More and more people are having their tattoos removed — Study

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  • More Americans now undergo tattoo removal surgery
  • Majority who undergo the procedure are between 19 to 34 years old
  • Reasons for such range from lifestyle or career changes to breakups and youthful naivete

While more and more Americans are now sporting a tattoo, more and more are also regretting their decision to get inked, as indicated by the rise in the number of tattoo removal surgeries.

Data from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) shows 46,500 individuals underwent tattoo removal surgery in 2015; marking an increase of 39.4  percent from the previous year.

Majority or up to 45.9 percent who underwent the procedure were between the ages of 19 and 34, followed by those aged 35 to 50 years old at 37.9 percent.

“In the last five years, we have seen a marked uptick in the number of people seeking to have tattoos removed,” explains ASAPS President Dan Mills to AFP.

A recent survey by Harris Poll held in 2015 showed that almost a quarter of those who had gotten a tattoo ended up regretting their decision. In comparison, a similar survey held in 2012 showed only 14 percent said they were remorseful after getting inked.

Among the top reasons for their regret include: lifestyle or career changes, the breakup of a relationship, a poorly done tattoo, and plain youth naivete.

“I see a lot of people having them taken off because they don’t want their children to see them and then go get a tattoo. And some people take them off because a lot of employers won’t hire somebody with a visible tattoo,” Mills says.

The procedure to remove the tattoo completely can take months or even years, depending on the size or color of the tattoo.

It can also come with a hefty price tag. Thus, it is not surprising that the tattoo removal industry rakes in profits of up to $75 million annually.

For many of those who decided to have their tattoos removed, the procedure can be worth it, but of course, they would also be the first to warn others of thinking really hard before they get inked in the first place.



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