Tattoos are forever and removal is costly and ineffective With the hot summer, semi naked bodies are visible everywhere. It is amazing to see the number and locations of tattoos at the swimming pools.

Tattoos are forever. Getting a small tattoo generally costs $100 - $200, depending on the intricacy of the tattoo. Removal of that same tattoo might cost you up to ten times that amount!

In the past, tattoos were prevalent in our veterans. They were travel markers and told where the vet had been. They displayed art images of bravery and wartime icons.

After World War II, tattoos were associated with juvenile delinquents and were only found on the sleazy side of towns. The general public held tattoo parlors in disrepute. And heavily tattooed people were not on the basketball court, but traveled with circuses and freak shows.

Outbreaks of hepatitis, blood poisoning, and other diseases, almost eliminated most tattoo shops. Despite them having sterilization machines, few tattoo artists used them. Contamination by HIV or hepatitis B and C today occur frequently if piercing needles are not properly sterilized. Despite good needles sterilization, infections occur when the ink is reused on previously infected customers.

In Japan, tattoos were used to mark criminals. First offenses were marked with a line across the forehead. Adding an arch marked a second crime. A third offense was marked by another line. Together these marks formed the Japanese character for "dog". It appears this was the original law: "Three strikes your out".

Tattooing signified membership in a particular group, like the Hells Angels. TV and movies have used the idea of a tattoo indication membership in a secret society. Romans marked criminals and slaves, and the Nazis during WW11 tattooed numbers above the wrist on holocaust prisoners to identify them.

Tattooing was a slow and painstaking procedure, and each puncture of the skin was done by hand as the ink was applied. In 1891, Sam O'Rielly patented the first electric tattooing machine. It was based on Edison's electric pen, which punctured paper with a needlepoint. The basic design had moving coils, a tube and a needle bar, and became the components of today's tattoo gun.


In the late 1960s, Lyle Tuttle, a handsome, charming, and interesting chap, began to tattoo celebrities, particularly women. Knowing how to use the media, magazines and television media people flocked to Lyle to get information about this ancient art form. Soon this rise in popularity placed tattooists in the category of "fine artists". Basketball stars like Dennis Rodman and his colleagues on national TV. popularized tattoos.

Today, with the addition of new inks, tattooing has certainly reached a new plateau. Everyone is seeking a tattoo with some personal style that creates some new and unique body art. Children are being groomed to have removable sticker tattoos. Teen-agers, who want to show their independence and have $100 in their pockets, get the real thing.

When you get a tattoo, the ink is deposited in the dermis, the lower layer of skin. That’s why it can’t be rubbed off, and why the ink-laden skin is not shed and renewed. In case of tattoo removal that deep layer of skin needs to be accessed and that is very difficult to achieve.


You should make the decision to get a tattoo with the idea that it can be removed later on if you change your mind! Tattoo removal is still not quick, easy, nor cheap. In fact, it may turn out to be substantially more expensive and painful than it was to get the tattoo in the first place.

Today, laser tattoo removal is the most popular way to remove a tattoo. The laser energy is directed at the tattoo area. It passes through the skin and absorbs the inks, allowing the body to process ink fragments and remove them.

Laser removal generally costs at least about $150 per session and can be as high as $800 or more per session. A small, dark tattoo that is not too deeply placed may take only one or two sessions for complete removal, but most require several sessions to see a dramatic difference. For complete removal, as many as 10 sessions are required.

This process can take time, money, and many treatments before it is successful. Expect to come in every 6-8 weeks for your treatments. Expect to pay roughly about $45 per square inch per visit for the removal of your tattoo.

Short pulses of light target the tattoo ink that is under the skin. The light breaks the ink apart into very small pieces. The body’s own immune system attacks and carries away the small ink fragment pieces.

A Q-YAG 5 laser is used that has two wavelengths (1064 and 532 nm). Darker tattoo inks are removed with the 1064 wavelength, and a mixed 1064/532 wavelength is best for the bright colored inks. Green, purple, brown, light orange, and light blue colors require many laser removal treatments. Some shades of purples, pinks, yellow, and white never fade away completely. Forearm, hand and ankle tattoos are the hardest to remove.

A blister followed by a scab (the color of the tattoo), forms the next few days. With every treatment, there is damage done to the surface of the skin, leaving scars behind. Removal also leaves blisters behind as well as scabs over the places where the laser destroyed the tattoo ink. The more treatments you have done, the higher chance there is of permanent scarring. The chance of scarring depends in the size and color of the tattoo as well as the thickness of your skin; thin skin scars more easily.

Darker colors are easier to remove and may require fewer treatments. Colors like yellow, green and fluorescent colors are the hardest tattoo colors to be removed. The type of tattoo ink that is used as well as how deep the artist injected the ink also play a part in removal success.

Other removal techniques don’t work. They include: chemical peel, bleach, dermabrasion, salt abrasion, hair removal pulsed light, and surgical excision. All of these non-laser methods tend to also cause scarring.


If you're not happy with your tattoo design and you're not too fancy about tattoo removal, you can choose for a cover up tattoo.

Well-done cover up tattoos make the old tattoo less visible, The success rate depends on the techniques used, size and colors of the old tattoo.

Sometimes laser removal machines are used to lighten up the old tattoo. The colors of the new tattoo have to be darker than those of the old tattoo to successfully hide the unwanted design.


Your life changes when you get older (marriage, children) and your once loved tattoo, can be a source of embarrassment
When your tattoo is in a visible place on your body, it could be holding you back from getting a new job.

A tattoo that is connected in some way with an ex girl or boyfriend may also be a good reason to remove the tattoo. If the love is over, so is your love for the tattoo.

Tattoos change, as you get older. You may have put on some weight and your tattoo got stretched. Perhaps you're not happy with the quality of the tattoo design.

When you are getting your tattoo removed you want the best person with the lowest cost. With a procedure like this, it is important that you don't skimp on quality. Look for a specialist who is a board certified doctor or dermatologist and who has the experience and equipment to do this procedure.

If you are thinking about a tattoo, think twice and save yourself a lot of grief. Above all, don’t let your teenager talk you into permission for tattooing. Remember, there is no regulation nor approved training to become a tattoo specialist.

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