As tattoo regret rises in popularity alongside tattoos themselves, many people are getting their tattoos removed.
Tattoo removal uses laser equipment which ‘shatters’ the tattoo’s ink. The body’s lymph system then carries it away gradually. Heavy smokers will need more treatments due to their poor circulation which removes the ink less effectively.
Skin colour, skin type, any scarring, medical history and the tattoo site are all discussed in a 30-minute consultation.
Reasons for removal vary, according to Sue Salmon of Wollongong Tattoo Removal Service. Most of her clients are women between 25 and 40. Some want to join the army, she said. Others have moved on from a relationship. Others have simply outgrown their tattoos and say they are no longer that person anymore.
Salmon recommended using a medical laser clinic. Practitioners should be trained to use the laser equipment, or be a nurse or doctor. Only WA and QLD currently regulate tattoo removal practitioners.