Ladies and Gents, we are quickly approaching New Years, which by our accounts, ranks third on the list of drunken holiday celebrations that may result in regrettable tattoos (right behind Spring Break and your 21st B-day). Thankfully, in the very near future you may be able to use a new brand of ink that promises quick and easy removal of your inebriated mistakes.
Soon there may be a solution to the phenomenon of tattoo regret — removable tattoo ink. A company founded by doctors says it will begin selling such ink early next year. The ink is applied just as with any tattoo, and will remain in place as long as desired. But if the owner later decides that the artwork has to go, it can be removed fully and safely with a single laser treatment.
The founders of the New York company making the removable ink, Freedom-2 LLC, say their goal is to help those who have come to regret permanently decorating their bodies. But backers say the technology will not only simplify tattoo removal, it will create an expanded market for body art — since consumers can be now assured that the tattoo will come off easily and without exorbitant cost.
Many doctors who perform laser tattoo removal, however, say that as many as half of all people with tattoos eventually want them off.
“A very high majority of people would desire to have them removed if there was a simple and easy way,” Saal said.
Most conventional tattoos can be removed, but even a simple, small, one-color tattoo can require several laser treatments at a cost of around $1,000. Removals of large, multicolored tattoos can require more than a dozen laser treatments and cost $5,000 or more. And no, laser tattoo removal is not covered by medical insurance.
Because of the way the beads are constructed, they fall apart when laser energy is applied, Schmieg said. Unpublished tests on humans and animals show that only one laser treatment is typically needed to fully remove a Freedom-2 tattoo and that most Q-switched lasers that doctors use for tattoo removal can be used for the job. A one-time laser treatment to remove a tattoo should cost less than $1,000, Schmieg predicts.
The company will sell only black ink initially but will eventually add other colors. It is also developing a “time-limited tattoo,” which will consist of ink in biodegradable polymer beads that dissolve and fade over time.
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