Do You Have Tattoo Remorse?
It seemed like a great idea when you were in your 20s, but getting inked may be something you’d rather put behind you than show off every time you bare that skin. Is there a safe way to remove a tattoo?
Yes, but this is not a DIY process. Go to a certified dermatologist or a reputable cosmetic surgery facility to have your tat removed by one of the newer laser treatments, which break up the pigment color with a high-intensity light beam. You may have to repeat the treatment several times before you’re satisfied that you’ve removed enough of the color. Black and blue are the easiest colors to remove; green and yellow are the most challenging.
“Tattoo remorse can reach its highest peak in the summer months when we wear more revealing clothing,” says Jeremy Green, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist at Skin Associates of South Florida in Coral Gables and clinical assistant professor at the University of Miami Department of Dermatology. “That tattoo that once seemed liberating, now seems limiting. Laser therapy is a great option for removing an unwanted tattoo, as it causes the ink pigment to break up and disappear.”
Green is a spokesperson for the laser Enlighten, which its manufacturer Cutera, Inc., maintains can power through tough tattoos and succeed in fewer treatments than other lasers. Enlighten is “the first and only dual wavelength and dual pulse duration picosecond laser system in the U.S. today,” according to the company.
A survey conducted by Cutera along with ORC International, an independent research organization, found that 25 percent of inked adults no longer want their tattoos. While 80 percent of the tat-remorseful have considered laser removal, only 14 percent have tried the procedure. With the newer lasers cutting down the number of treatments, industry observers expect more people to opt for removal.