REGRETS… we all have a few… ditched the wrong person… decided to get a tattoo without thinking about it clearly.
Unluckily for my dad, he got drunk with mates while on shore leave from the Australian Navy, and returned to WA with a tattoo – something he always regretted. Not the drinking, but the black ink that left a permanent stain on his left forearm.
But by the ’70s some Australian women – albeit bikie associates – wanted their skin adorned.
Fast forward to 2011 and as much as I hate seeing Caucasians with Maori warrior tattoos or young women with Chinese symbols they know nothing about, more and more people are being permanently marked.
But what happens if there’s a problem?
In the past, tattoos were removed with surgery or even acid. Today lasers are used. Still, the process of tattoo removal can be time-consuming, painful and expensive.
The end results depend on the type and colour of the ink used, the pigmentation of the client’s skin and even the ink’s colour.
With the increase in the number of people getting tattoos, Laser Skin Care, in South Perth, is also seeing a steady increase in the number of people wanting them removed.
Some as young as 15.
“Most usually do so because they have outgrown them or because it has not turned out quite how they expected,” spokeswoman Nicole Savory said.
Some are harder to remove, with the most difficult having the colours green, aqua or light blue in them.
“Treatments can vary from person to person,” Ms Savory said.
“Most require 10-12 treatments for professional tattoos at six to eight-week intervals and the cost ranges from $310-$810 per treatment depending on tattoo size.”
Only experienced doctors perform the treatments at Laser Skin Care.
I spoke to Dr Kamila Mytych and Dominique Menegaldo photographed and video taped proceedings while she treated Daniel Whitworth.
He is 23 and at 19 decided to get a tattoo.
It is not that he dislikes tattoos – he has others on his arms and legs, but the stamp on his neck is one he regrets.
The fit Joondalup man cringed with pain when Dr Mytych put the laser to his neck. He said having the tattoo ink removed was much, much worse than having it put on in the first place.
“It’s like a very concentrated burning,” Mr Whitworth said.
And he had this to say to anyone contemplating getting a tattoo on their neck: “Don’t… don’t do it.
Mr Whitworth was undergoing his fifth treatment when CNG spoke to him.
The stain has faded significantly, but he needs more treatments. He is unsure of the final cost, but said he did not care.
“When you get a tattoo done, the pain has gone when the tattooist finishes….this burns even when the laser stops.”
Dr Mytych has been removing tattoos for seven years. Laser Skin Care is seeing up to 70 patients each month.
Click here to see a video