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Survey reveals tattoo and tattoo removal behaviors

Article-Survey reveals tattoo and tattoo removal behaviors

Having a tattoo removed doesn’t mean an end to one’s motivation to be inked. In fact, 83% of people who have had a tattoo removed claim they’re planning on getting a new tattoo. Among the tattoo removers, 81% say getting another tattoo is more likely because they know they have the option of removing it, according to a recent survey by PicoWay tattoo removal laser (Syneron Candela).

PicoWay released some of the findings of a proprietary survey of 250 people who had one or more tattoos removed and 100 people who are thinking about removing one or more of their tattoos. The survey was fielded from September 29 to October 6, 2016, according to PicoWay media relations.

The Greatest Barriers to Tattoo Removal

The greatest barriers to having tattoos removed? According to those in the survey who are considering it, pain and cost. Most people (77%) waited at least a year before having their tattoos removed. And while 82% of tattoo removers went to a medical professional, including a dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon or other medical professional, for the removal of their tattoos, some went to tattoo artists, friends or tried to remove the ink themselves, according to the survey.

NEXT: Reasons for Tattoo Removal


Reasons for Tattoo Removal

For 29% of the people contemplating tattoo removal, fading was the primary reason for wanting the ink erased. More than 20% of those thinking about removal indicated it was because their tattoos were an impulse decision; 24% said the tattoo is no longer relevant; and 17% thought their tattoos were no longer “cool.”

Only 5% among the contemplaters surveyed said they wanted their tattoos removed because of their careers, professional goals or dress code, according to the survey.

Among tattoo removers, 13% said off with the ink because they had become parents.

This may come as no surprise: The most commonly removed tattoo images are those with a person’s name. But symbols and animals came in a close second and third.

NEXT: Relevance to the Cosmetic Practice


Relevance to the Cosmetic Practice

Eric Bernstein, M.D., M.S.E., a dermatologist at Main Line Center for Laser Surgery in Ardmore, Penn., and chairman of the Candela Laser Corporation medical advisory board, tells Cosmetic Surgery Times that physicians can use these findings in practice to show patients that they are not alone in their wanting to erase their ink.

He says these findings aren’t shocking, given what he has seen in practice.

“I wasn’t surprised to hear that 79% of the men who have had tattoos removed have since gotten a new one, but I always tell my patients to wait a few months after having a tattoo removed before having it covered with a new one. The longer you wait after a treatment, the more it fades. So, I tell them to wait six months, then come back and see me before they decide to get another tattoo,” Dr. Bernstein says.

Dr. Bernstein says his approach to tattoo removal is to start by removing a small portion of the tattoo, as a test spot. This, according to the dermatologist, is so patients can see it go away and that the process isn’t so scary.

“I also encourage my patients to go online and watch videos of tattoo removals so they can hear other people’s experiences before they get their own removed,” he says.

PicoWay is a three-wavelength (532 nm, 785 nm and 1064 nm) picosecond laser with non-fractional and fractional capabilities. The device treats all tattoo colors and types, according to Syneron Candela.

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