Tattoo regret: How many people are removing their ink?

Tattoo regret: How many people are removing their ink?
Tattoo regret: How many people are removing their ink?

By: Ron Robinson

Have you ever admired something but never necessarily wanted it for yourself? I admire how well a deep tan looks (it’s the epitome of summer health), but I don’t want to spend hours in the sun to achieve it -- all that UV damage can catch up to you.

The same goes for tattoos. I think tattoos are cool, wonderful works of art. But I don’t think I could ever deal with the pain, let alone the idea of having an image/saying engraved on my body forever. That being said, it looks like more and more people are having tattoo regret, and a recent news story from The Today Show highlights this growing trend.

According to statistics from The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 45,224 tattoo removal procedures were performed last year in this country. That percentage is up by 11% compared to just two years ago. Another study indicates that 32% of Gen Xers and a whopping 38% of millennials have a tattoo, while baby boomers only comprise 15% of the total…so I guess tattoo removal numbers will continue to go up.

Expectedly, with the removal of old ink, comes new and innovative technology to help remove tattoos even better than before. The article states that the PicoSure laser is the first FDA-approved picosecond aesthetic laser, which is the biggest advancement in tattoo removal lasers seen in 20 years.

It promises to remove a wider range of tattoos in fewer treatments with better clearance. It delivers ultra-short pulse bursts of energy to the skin in trillionths of a second by targeting ink’s pigment with a high intensity light beam, causing it to break up into smaller molecules. The ink is then absorbed by the natural bodily processes, fading the tattoo until it is no longer visible.

Here’s another statistic to add to the tattoo removal trend: the demographic among those with the highest ink regret is women, with more than 72.7% undergoing tattoo removal procedures. So, before you get that latest design on your arm, leg, what have you, remember, you might just regret it.

However, in the coming years, seeing how far laser technology has come, you might just be able to erase it completely... and then think about your next tat.