Insofar as this cultural or subcultural use of tattoos predates the widespread popularity of tattoos in the general population, tattoos are still associated with criminality. Although the general acceptance of tattoos is on the rise in Western society, they still carry a heavy stigma among certain social groups.
Laura Hathaway initially had no regrets after getting a tattoo on her lower back when she was 21. But now, 10 years later, she wants it gone.
The pharmaceutical sales representative from Atlanta, Georgia, says it doesn't fit in with her current lifestyle as the mother of a 2-year-old boy who just started to talk. "The other day I bent over and he said, 'What's that?' and it just confirms why I'm having it removed."
Karempelis says that in spite of the drawbacks, "business is booming." He and three other dermatologists in his office see more than 30 patients a day who want tattoos removed by laser.
The American Academy of Dermatology reports tattoo regret is common in the United States. Among a group of 18- to 50-year-olds surveyed in 2004, 24 percent reported having a tattoo and 17 percent of those considered getting their tattoo removed.
Karempelis uses a state-of-the-art laser that targets the pigment in the tattoo. "It goes through the skin without damaging it and hits the pigment depending on which wavelength and which color you have, and it blows it into small pieces."
The tattoo ink is then reabsorbed into the body through the lymphatic system. The process must be completed over several sessions in order to protect the skin from damage.
Hathaway expects to go through 10 sessions several weeks apart, each lasting less than a minute. She admits it's a lot more painful than getting the original tattoo. "It's prickly," describes Hathaway. "It feels like a bee is sitting on your back stinging time and time again. Afterwards, the pain does go away and you're a little sore for a few hours.
Patients with bigger tattoos are sometimes given the option to use a topical anesthetic, but Karempelis points out that it adds to the cost.
Like other dermatologists, he charges by the square inch for the laser treatment. By the time Hathaway's done, she expects to pay more than $2,200.
There's no guarantee that she won't have a scar. "Scarring is your major risk," says Karempelis. "Almost everyone gets a little bit of discoloration, a little lighter, a little darker for a while. But in most cases if you wait a year, you cannot see where it was done initially."
Certain tattoo colors, such as green, yellow and purple, are harder to remove, Karempelis says, especially for people with darker skin. Some parts of the body also pose a challenge. "The farthest away from the heart are hardest to treat, so the ankles are the toughest," Karempelis says.
He predicts his business will increase in the future, after a new type of tattoo ink hits the market. Freedom-2 is a microencapsulated dye. It's designed to be easily removed by a single laser treatment. "The laser would hit that pigment and it would completely dissolve immediately. ... You wouldn't need repetitive treatments," the doctor says.
But until the ink becomes available, Karempelis expects to see a variety of patients going through long sessions to remove reminders of their past. He says the most popular tattoos to be removed in his office are the names of old boyfriends and former spouses.
In Hathaway's case, her tattoo of a flower didn't fit the image she wants to portray. She says she got the tattoo long before low-rise pants became popular. "It's just something I wanted to be private and now it's not”
Read here about Actress Helen Mirren who revealed to People Magazine that she is now 'utterly disgusted' by her 'drunken' tattoo (a symbol on the back of the thumb of her left hand)
Skin infections - These can range from minor bacterial infections, like impetigo, to serious antibiotic-resistant skin infections, which can lead to pneumonia and blood infections.
Blood-borne infections - Dirty equipment will put you at risk of infection from serious diseases like hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV or tuberculosis.
Allergic reactions - You may have a reaction to the ink or latex gloves, though alternatives can be used.
Anyone prone to keloid scarring - permanent, raised scars - should stay away from tattoos. Some people also get skin bumps called granulomas around a tattoo.
Some people find the tattooed area swells and burns after a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan - but it is rare.
Before you get the needle ask yourself these questions:
How might I feel about this in 30 years?
It's unlikely you'll be wearing the same clothes or have the same hairstyle so consider how your taste may change. If it's a name, for instance your boyfriend, are you really sure you'll be together for ever and, if not, how will subsequent partners feel?
Where should it be?
Very visible tattoos are incompatible in certain workplaces. If you need to cover it, how would it restrict clothing? Also, consider the pain factor. The fleshier the area, the less painful it will be.
If it's your first tattoo, it's best to start small in case you suffer an allergic reaction. And the bigger it is, the harder it will be to remove.
If you're not satisfied...
According to the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 (in the UK), the tattooist's work should be done with "reasonable skill and care". Otherwise, they may have to pay for it to be put right or for you to have it removed.
However, this doesn't apply if you've just changed your mind. If you want it removed, methods include laser treatment and dermabrasion but discuss pros and cons with your GP first. Go with a doctor who regularly carries out the procedure.
Alternatively try the many creams that will fade your tattoo, often to the point of being barely noticeable.
Eight ways to protect yourself
(1) Find a reputable tattooist
By law, all tattooists must be registered with the local authority and have an up-to-date certificate to prove it. They should also have a health and safety certificate on display. Look in the Yellow Pages or contact your local authority's environmental health department for the addresses of registered tattoo parlours. Also check that the tattooist is a member of a professional body such as the Tattoo Club Of Great Britain (visit www.tattoo.co.uk).
