SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —It’s the ultimate form of buyer’s remorse, with no returns or exchanges: Permanent tattoos. And more people these days are realizing the cost of changing their minds.
Tribal art, Chinese characters, and significant others’ names – all once popular forms of self-expression — are now not so “cool,” according to Greg Puzon, a tattoo artist at Capital Ink in Sacramento.
“If you’re getting a lover’s name – boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife, it’s bad luck. It really is,” Puzon said.
Christino Bonomolo got a tattoo on her neck that she is trying to remove through laser treatment.
“I was warned plenty of times to not have it done, especially on my neck, that I would regret it,” she said.
More people are suffering from tattoo regret these days, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Laser tattoo removal jumped 43 percent from 2011 to 2012.
“For the most part, they’ve outgrown whatever they’ve put on them,” said Dr. Suzanne Kilmer, of the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of Northern California.
Kilmer said people also rethink their ink after a fad is over, or they have problems finding a job.
“The old way to remove a tattoo is to scrape the tattoo or the ink out of the top,” she said. “Now, what lasers do is heat it up so quickly in the nanosecond domain that it shatters the ink and breaks it up. Your cells can go and remove it.”
Laser removal requires multiple treatments. Each one costs hundreds of dollars and often hurts more than getting a tattoo.
Others opt for a cover-up tattoo, hoping that choice will last.
“The art that you actually get – if you really, really love it, that feeling is going to be with you no matter what until the day you die,” Puzon said.
By Claire Doan