What to do with my ring tattoo

by Lisa
(SLC, Utah)

My boyfriend and I have been together for over 3 years now. We both have been married before so no wedding plans but we both decided during our yearly trip to Vegas to seal our commitment to each other with wedding ring tattoos.

About 3 months after doing this I found out I needed to have major back surgery which left me disabled after. At this point he decided I was too much of a burden and decided to leave me stating "one of the reasons I feel in love with you was because you were independent." Now I have this constant reminder of someone who choose not to stand beside me through a very tough time.

I am looking for any ideas as to how to cover this up or add to it so it doesn't look like a wedding band.

Hi Lisa,

I’m so very sorry to hear about everything you are going through – but I hope you don’t mind my saying good riddance to the partner who left you in a serious time of need and support!

Regarding the wedding ring tattoo, you have a few options here that might help.

It would be best not to have another tattoo placed over this one – just in case you were considering it. The reason is because hands are not very good areas for tattoos due to the high cell turnover rate on this area of the body – any tattoo you have done over this one will need to be touched up periodically.

Plus, you’ll still have the reminder there on your finger – even if you get a tattoo over the back of your hand which will incorporate or cover up the tattoo, and a tattoo on the back of the hand will need to be touched up regularly.

I really think that your best option is to have the tattoo removed with a laser. In Salt Lake City, there are a few clinics which specialize in the latest in laser tattoo removal - and some even offer financing or payment plans.

In just the last few years, there has been a significant increase in laser techniques which can be used to remove tattoos, and these treatments will usually not leave a scar – unlike dermabrasion or surgical excision techniques. (*While the tattoo removal skin creams have amazing and very tempting advertisements and appealing convincing websites, these creams do not work at all).

You will most likely need about 3 to 4 treatments to have the tattoo ring removed – depending on how dark it is and the colors involved on the tattoo – and the cost will likely be a few hundred dollars for each treatment. But with this option you can have the treatments performed as you can afford them and with each treatment the tattoo will become significantly lighter.

This laser treatment too is performed with just a numbing agent, and feels a bit like rubber band snapping on your skin. After each treatment, you’ll feel like the skin has a sunburn – but it is not extremely painful (especially for smaller tattoos) and the skin quickly heals from each session.

Then when the treatments are through, you won’t have any type of reminder of the tattoo – it is a permanent solution, and one that will probably – in the long run – cost just as much, if not less, than another tattoo and the touch-ups this tattoo will require over your lifetime.

There a number of clinics in Salt Lake City which perform this service, but I checked out a few and you may want to take a look at this one: Gateway Laser Center
They have a financing plan and perform a ton of other cosmetic and dermatological services – so I think you’ll find a very experienced technician here.

To temporarily cover up the tattoo, it might help to find a beautiful ring with a very wide band – something that does not look like a wedding ring, and which may have some significance to you...like a birthstone ring or a ring crafted with a particular symbol or design, maybe one that represents strength or finding your center again. Then, you can “reclaim” your finger so to speak until you can have the tattoo permanently removed!

Alternatively, you can also use a tattoo cover up patch – just cut it to go on the finger tattoo – for a temporary cover up. These patches come in wide range of skin colors – and are made to mold to the surface of your skin so they are difficult to detect.

I hope that you can go with the laser removal and a periodic cover-up when needed - I really do think this is the best solution.

And I hope you don’t mind my mentioning this – I don’t know your situation or what occurred with your back, and you may probably already know all this.....but I knew a woman for almost 20 years who had a terrible back problem....her discs and bones had almost disintegrated due to a medication she was on for many years. Over time, she became addicted to pain killers and her entire personality changed – she became an extremely angry, bitter person and completely isolated herself too.

I remember a time when she had started going for physical therapy after a particular horrendous surgery which almost left her crippled, and it was like she was coming back. She felt good – was walking again – was starting to get off the heavy pain meds and then she just stopped and went way downhill from there.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is please don’t let this happen to you. Find a support group - whether local or online, people you can talk with and try not to isolate yourself socially or physically.

Have hope – and if possible try to stay as active as you can, or to find a physical therapy program if you are not in one already. The back, and spinal cord, even our bones, have been found to have higher regenerative properties than previously thought – and one of the best things anyone can do to build up bone density is to regularly perform doctor recommended exercises.

There are also core exercises you can do – to strengthen your core and your legs that will take off the pressure on your back. (Of course, a physical therapist and doctor will need to design a safe strengthening program that will fit your particular situation).

Whatever you are facing, please remember that we all have the strength to overcome any obstacle life throws at us – we just have to believe in ourselves and know that we all have the power to come out on the other side even stronger than before.

Take good care Lisa, and the very best with finding a permanent resolution to removing your tattoo.

Suzanne Gardner
Everything Wedding Rings

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