had friends comment on mine – the lack of clarity, shading, and depth. It isn’t very detailed. It’s embarrassing to have people ask me what certain things on my tattoo are.”
The words circling her tattoo are the lyrics to a particular song with significant meaning to her, but the words to the song were also drawn free hand, instead of being stenciled, and are hard to read.
“The words are essentially saying I have no regrets about who I am. They should be easy to read.”
Anne Marie spoke with a tattoo artist recently about changing her tattoo to something better. “It doesn’t represent my feelings anymore.”
The artist told her that she couldn’t do anything to improve it unless it was removed or lightened significantly.
“I looked into some removal options but wasn’t convinced they would be safe,” said Anne Marie. “I’d heard some horror stories about laser removal so that, and the cost, and the fear of poor technology and poor results held me back. I didn’t know it could be safely removed until I started working here.”
She decided to go ahead with the procedure.
“Here, the Doctors are involved all the way. They choose the various settings and heads for the laser and follow up with aftercare, so I’m getting the care and attention I need with the best technology and results.”
Anne Marie prepared for her first treatment by applying a topical numbing cream about an hour before. The cream is removed in small sections and the laser is used on those numbed sections, until the entire tattoo has been treated.
Seven days After One Treatment
Anne Marie’s tattoo is showing signs of fading. The greens have faded to gray, and the blues and purples are nearly gone or are very faded.
“They targeted the greens, blues, and blacks on the first session,” she said, “The second will be the reds and oranges. The results after just one session are good.”
Anne Marie is excited about the tattoo removal and the potential for a new, more professional and beautiful image.
She is also happy to have this tattoo story behind her. “A tattoo often has something emotional attached to it. If there is some negativity in that attachment then every time you see it or if someone asks you about it, you’re reliving all of that again.”
She cautions anyone considering a new tattoo to research the artist’s work and ability carefully first.
“Getting a tattoo is a reflection of yourself or of something you value. It’s expressed in art. When that art is going on your body, make sure you know what you want before going ahead with it,” she said.
Anne Marie is very clear about how to proceed with tattoo removal.
“If you want to have it removed, make sure you do your research there as well. Look for physicians on staff and trained technicians. Follow-up procedures and aftercare are necessary. The PicoSure treatment is quick, you can get through it, it’s easy and within a few sessions you see it fading and then it’s gone!”
Anne Marie is excited about the progress of her tattoo removal. “This is something I’ve been hanging onto for years. I’m happy to know that now it’s possible for me to get another tattoo that will be of high quality and beautiful.”