According to a recent study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, nearly one in four Americans report being "tattooed" at least once. Yet, the same study also says, 17% of those with tattoos would like to have them removed, making tattoo removal one of the most requested cosmetic surgeries.
From royalty to today's celebrity faces people have been getting tattooed for hundreds of years.
According to "The Lovely Leah" with Pikes Peak Ta too, "There's a right of passage, there's that permanence to it, and that's what getting a tattoo is all about; making a permanent mark."
So, deciding to get a tattoo should be thought out carefully.
"Maybe having the bunny tattooed on your ankle when you were 18 sounded like a good idea; now that you're 30 and a professional, it doesn't seem like a good idea anymore", says Dr. Jeanne Osborn with Colorado Springs Health Partners.
Enter tattoo regret, something Elizabeth Ebel has dealt with for the past eight years.
"I was brought up in a highly structured home, and just wanted to do something to rebel from my parents and my life," says Ebel
Since then, she's hidden the colorful tattoo under her clothing.
So, Ebel decided to get her tattoo removed.
“It's not always an easy process,” says Dr. Robert Motazedi with The Laser Clinic of Colorado. "Black is easy to remove. Red, orange, purple are fine. But when you get in to the turquoise, yellows or bright colors, those may be impossible to remove."
And, at roughly a hundred dollars a session, it can add up.
Most tattoos require six to 12 treatments, but can need up to 20 to get the job done. That's $2000 dollars.
And, it can be painful.
"People say it feels like hot grease being splattered, or a rubber band being snapped on your skin," says Dr. Osborn.
However, the results can also be pretty amazing.
Certain tattoos can also be altered to look like something else.
According to Skin Illustrator John Midcap with Pikes Peak Tattoo in Colorado Springs, "Something like feathers, scales, roses, anything that has a lot of detail in them I can use to cover up almost anything."
But tattoo parlors would rather you avoid tattoo regret altogether, and really think it through before getting inked.
"As far as my artwork goes, if someone is going to remove that, it's like wiping out a canvas of mine. I don't appreciate it," says Midcap.
There is a new pigment waiting FDA approval, called Freedom 2, which apparently can be removed with just one laser treatment.
However, because it's not as permanent, some tattoo parlors either refuse to carry it or plan to charge as much as double to use it.
Freedom 2 is expected to be on the market by this spring.
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