Get Serious About Your Tattoo – Avoid Tattoo Regret

Dr.Anthony Youn, a well known plastic surgeon in Detroit metropolis, has been happy to share with the online community about some of his experiences he have encountered with people experiencing Tattoo Regret. He has authored a humorous memoir names ‘ In Stitches’ which is about an Asian-American who grows up to become a doctor. Below are some of the recollections he has made about tattoo regrets.

I needed some work to be done in my house for which I interviewed a handyman. What struck me unusual about his appearance was a tattoo in the shape of a tear drop placed at the top of his left cheek. Just out of curiosity I searched online for the significance of such a design and the result left me open mouthed. A tattoo in the shape of a tear drop means that the person has murdered somebody! I didn’t want to take a chance and hired another person for the job. The man could have been completely innocent and have absolutely no clue about the significance of his tattoo.

Nowadays, plastic surgeons and dermatologists have quite a few cases where the people want tattoos removed. The reasons vary and problems with employment is one of them. Surveys have pointed out that tattoo removal has become quite common now.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) conducted a survey with results that the cases of tattoo removal jumped by 43% from 2011 to 2012. In UK, a recent survey reported that about one-third of people were not happy about their tattoos and wanted them removed.

Styles change very often and many tattoos that were the rage a few years ago are no longer in vogue. For instance, large and elaborate designs on the lower back were very fashionable some time back but today they are referred to a ‘tramp stamps’ making people run to have them removed. Other cases of tattoo regret reported are Chinese letters which mean something quite different from what the wearer thinks or the very common barbed wire on the arms of men. Tattoo fads change with changing times and this is true for celebrities as well as common people.

A recent case that springs to the mind is the faux pas made by famous actor Johnny Depp. He had inscribed his girl friend Winona Ryder’s name as a tattoo on his shoulder, a very visible part of his body. After they broke up he promptly changed it to ‘Wino Forever’ from ‘Winona Forever’.

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Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder


johnny depp wino forever tattoo Get Serious About Your Tattoo   Avoid Tattoo Regret

Johnny Depp changing his Winona Forever Tattoo to Wino Forever Tattoo

On an impulse Megan Fox had a huge tattoo of Marilyn Monroe inscribed on her arm. Soon she got tired of it and used laser therapy to have it removed. Typos are common in tattoos as some celebrities found out much to their embarrassment. A spelling mistake in Hayden Panettiere’s tattoo made the entire process seem worthless.


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Megan Fox’s Marilyn Monroe Tattoo on her arm

Apart from tattoo regret and spending to have them removed after sometime, cases of infection have been reported too. If the ink used to inscribe the tattoos is infected, it can cause nontuberculous Mycobacteria. This was reported in an article which appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine recently. Treatment of such kind of infections is not easy and requires antibiotics or removal of the tattoos leaving the skin looking swollen and red for a long time, besides being painful. Some people also have exhibited allergic reactions to tattoos and minor skin infections are very common.

The best and the most effective method used for tattoo removal is laser treatment. If the tattoo is simple, it can be removed easily. The laser rays target the tattoo in such a way that each ray is used for a particular color and the tattoo is removed color by color.

Tattoo removal takes time and even the uncomplicated ones take about three to four sittings. These treatments are usually spaced over a period of 3-4 months and even more. The therapy is quite expensive and may cost several thousand dollars. The cost varies according to the location and size of the tattoo. A large amount of heat is used to remove tattoos and as a result discoloration or scarring of the skin cannot be ruled out. Sometimes a faint outline of the original tattoo remains even after treatment. Most people find the treatment painful and have compared it to being stung by rubber bands.

If you are considering getting a tattoo done using permanent ink, then try and be as careful as you can be to avoid tattoo regret in the future. Get it done from a salon that is licensed and uses only the best quality inks and sterile needles. Ink should be diluted using sterile dilutions only. Be very calculative about the design and location that you choose. Tattoos are quite permanent in nature so don’t get carried away and have a mark of something temporary.

An example of one of my elderly patients will give you a clear picture of tattoo regret. She came to me to remove a tattoo that was on her lower abdomen. The tattoo had been etched when she had been a ripping 20 year old.

So I asked her, “Just how bad is it?”

Very bad.

She pulled down the waist of her pants to reveal the following words, in large lettering: “Dinner is served.”

Free Tattoo Removal for Gang Tattoos

gang tattoo 300x249 Free Tattoo Removal for Gang Tattoos

It’s time to put your past behind and get your gang tattoo removed.


Want your Gang Tattoos removed?

If you have gang tattoos and are determined to leave a dark past behind, you should know that you can get them removed. You are probably aware that you will find getting a job almost impossible with a gangland tattoo, doubly so in a tough economy. Many church organizations offer free tattoo removal to those who are turning over a new leaf in their lives.

Clean Slate LA is one such organization. It is located in Los Angeles and offers low-cost or free tattoo removal for ex-gang members who want to turn their lives around. They also provide some job and educational assistance to those who wants to find a new job after getting their visible gang tattoos removed. The costs would be a one-time fee of $50 and 25 hours of community service required for each participant. This is an extremely affordable option if you compare to the normally cost of between $400- $6000 to have a tattoo removed outside of the Clean Slate program. For more information, you may read more at the Clean Slate Tattoo Removal Program.

Clean Slate  Tattoo Removal Program


Another Free Tattoo Removal Resource

With her partner, Dr. Glassberg, Dr. Kane founded the charity Erase the Past in 1997. Young people at risk are able to get unwanted tattoos removed at Kane and Glassberg’s laser clinic for free. Well, not exactly free: for every visit to the clinic the patient is required to perform five hours of community service. This does not mean picking up trash on the side of the road but involves service that teaches. Examples given by the organization include working at the health department to learn more about sexually transmitted diseases or how to become a better parent. More than 4,000 people have been treated by Erase the Past and the program boasts a less than 20% dropout rate.

Dr. Kane comments that 80% of the young people she treats in the program are people of color. She tells us that the good news is many gang tattoos are homemade, and homemade tattoos are usually easier to remove than professional tattoos. She also says that those with homemade tats are “getting complete eradication with minimal scarring.”

Erase the Past has given 4,000 former gang members & youth at-risk tattoo removals

This is a great program that young people who are serious about turning their lives around should consider. You can check out this organization and their success stories at Erase the Past.

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