Addition of indelible to the skin as form of art has found it’s way into the urban culture of many societies in the form of tattooing. This art has become increasingly common in the recent times; tattooing and it’s removal for different reasons has become a common practice in many areas. While tattooing itself could have a wide range of reasons starting from art itself, removal of tattoos is also often desired by individuals and has also become an area of expertise.
Tattoos are often used for medical purposes to calibrate the placement of medical equipment like radiotherapy on skin. They can also be used to record essential medical information on the patients’ skin for emergency. Removal of such tattoos to change the information is often necessary.
Tattooing has survived as an art since ancient times and the last ten years have seen rise of this culture’s blending into mainstream in different regions often blending with different art forms like the music industry. In such cases the tattooing is often done, undone and redone to acquire new ones and to keep up with the trends.
Tattooing is often seen in militia and gang insignias used for markings on the members as an alternate to brandishing. This has also resulted in politicizing of tattoos in different countries resulting in bans on visible tattoos or at times tattooing at all.
Some cultures use heena tattoos in which no tattoo removal is required as they fade in two weeks time. Temporary tattooing is often used by the amateurs to avoid the removal hassle.
43,000 Americans underwent tattoo removal laser treatments according to a toronto based research firm and 3.7 million, ie. 20% of the total people with tattoos, researched for removal methods in the same year. The demand for the removal is only increasing with time due to multiple reasons after the recent buzz of tattoo industry. This has set up a good basis for manufacturers to produce inks that can be removed with ease and is bound to have an influence on the way people take tattoos; regarding it as a mere fashion accessory instead of a permanent art might be one possibility.
Involves placement of pigment into the skin homogeneously which is usually done by injecting ink with needles and in modern cases, electronically controlled needles. This requires sterile equipment and a clean environment with gloved hands of the artist. Hygiene and precautions prevent cross contamination and resulting hazards.
The removal of the tattoos on the other hand involves more complex methods like lasers, dermabrasion etc. While tattooing itself uses needles and is a painful process, removing off tattoos requires further pain management and precision of methodology and care. Even with careful laser surgery, it is probable that some parts of the tattoos might not be totally removed and also there is a chance of skin irritation which is often conveyed to the patient before hand and precautions are taken.
Reasons for Tattoo Removal:
Tattoos and their art can be attractive as well as embarrassing to the individuals. For example, a tattoo that one got in the teenage, might be embarrassing to the same person in adulthood and hence they have an incentive for removal of tattoos that were made in impulsive teenage.
Getting a new canvass is another good reason for many, especially the ones having utilized most of the space. As trends change and new designs are inspired, people with the craze in tattooing often get the old ones removed to make space for the new tattoos on a clean new canvass. Change of fashion, ink styles and designs often make the tattoo removing desirable.
Regrets and second guessing, though not as much a reason, can also be a reason for tattoo removal. More reasons revolve around changes in way of life for example motherhood, where the women don’t want their children to have their children grow up as tattoo fans, and jobs which require the individuals to cover or remove the tattoos. People who can not properly cover the tattoos with clothing tend to get them removed while the cases with simple regret or desire for removal of the specific tattoo can also use modifications to cover up the undesirable tattooing.
Tattooing in Popular Culture:
Fiction, mostly in the form of films and television series, has depicted tattooing as a part of cultures significantly. This covers all reasons for tattooing. Tattooing for art, conspiracy, markings and mostly stenography has been covered in fiction and has found its way to the popular culture.
Tattooing on different annual events has also been blended into the trend and removal and change of tattoos, covering up the tattoos to add new ones or alter the designs to match the events, has brought in tattoo removal on par with tattooing itself.