The Ink Spot You’ll Most Likely Be Taking To Your Grave
Are you thinking of ringing in the New Year with a tattoo? If you are, you’re not alone—24% of people between the ages of 18 and 50 have tattoos (tats.) It seems like everywhere you look you see a skull, flower or someone’s name tattooed on an ankle or an arm.
When it comes to tattoos, this is one makeover decision that should be made carefully. Impulsive decisions are fine when it comes to hair color or even a haircut. Hair eventually grows back, and that fiery red hair can be changed with another appointment. But when it comes to tattoos, that cute little “tat” that you think you’ll love forever is not something you may want to rock even 10 years from now…let alone for the rest of your life.
Don’t believe me? According to the American Society of Dermatological Surgery, over 50% of everyone receiving a tattoo eventually wants it removed.
In fact, tattoo removal via laser surgery is among the fastest-growing areas of the dermatology industry. Tattoos performed by commercial tattoo parlors are very difficult to remove because the tattoo is deep, with the ink complex and thick. The dye (or ink) is actually deposited into the dermis of your skin.
It normally takes between 10 and 15 laser surgery sessions to remove the average tattoo, but 25-30 sessions are not uncommon depending on its complexity. That means that it actually takes one to two years to go through the process.
Besides time-consuming, it’s also expensive. The average single session costs between $400 and $800, which means that removal surgery can end up costing as much as $20,000—so that cute little $45 tattoo might cost $5,000.00 to remove. (The national average for tattoo removal is actually $7,000 per tattoo.)
Can You Just Erase It?
Despite this enormous personal cost, most people are so obsessed with getting their tattoos removed that they will often take out loans to have them erased. But even still, erasing is not the perfect answer. Many times, the laser will leave scars or hypo pigmentation. In other words, despite the removal, the outline of the tattoo is often still visible.
So even though many people see the ads for tattoo removal and may think, “Oh, if I don’t want it someday, I’ll just have it removed,” the problem is that the ink may not be able to be completely removed and the cost may be prohibitive.
The pain of having the “tat” removed is another consideration. Most people are not aware of the pain that can be involved with tattoo removal. Think it hurt going on? The truth is that they’re a lot more painful coming off than they are going on.
The bottom line is the next time you want to be impulsive—change your hair color; think long and hard about something you’ll most be taking to your grave.