We’ve all heard the horror stories. It could be a tattoo someone got while intoxicated only to regret it once they are sober. It could be that someone got a meme tattoo which quickly lost its power to elicit mild chuckles from friends at parties. Maybe it’s simply a design they thought was cool or trendy only to lose its appeal over time. Maybe it’s something more personal than that; a tattoo that represents a time in your life you want to move on from.
Regardless of the story behind them, living with tattoos that you are unhappy with can seriously damage your self-confidence and possibly affect the perception others have of you.
In the not-too-distant past, getting a tattoo was generally seen as a lifelong commitment. Sure, laser tattoo removal existed but it had gained a bad reputation for being painful, occasionally dangerous and often ineffective. Most people were stuck trying to cover up or hide their bad tattoos, or would simply have to learn to laugh at it.
Laser tattoo technology has come a long way in recent years to the point to where it should now be seen as a viable option for anyone who is unhappy with their ink, a fact that is a potential game changer for tattoo enthusiasts as the industry works to eliminate preconceived notions of how tattoo removal feels, how much it costs, and how safe it is.
According to Laser Technician Angela Seymour of Disappearing Ink Laser Tattoo Removal, fear over the pain of tattoo removal remains one of the most common concerns of those considering the treatment. More often than not, Seymour added, these people leave surprised that it didn’t hurt more. When asked to describe the feeling, she said it is an entirely unique feeling that can’t really be compared to being tattooed, describing the sensation as more of a ‘zing’ compared to the hot, sharp vibrations of a tattoo needle.
To demonstrate her point, Seymour invited The Brunswickan to the shop to see the process with our own eyes. The client set to be treated was a man named Brendan. You see, Brendan, like so many others, had made some highly questionable tattoo choices as a teenager. The tattoo that was to be removed on this day could best be described as some kind of nude bat-person at full flight, as drawn by a twelve year old. This was not his first tattoo removal.
The entire process only took a few minutes. Seymour first applied a type of gel to the area and had her client hold an air hose to cool the skin during treatment. The machine itself looked like something that wouldn’t be out of place in a dentist’s office. It produced a rapid snapping sound and bright light as Seymour traced the lines of the tattoos in short bursts, frequently checking with her client to see if he needed a break. He did not.
The black ink was instantly covered in what looked like a chalky white residue, a process referred to as “frosting.” This may make you never want to eat cake again, but it is a good sign that the skin is reacting well to the laser. The white coloring will gradually disappear, often in a matter of minutes.
Before we knew it the treatment was over and Brendan remarked that he was surprised by how easy it was.
While this was just the first of likely several treatments required before the tattoo will be completely faded - Seymour notes that complete removal may take anywhere from 1-2 treatments to 5-7, depending on a number of factors such as the depth, density, age and color of the tattoo - the process was a far cry from the horror stories surrounding laser tattoo removal of the past.
Disappearing Ink is located in downtown Fredericton at 520 Queen St., inside White Lotus Tattoo.