Well, that once “cool” tattoo you got in your party years is no longer cool in your 30’s and 40’s. Maybe you should have listened to your parents when they said that you would regret that tattoo one day. Whether it is a tribal tattoo wrapped around your bicep, a skull on your shoulder, or the infamous butterfly on the low back, that life changing job you are about to interview for may be lost due to your tattoo. However, you are not alone!

Tattoos are a big apart of practically every culture in the world. People have been getting tattoos since the beginning of time, and there are millions of Americans with tattoos. Some studies suggest that about half of all Americans with tattoos regret them later on in life. This was a burden for many in the past, due to the painful procedures that were required to remove tattoos. However, today there are many options for tattoo removal that can be taken advantage of.

The most popular form of tattoo removal is laser removal. This procedure works by having highly concentrated light (lasers) break the ink into tiny particles. These tiny particles are then washed away by the body’s immune system. This does not work in one treatment, and many people need as many as ten treatments for the tattoo to be removed completely. There are downsides though. As more treatments are done, skin damage becomes a high possibility. Also, the procedure is described by many to be very painful, and cost a pretty penny to get done.

Another option is intense pulsed light therapy (IPL). This procedure is very similar to the laser removal, but does not technically use a laser, but rather utilizes high intensity light to perform the removal. A gel is applied to the tattoo, and a wand is used to release the light onto the skin. This method is claimed to be less painful that laser removal, as well as more effective. However, many people do not agree with these claims, and also this procedure can be very expensive.

Other unpopular methods are dermabrasion and excision. These are painful procedures that require sanding of skin, and removal of skin. There are also “do-it-yourself” creams that have no proven effectiveness.

Whatever method you choose, it is recommended to research the procedure. Also, remember you can always cover it up!