Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Tattoo or not tattoo? Top tips if you are tired of your ink.

I recently ventured into a tattoo parlour with my friend Claire who was  fulfilling a lifetime ambition of getting a tattoo to mark her 40th year. She chose a smallish design on her lower back, easily hidden when needed but easily flaunted with low cut jeans or a bikini too!

A woman showing images tattooed or painted on ...
A woman showing images tattooed or painted on her upper body, 1907. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I was so impressed that there was no shrieking, wailing, fainting or hollering of any description - but not so impressed that I followed suit and got one myself.

I think getting a tattoo is often a "big birthday" thing - my husband had a small tattoo done on his shoulder for his 40th. He enjoyed the experience, even the pain (odd man) but I can't shake off the feeling that if I had one done I would soon get bored of any design I had chosen and want it gone.

I suppose most people having a design inked into their skin at the age of 40 plus generally know what they want and are usually sensible enough to understand the implications of being marked for life.

But I do wonder about those ink designs done by some so-called artists overseas who may not be so fussy about their customers being sensible or even sober. And of course teens are not going to think particularly hard about what that huge tattoo of a skull/dragon/cartoon character on the neck will look like when they are middle aged businessmen, or how those blacker than black Celtic armbands will look sagging over old-lady bingo-wings.

I toyed briefly when I was much younger with the idea of having a delicate circular tattoo around my navel on what was back then a flat, toned stomach. Imagine what 7 pregnancies and several decades would have done to that design?  To be fair I don't regularly inflict the frankly revolting sight of my wobbly sagging belly on the general public much nowadays- it's still a bit post-baby even though my youngest is 5- so maybe it wouldn't have been too much of a problem.

Don't get me started on the perils of having the name of the one you love tattooed on yourself - then finding the love of your life has found another love and all you are left with is an armful of ink!
And I'm quite glad my husband didn't follow the popular trend of having  the children's names tattooed onto himself  - there wouldn't be much of him left un-inked by now!

So what do you do when you decide your tattoo was a mistake? Luckily nowadays tattoo removal is easier, cheaper and quicker than it used to be thanks to the use of lasers.

david-beckham-back-tattoos
david-beckham-back-tattoos
(Photo credit: Personeelsnet)
I was reading up about it on a website run by sk:n, a team of experts offering a huge range of treatments ranging from verruca removal, dental veneers and acne scar treatment to skin peels and birthmark removal carried out at award-winning clinics all over the country.

The website has an interesting blog and carries general advice about skincare - recently they posted some great winter tips (did you know you should still use products with SPF in during the winter months?) and some excellent anti-ageing tips.

There is also information about all the treatments they offer including laser tattoo removal which apparently is usually more effective than removal creams but more gentle than incision or burning designs off.

I wondered how much this all would cost - I know some designs have to be removed over a series of sessions and thought the cost might prove prohibitive but it seems laser tattoo removal can cost as little as a couple of hundred pounds to banish small designs over 8 sessions.

I had visions of clients being strapped to a table while a Bond-villain type aimed a red beam at their bum, or whatever body part they had been tattooed on,  painfully burning off the design.

Of course tattoo removal by laser is nothing like that -apparently the laser can cause a slight stinging sensation (and the practitioner can apply a gentle anaesthetic cream to stop that) and the laser simply breaks down the ink into tiny particles which leave the body through the immune system! How many sessions this takes (and therefore the cost) and the effectiveness of removal depends on how big, how dense and what colours are in the tattoo.

English: Classical old schoo tattoo
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Good news for those who are fed up of hiding their Navy-style anchors , are sick of their swallows or who have failed to turn "I love Beryl" into "I love Belinda". But of course the best plan is to think very, very carefully before having a tattoo in the first place and save yourself time and money in the long run.



Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. Views and opinions remain honest and my own.
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