Tattoos and Tattoo Removal: A Thriving Industry No Matter the Status of the Economy

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By 2006, the Journal of the Academy of Dermatology found that almost one in four Americans between the ages of 18 and 50 were sporting tattoos. Since the numbers have continually grown over the years, the fact is proven: that even in a down-turned economy, people are still spending money on tattoos. In fact, both the tattoo removal business has grown concurrently to tattoo being a growing business

tattoo removal is not something we do, it’s the only thing we do

In 1936, Life magazine estimated that approximately 6% of the US population had at least one tattoo. By 1997, U.S. News and World Report stated that “Tattooing is the United State’s 6th fastest growing retail business”. National Geographic reported in the year 2000 that 15% or nearly 40 million Americans had tattoos. By 2006, the Journal of the Academy of Dermatology found that almost one in four Americans between the ages of 18 and 50 were sporting tattoos. Since the numbers have continually grown over the years, the fact is proven: that even in a down-turned economy, people are still spending money on tattoos.

Although by 1936, people with tattoos were usually part of a specific group, they were often viewed with prejudice. Today that frame of mind has vastly changed. Even though tattoos are still representative of some groups, individuals are creating their own designs. Tattoos are much more prevalent and more widely accepted due to the wider variety of inks, design choices, and openness of creativity. Tattoo artists are also a growing population. Additionally, there are more young people ages 18 to 24 getting tattoos as a right of passage than in previous years.

Along with the growth of the tattoo industry, tattoo removal is growing just as quickly. According to Dr. Phil Knall of Just Tattoo Removal in Glendale, AZ, about 20% of those who get a tattoo will eventually want it removed. He states that the top four reasons for tattoo removal are:

1. The name of someone from a previous relationship needs to be removed.

2. With the economy the way it is today and with the difficulty of finding jobs, many candidates have noticed that with all qualifications being the same, the person without the visible tattoo is getting hired.

3. The tattoo they got years ago is just not representing their interests anymore. This category includes the ones who regret the decision to get the tattoo in the first place.

4. The choice to enter into the military has tattoo wearers also making new decisions. Tattoos below the wrists, above the collar, or names anywhere on the body are not permitted. Some branches of the military are stricter than others.

With the growing popularity of tattoo removal, laser removal is the most popular type of erasure. The laser breaks up the ink into small particles by way of a concentrated, pulsating light. The body then flushes the ink fragments out through the body’s lymph system. Currently anyone with a laser has begun to offer this service. Unfortunately the results are sometimes disastrous. Different lasers are designed to do different jobs. To carefully remove a tattoo with a laser, the proper equipment must be used, and a person with the training specific to the equipment must be sought. Dr. Phil Knall is one of those specifically trained in tattoo removal. His motto is that “tattoo removal is not something we do, it’s the only thing we do”. For best results, Dr. Knall recommends that when looking for someone to remove a tattoo, look for someone who specializes in tattoo removal and that has experience and training on the proper equipment.

Two of the biggest myths regarding tattoo removal are that it is an extremely expensive procedure, and that it is a long, painful process. With an average of seven visits and a cost of under $1,000 to have a tattoo removed, it is a relatively short process and reasonably priced. With respects to the pain, Troy Bohlke of Niche Focus Group says, “once the benefits of tattoo removal are realized, the temporary pain is soon forgotten.”

In our difficult economic times, it is nice to see that some industries are not only surviving, but thriving. So long as the tattoo removal industry maintains quality in the services it is providing, we can expect to continue to see growth in this industry.

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