Think before you Ink

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Are Tattoos Still Popular?

Now that tattoos have become commonplace and a part of the mainstream no longer viewed as exclusive to those who ignore signs saying do-not-enter; individuals rebelling against societal norms. Notching up statistics of 1 in 5 going under the sterilised needle with more women than men wearing ink in their skin, the question of how long will this booming business last?

Even though technology has evolved the application of tattoos from sound-wave tattoos designed to be swiped so an app can read them and play the sound bite, touch-sensitive interface, gold leaf temporary tattoos that act as skin-based remote controls and Bio-inks that communicate wirelessly.

In the wake of these new technologies giving people more options many are turning to tattoo removal clinics as the novelty of traditional tattoos wears off and regret sets in. Especially those people who have had their hands, necks, faces any visible areas that can’t be concealed with a shirt while they fill in the form to run for local government.

It always makes me laugh when I read statements like – what are they going to look like when they are ninety. Most people’s vanity recedes before sixty, thankful they are still alive and have way too many other things to worry about than a Gordy worn out tattoo on their now sagging bits that only their Doc will see.

Laser Removal

Advances in Q-switched laser technology and tattoo removal can be achieved with minimal risk of permanent pigmentary alteration and scarring. There are some factors to consider when contemplating tattoo removal: type of tattoo, location, age and your skin type. Treatment with the Q-switch laser can be painful so you should begin by obtaining a pre-operative history consultation.

Lasers remove tattoos by breaking up the pigment colours with a high-intensity light beam. The light is absorbed by the tattoo ink particles shattering them, leaving the surrounding skin tissue unharmed.

The body’s immune system, after time, flushes away the shattered ink particles, causing the tattoo to fade. Over a series of treatments, more and more of the ink breaks up, leaving the skin free of the tattoo.

Black tattoos are easier to treat. The pigment absorbs all laser wavelengths. Other colours can only be treated by selected lasers based upon each individual pigment colour.

Ephemeral inks

Ephemeral for those who didn’t know means lasting for a very short time. These inks are applied in the same way as traditional tattoos but have a shorter lifespan – giving the freedom to choose tattoos without a lifetime commitment. There are three, six or 12-month tattoos containing smaller molecules than standard tattoos. When you are ready to get rid of the tattoo, you just apply special removal solution that flushes the old ink molecules out of your skin.

3D tattooing, which is still quite limited at the moment of writing, makes it not unreasonable to imagine a future where tattoo parlours are spaces with automated robots mechanically administering inked at the push of a button.

Tattoo removal technology is the latest hot new investment product along with that machine yet to be invented that removes embarrassing selfies from the internet.

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