Tattoo used to be reserved for biker gangs, soldiers, and sailors – faded green anchors, skulls with roses and a heart with “Mom” piercing its flesh. Over the last decade, tattoo popularity has exploded and is hitting an all-time high with even the most demure of people adorning their wrists with their children’s name.
It’s now trendy for hipsters to have full sleeves to match their black horn-rimmed glasses and 40somethings getting their family crest tattooed on their backs while away in Vegas. However, just because it’s trendy doesn’t mean that there aren’t people who regret the decision. Tattoos, as you know, are harder and often more painful to remove than they are to administer.
What to do if you change your mind about a tattoo? Luckily, there are options…but first, let’s take a look at some of the driving forces behind this form of art.
When Did it Start?
Tattooing dates back to thousands of years ago, as evidenced by mummies and archeological records. Some were with henna, some paint, and even natural dyes inserted into the skin via an archaic needle-like procedure.
Popular Tattoo Choices for Men and Women
As mentioned before, tattooing today has transcended the clichés of sailors and bikers. The popularity of television programs such as “Miami Ink” and “Ink Master” has only increased the demand for cool body art. Today, men are inking themselves all over their bodies, with the most popular areas being the back, shoulders, chest, biceps and calves. Tribal designs, Celtic art, intricate arm or leg bands and family crests are all popular choices. As for the female population, you’re more likely to see tattoos on the shoulders, hips, ankles, lower back, and more popular today, behind the ear and on the inner wrist.
While those who have multiple tattoos or full sleeves of beautiful art may just be designing their bodies with a full palette, many people choose to get a solitary tattoo that has a cherished meaning. For example, commemorating the name or birth date of a child is a popular choice. A birth sign or a family name is also meaningful. Some people even choose to get a super talented artist to recreate a portrait of a loved one.
Overall, getting a tattoo is a big decision, and not one that should be taken lightly! Ensure that you do your research, visit a reputable artist and choose a meaningful design, and you will be less likely to regret it in the future.
Getting Rid of a Tattoo
But what if you want to get rid of that tattoo of the cartoon character that was popular at the time, or even worse: the name of an ex that you thought you’d be with forever? Tattoos are permanent, and removal is lengthy and can be painful – with some outdated techniques including using an acid that removes the top layers of skin, or dermabrasion and skin grafts for larger tattoos! Is there a better way?
Laser Tattoo Removal
Thankfully, the answer is yes. Thanks to laser technology, the new Q-switch laser technique works on the skin with an anesthetic, and destroys pigment with minimal scarring to the surrounding tissue. The ink is subsequently absorbed into the skin. Although it will take multiple sessions to fully remove the tattoo, and it will also depend on the pigment of the tattoo being removed (dark pigments, believe it or not, are easier to remove than colored tattoos), it is extremely effective and minimally invasive.