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Personal View on Tattoo Removal

Updated on March 8, 2016

Tattoo removal

As a nurse, I’ve seen my share of tattooed patients. Some have even come in for medical treatment after botched removal attempts. While the choice to get a tattoo may be spontaneous, the decision to get it removed effectively requires some research.

Getting a tattoo, as well as getting it removed, should always follow the latest and approved medical guidelines. Unsanitary conditions and risky procedures when receiving a tattoo can lead to dangerous

and even life threatening infections and diseases. Having them removed by unskilled technicians with unapproved or contaminated equipment can result in hideous scars and lasting damage.

Some think getting a tattoo is socially cool. However, the reasons to have them removed are usually more practical.

 Maybe your true love is gone but left you with his/her name scrolled down your forearm.

 Your dream job is out of reach because of hiring prohibitions on facial and neck tattoos

 Professional organizations won’t admit you with ink pictures visible on your body.

 You latest boy/girlfriend does not like them.

The growth of the tattoo industry in the past several years has been mirrored by the increase of the tattoo removal business. It’s reported that as many as 50% of people who get tattooed wish later they had not.

In generations past people have tried everything from acids to sandpaper to remove ink art. It almost always left results as bad as what they were trying to remove. Today the best options are by trained professionals using lasers designed to remove tattoos. The depth, color and location of the ink can determine the type of treatment to be needed. Because of these variables only experts should be employed.

For those who are as quick and careless at getting them removed as they were in having them applied in the first place, may be passing through my ER in the future. I know it may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but be smart if you want them to disappear.

Lindsay Royer, RN, BSN

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