Woman with tattooed face who is full of regret undergoes gruelling laser removal

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"Looking back at those pictures, I just feel disappointed in myself" (Image: Kennedy News / Mahoing County Sheriff
"Looking back at those pictures, I just feel disappointed in myself" (Image: Kennedy News / Mahoing County Sheriff's Office)

A woman whose mugshot went viral twice for her heavily tattooed face is undergoing gruelling laser treatment to banish the inkings - in a bid to forget the ex who she was arrested with.

Alyssa Zebrasky was turned into a walking skull after having an elaborate Day of the Dead tattoo done four years ago while she was in a toxic relationship with an ex-partner, who also had elaborate face inkings. The 31-year-old got a spider web on her forehead as well as black shading around her eyes, nose, cheeks and lips during two arduous sessions in June 2018.

Alyssa found herself in police custody three times in six months, including one incident with her ex that resulted in a short police chase, which they blamed on him 'needing the bathroom'. But after completing a drug court program and rehab, Alyssa has turned her life around - but is forced to cover the tattoos under layers of foundation and concealer.

Woman with tattooed face who is full of regret undergoes gruelling laser removal rridqziqtqitinvAlyssa Zebrasky after having her cheek tattoos removed (Kennedy News and Media)
Woman with tattooed face who is full of regret undergoes gruelling laser removalShe now regrets her face inkings (Kennedy News and Media)

Desperate to permanently ditch the ink, Alyssa is now undergoing a laser removal process by a charitable program the 'INK-nitiative, in Austin, Texas.

With support from her family and new partner, with whom she is in 'the healthiest relationship' she's ever been in, Alyssa is documenting the removal journey on social media.

Customer fumes as tattoo artist selfishly hid their initials in designCustomer fumes as tattoo artist selfishly hid their initials in design

Alyssa, from Cleveland, Ohio, US, said: "Looking back at those pictures, I just feel disappointed in myself.

"But I have to remember that I hadn't worked on myself or tried to learn how to love myself as I have now.

"So then I feel proud because change is possible and healing and learning new things are possible. I like being able to look back and see my personal growth."

Despite sporting tattoos all over her body, heavy machinery worker Alyssa only wants to zap the ones on her face and hands due to the association of them with her ex, who she was arrested and got the tattoos with.

Alyssa said: "We [my ex and I] were having a conversation one day and he said 'you should get your face tattooed'.

"Initially I said no and then he just kept talking about it. [Now I believe it was] so nobody else would want me.

"He picked it [the tattoo design] out. It was a Day of the Dead sugar skull, it was my whole face.

"He was covered from the top of his head to his feet [in tattoos], I'm guessing he wanted us to match."

Alyssa had the inkings done in two sessions in June 2018, claiming she was supposed to have even more done but that they never happened.

Woman with tattooed face who is full of regret undergoes gruelling laser removalShe says her ex encouraged her to get the tattoos (Kennedy News and Media)
Woman with tattooed face who is full of regret undergoes gruelling laser removalAlyssa before she got tattoos on her face (Kennedy News and Media)

After her mugshot went viral first in October 2018, and again in 2019, Alyssa turned her life around and decided to ditch the face tatts.

Tattoo 'addict' shares what she looked like before 'spiritual' inkings on faceTattoo 'addict' shares what she looked like before 'spiritual' inkings on face

Alyssa said: "My mugshot went viral. I'd gotten dragged on social media, everybody was saying really, really mean things about me and I didn't even get a chance to say my side of the story.

"In that six-month romance, it was a whirlwind which suddenly became darker.

"While I was in jail... he maybe visited me twice.

"I have to think about that every time I look in the mirror. I started healing mentally from all the stuff I went through with him.

"I went through a drug court program and I went to rehab and I changed.

"Now, every time I look in the mirror I'm reminded of what I went through."

Alyssa started the removal process in October 2019 and was told she'd need 12 sessions.

"When I first started going they did my cheeks, forehead, and hands because like a tattoo your body can only heal so much at once,2 she said.

"Now the cheeks are gone but we haven't started around the mouth yet.

"The cheeks were fairly painless, but I have gotten my nose done once and the nose hurts pretty bad.

"Each session is 20 minutes, the sitting session is way faster than a tattoo itself.

"The initial pain from the laser I would relate to having a rubber band snapping against your skin, that's what the laser feels like and then like afterwards it's sore for 30 minutes.

Woman with tattooed face who is full of regret undergoes gruelling laser removalShe is now in 'the healthiest relationship' (Kennedy News and Media)
Woman with tattooed face who is full of regret undergoes gruelling laser removalAlyssa, pictured before her inkings, is undergoing painful laser removal (Kennedy News and Media)

"It welts up afterwards and there's some pain almost like if you spilt oil from the stove on your hand, that's the closest I can compare to what it feels like on my hands.

"On my face, it doesn't so much burn but [there's] swelling."

As the tattoos get blasted off her face, Alyssa says she's now 'accepted' her face and hopes that by being honest about her experiences she will help others in a similar situation.

Alyssa said: "I used to cover them up when I'd go visit my family.

"My mom told me I don't need to cover them anymore which was nice.

"[My family] have been supportive through the whole thing, they understand I was in a vulnerable place.

"I'm currently in a relationship, I've been with him for ten months now and it's the healthiest relationship that I've ever been in in my entire life.

"As much hate as I do get on TikTok and social media, I don't really pay attention to it.

"I could be helping someone in a similar situation, it could be drug addiction or they went through something really traumatising and they want to see somebody else who got through it."

Do you have a tattoo story to share? Please get in touch at [email protected]

Eleanor Wood Bowyer

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