Clinics see a surge in tattoo removals
After a few boom years the tattoo has become victim to fickle fashion tastes. One in eight Britons is estimated to have a tattoo, more than any other nation in Europe. But the tide has turned. Laser clinics in the UK are reporting record traffic to remove the body art as popularized by stars such as David Beckham and Britney Spears.
Clinics reported a 40% increase in tattoo removals over the past two years. In July it received 500 enquiries, more than twice its average. Almost two-thirds of customers are women in their mid-20s to 50.
“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in people coming in for removals in all our clinics’ said Jane Lewis, regional director of one of the laser clinics, “Tattoos are very fashionable now, you see celebrities with them. A lot of people who get henna tattoos like them and think they’ll have a real one.
“We are seeing a mixture of people. Some had a tattoo when they were younger but have now got on the career ladder: they are executives who can’t wear a short -sleeved shirt around the boardroom table in summer because of what it will reveal.
“There are also women for whom atattoo was hip when they were young but who now feel people tend to look at them and be judgmental. Kids decide the name of the boy they loved last week is not the name they want anymore. We also see minors brought in by their parents the day after a tattoo’.
Laser therapy is considered the most effective form of tattoo removal. By matching the laser light to the color of the tattoo ink, the laser breaks down the ink pigments, resulting in a gradual fading of the tattoo. The process typically requires 6-12 treatments, depending on the size and colors involved.
Sonia Amerigo, manager of a private laser clinic in Stockport said: “We can’t keep up with the trend. We get various people of all ages, from businessmen who want to wear shirt-sleeves to young women who want to take their eх -boyfriend’s name off”
Dr Sandeep Varma, a consultant dermatologist at a medical centre in Nottingham, who has researched people’s motives for removals, said: “There has been an explosion in the number and types of lasers available. It’s a booming business: if people keep coming back for 10 or 20 treatments they can spend from 800 pounds to 61,000”
Louis Molloy, owner of a tattoo studio in Manchester, whose clients have included David Beckham, Roy Keane and Ronan Keating, said: “I owned a laser clinic for a few years and I found the majority of people wanted removals of tattoos which were self-inflicted or which had no thought whatsoever put into them”