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Can that tattoo come off?

November 9, 2012

I was always told having a tattoo was a way of life, similar to those lawn chalkis that people put everyone on their lawns, or the folks that keep Christmas lights up all year long…yeah a way of life. I have a tattoo that I got after Cosmo, the amazing tax dog died last year. It was my first tattoo and honestly has not changed my life. I had been so in love with Cosmo for all of his 13 years and he was my best friend, yes I am going to say it…my soul mate. And when he died I was devastated beyond belief…books are written of grief like that. But I pulled out and in honor of him I have his name tattooed on my left forearm. I see it daily and I smile often thinking about him. And where it is located the chicks love it…

But what if you are regretting that tattoo you got? Cheer up as there is a good chance a dermatologist can remove it – but success will depend on a number of factors, including how bit it is, what colors it contains and whether you smoke. Italian researchers who treated 352 people from 1995 to 2010 say they are the first to fully explore the factors that make some tattoos harder to remove than others. The doctors used the current standard procedure for tattoo removal, which involves repeated laser treatments spaced several weeks apart. The devices used, called Q-switched lasers, removed tattoos for 47% of patients in 10 sessions, nearly 75% in 15. Tattoos were harder to remove if they were:

  • More than 12 inches
  • Colors other than black or red
  • More than three years old
  • On feet or legs
  • On a smoker as smoking may impair natural healing processes that help clear ink after treatment.

There is a new laser, not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and found it removed more than 75% of tattoo ink in an average of four sessions. However this study of the picosecond laser included only 12 patients and did not directly compare it with the standard lasers. Typical side effects for any laser treatment can include pain, redness and swelling. It’s the cost, in time and money that discourages many people. Charges can range from $200 to $600 per laser session, depending on how big and difficult-to-remove a tattoo is.

Tattoo removal is a growing business thanks to the rising popularity of tattoos and the inevitable regrets among some who get them. A recent Harris Poll found that most people like their tattoos: 21% of adults said they had at least one, just 14% of those regretted them. I think my biggest regret in life is 24 years ago when I bought a fax machine for $1200 and was told the fax machine was the machine (of the century) that was going to make me rich. It took me two-years to pay it off and was heavier than my refrigerator. Now that is a regret. At Gunwel Associates we love to hear your stories…ones that make you mad, laugh cry and regret…so give us a call at 615-730-9444 or come by for a visit. Our website is and we are waiting to meet you. See you soon!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 12, 2012 6:42 pm


    I am also a victim of scarring but unfortunately I also have Keloid type scars. I have tried two places to get my tattoo removed and I believe the first place I went to is what caused the Keloid scarring. The man I saw specialized in laser for facial and hair removal and may have not had much experience with tattoo removal. After every session I blistered and scabbed. I found a new place which does only tattoo removal. I did not have any blistering or scarring but I do have Keloids where I scarred. The pain is unbearable though at the new place and I really avoid going because of this. I am fine once the treatment is done but during treatment I can’t bear it. Is anyone familiar with As far as pain and price as well as results?

  2. November 19, 2012 4:12 pm

    The idea behind this article is excellent, and for me the first item is the real gem here: most of the people spend their entire lives only consuming what is created by others, and creating nothing themselves–or never sharing what they create, which is better than not creating at all, though not the best they could do.

  3. May 20, 2013 4:57 pm

    Je vous remercie. très intéressan

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