DETROIT (WWJ) – Are you starting to regret that old tattoo yet? You may not be alone.
Statistically, one-in-five adults in the United States has at least one tattoo, but new research found that more and more people regret getting them, even enough to have them removed completely.
The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery estimates there were about 96,000 tattoo removal procedures last year, a 52 percent increase over 2013.
According to a British survey, more than a third of people who get inked start to regret it after about 14 years.
Some dermatologists say that since tattoos started becoming more popular in the early-2000s, we may just be seeing the tip of the removal iceberg.
Fortunately, removal devices have become more powerful and easier to use. Next generation devices can shorten removal from up to 20 treatments to as few as three and make the process less painful for the patient.
According to the ASDS, several types of laser systems may be used to eliminate tattoos, depending on location, size and ink color.
The laser beam targets the pigment in the skin and mechanically breaks it down. The body then naturally removes the pigment and the tattoo fades. Non-laser techniques such as dermabrasion and surgical excision are also effective for tattoo removal.