Regrets? I’ve had tattoo: Massive increase in numbers getting ink removed 

 
Tattoo laser boom

With the boom in laser tattoo removal we take to the streets to see if folks regret getting inked

  • Whole-arm sleeve requires year of sessions to remove
  • And can cost up to $5000

DEMAND for tattoo removal in NSW Australia has tripled in less than 12 months as thousands of inked-up under-30s reconsider their body art. 

The Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australasia said yesterday it was fielding at least 300 per cent more calls to undergo lengthy and often costly procedures to obliterate tattoo ink from beneath the skin.

New Tattoo Removal Clinic

A tattoo being removed with a laser / Picture: Phillip Rogers Source: News Corp Australia

Most were coming from people in the 20-30 age bracket swept up in the trend for loud and highly visible tattoos.

CPSA research suggests more than one in four Aussies over 20 have a tattoo. But as many as one-third of that number regret their decision later in life.

ETERNITY owner Charlie Nehme removing a tattoo / Picture: Phillip Rogers

ETERNITY owner Charlie Nehme removing a tattoo / Picture: Phillip Rogers Source: News Corp Australia

Laser removal destroys tattoo ink pigments, which are then absorbed by the body, but eliminating even relatively small tattoos can cost hundreds of dollars and take several sessions over months.

Larger tattoos, like the whole-arm sleeve Sydney small business owner Kieran Warwick got when he was 18 but now regrets, cost upwards of $5000 to erase and require more than a year of regular laser sessions.

“I don’t know if I was just acting up or wanting to look cool but it wasn’t the right choice to make,” Mr Warwick, now a wiser 25, said.

ETERNITY owner Charlie Nehme / Picture: Phillip Rogers

ETERNITY owner Charlie Nehme / Picture: Phillip Rogers Source: News Corp Australia

Second thoughts hit home after he got engaged in 2003 and started thinking more about the future.

CPSA spokeswoman Dr Catherine Porter said Mr Warwick’s situation was typical of many of the people pursuing tattoo removal.

“A common reason we hear is they got it done at a time of emotional turmoil or something significant happening in their lives, without really thinking about it,” she said.

“The other reason is employment — there is still some stigma surrounding tattoos in the workplace.”

ETERNITY owner Charlie Nehme removing a tattoo / Picture: Phillip Rogers

ETERNITY owner Charlie Nehme removing a tattoo / Picture: Phillip Rogers