Tattoo removal is on the rise

Tattoo removal

Tattoo removal is a lot easier and less painless than it used to be. Image supplied.

Thinking about getting a tattoo removed? You are not alone. Tattoo removal services have skyrocketed by 440% in the last 10 years, driven by the ever-growing demand for those wanting to rid themselves of their old ink. For those who are finally ready to take the plunge, we have a chat to beauty wholesaler The Global Beauty Group to get the low-down everything you should know before getting a tattoo removed.

The rise of tattoos

Thanks to their ubiquitous rise in popular culture over the past several decades, tattoos have well and truly woven themselves into the fabric of our culture. At the risk of exposing my age, when I got my first tattoo at 18, it was still considered slightly edgy or risqué, if you will. Hence I opted for a sneaky, discreet design in a place I could easily hide, if need be.

These days, there is no longer the same stigma attached and as such, never before have tattoos been so prevalent and accepted, than they are at present. People now wear their tattoos proudly, as pieces of art or as expressions of identity. Just as hairstyles, accessories and clothing choices represent who we are as people to the wider world, so too do people’s tattoo choices.

Attitudes toward body art have changed and so too have the social stereotypes surrounding them. In today’s climate, as opposed to a tattoo singling you out, these days the opposite is true. Per capita, New Zealand is the most tattooed nation in the world, with 1 in 5 having at least one tattoo. Over the last couple of years, tattoos have reached an all-time high and with the rise of social media, people now have unprecedented and unlimited access to their favorite tattoo artist’s work – I know I am not alone when I admit to whiling away the hours, scrolling through the feeds of tattoo artists I admire, saving images and busily planning my next tattoo in my head.

Making the choice

Of course, with more and more people getting inked than ever before, it stands to reason that more tattoos equals more “tattoo regret”. I think most of us have at least one piece of ink we thought looked incredible back when we were too young to know any better. Or short-sighted enough to think our name in Japanese characters on our lower back was the epitome of cool. With many New Zealanders now regretting their ink and considering removal, the demand for laser tattoo removal services has skyrocketed.

When it comes to removal, whether your reasons be professional, aesthetic, social or otherwise –thankfully there are plenty of places to go. Dermatologists, skin clinics and tattoo removal clinics are all options, with some tattoo parlours even offering removal on site as well.

How does tattoo removal work?

According to The Global Beauty Group, Q-switched lasers have emerged as the most widely used machine for tattoo removal due to their effectiveness and ability to safely treat the ink particles within a tattoo without damaging the surrounding tissue. Q-switched laser direct short, nano second-long pulses of powerful energy toward the tattoo. As the laser beam strikes the skin, it shatters the ink into fine particles which are then processed and filtered out through the body’s lymphatic system.

Tattoo removal

Q-switched lasers direct short, nano second-long pulses of powerful energy toward the tattoo.

Does tattoo removal really hurt as much as people say it does?

The short answer is no, it does not. Whilst the process is not 100% pain-free, any discomfort can be minimised with the application of topical compound numbing cream applied to the area prior to treatment with a tattoo removal machine.

For those concerned about the cost or pain; current tattoo removal lasers are far less invasive than they used to be and much more effective also. In fact, most people are prepared for it to hurt far more than it actually does!

How many sessions are required?

Whilst it is difficult to accurately predict the number of treatments necessary, most professionally-done tattoos will require at least 6-12 treatments to remove entirely, depending on variables such as the type, depth, colour and quality/amount of ink used in the tattoo. Gaps of 4-6 weeks between treatments is recommended, to allow the area time to adequately heal properly.

How much does it cost?

The price will depend on the size, colour and ink quality of the tattoo – but generally can start from $60 for a smaller area. Packages are usually available and if you buy the sessions together in bulk upfront, you can save yourself some coin plus it will encourage you to complete them!

What happens afterwards?

The area is likely to feel red and hot to the touch – almost like a mild sunburn. A cold compress afterwards can relieve some of the discomfort, aloe vera or bepanthen cream can help soothe the area. Avoid any sweating or hot showers for the first 24 hours afterwards and try not to itch the area.

Any tips for people considering getting a tattoo removed?

When it comes to tattoo removal – the name of the game is commitment! Having made the decision, a lot of people will complete the first several sessions, before dropping off. You need to be prepared to play the long game – keep your initial mindset going and continue to make it a priority to complete the process.

In terms of other things to consider, looking for a location that is somewhat close to where you live or work, as for convenience this makes it a lot easier to follow through with your sessions.

The best results come from people who persevere, stay motivated and keep their end goal in sight – after all, you are removing something that would otherwise be a permanent fixture on your body! Be patient and trust the process.

This story is brought to you in partnership with The Global Beauty Group.

Tattoo removal

Tattoo removal

Images supplied.