(2) Give it the once-over
A tattooist's parlour should be as clean and tidy as a dentist's surgery. They should wear gloves while tattooing and a new needle and ink should be used for every customer. Other equipment should be sterilised between customers. And a reputable tattooist won't mind you asking.
(3) Do your research
Shop around but don't make price the deciding factor. A tattoo should always be regarded as permanent since removal is expensive, difficult and can scar. You need to consider their style as well as skill. Go on recommendations and ask to see a portfolio of their past work.
(4)The right questions
The tattooist should ask you certain health questions. This should include whether you've had particular conditions, including allergies, impetigo, anything that affects your immune system, blood infections such as hepatitis or HIV, seizures and high blood pressure.
(5) Find a rapport
If you don't have a rapport with the tattooist, move on. It's vital that you communicate well and are both clear about the exact design, colours and size of the tattoo.
(6) Don't do it on holiday
There may be good tattooists abroad but hygiene standards are lower in many countries. Also, if something goes wrong, you may not be protected by law. You're
also more likely to be reckless on holiday.
(7) Don't have a drink first.
Drinking affects your judgment.
(8) Be clear on aftercare
You should be given detailed advice on how to look after your tattoo to avoid infection. And see your GP if the skin becomes red, inflamed, discoloured, itchy or painful.
Tattoos on humans are a type of decorative body modification, while tattoos on animals are most commonly used for identification or branding.
Pre-Christian Germanic, Celtic and other central and northern European tribes were often heavily tattooed, according to surviving accounts. The Picts were famously tattooed (or scarified) with elaborate dark blue woad (or possibly copper for the blue tone) designs. Julius Caesar described these tattoos in Book V of his Gallic Wars (54 BC).
Tattooing in Japan is thought to go back to the Paleolithic era, some ten thousand years ago. Various other cultures have had their own tattoo traditions, ranging from rubbing cuts and other wounds with ashes, to hand-pricking the skin to insert dyes.
Tattooing in the Western world today has its origins in Polynesia, and in the discovery of tatau by eighteenth century explorers. The Polynesian practice became popular among European sailors, before spreading to Western societies generally.
Unlike specialty products such as 'The Tattoo Coverage Kit', the solution given below will not be flawless and it will not be smudgeproof - but it might just help you out in an emergency.
Here's some tattoo cover-up advice sourced from EHow.com...
You'll Need:ConcealerPowderPowder pad (or brush if you don't have one)FoundationEyeshadow or blush that is close to your skin toneSmall cosmetic brush
Step 4 Apply eyeshadow or blush. Choose a shade that is close to your skin tone. Use a small cosmetic brush to sweep it over the tattoos, dabbing in areas that seem harder to cover. Put it in light coats, building the coverage and color as needed. Make sure to blend it into the surrounding areas as you go. Repeat step 2 to seal it all in.
The article reads.... "From NASCAR dads to soccer moms, tattoos and body piercings have become about as rebellious as a minivan, evolving from a guaranteed way to provoke the parents to an acceptable form of expression.
If you're thinking of getting a tattoo, there are several things to consider before going under the needle.
Signs you are likely to suffer tattoo regret:
• If you walk into a tattoo studio to get a tattoo, but are short on specifics, walk right out. If the tattoo doesn't have any personal meaning behind it, you'll end up hating it later on, tattooists say.
• Getting a tattoo of your sweetheart's name can be a mistake, said Dr. Bernard Goffe, a general dermatologist at Swedish Medical Center who's removed "hundreds" of tattoos in the past 20 years.
Other reasons for tattoo removal, Goffe said, include:
• You made the decision under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
• Family pressure.
• Disassociation from a gang.
Consider how a piercing or tattoo might affect your lifestyle or career:
"You have to consider that people are going to look at you differently if you have something they can see. Not that that's right, but they will," said Christy Brooker, a tattoo artist at Seattle's Apocalypse Tattoo.
A 2001 study by Vault, a career Web site found that most employers view tattoos as unprofessional, and 42 percent said their opinion of employees is lowered by exposure of them at work.
If you're going to get a tattoo, think about location:
• The most popular place on men: arm, shoulder, upper back, calf.
• The most popular place on women: small of back, bikini line, ankle.
• The most painful areas on both: behind the knees, between the toes, spine, inner arms, middle of sternum, top of feet and hands.
• Least painful areas: Outer part of forearm, shoulder, buttocks.
How much should a tattoo or piercing cost?
Most studios charge by the hour. In Seattle, you can expect to pay around $100 to $125 per hour, said several tattooists, but prices vary depending on the studio and the complexity and size of the tattoo. Bigger or elaborate tattoos can cost much more.
In general, you don't want to go bargain shopping for a tattoo.
The basic fee for most piercings — ear , naval, tongue, nostril — is around $25.
Jewelry, depending on metals and gems, can range from $15 to more than $50.
In case you want to un-tattoo you:
Laser tattoo removals increased by 27 percent between 2001 and 2003, according to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.
So.... how do you know if you're serious about getting inked or just swept up in the craze?"
Celebrities from Liam Gallagher to Stephen Gately, Helen Mirren to Holly Valance have their own, often discreet, pieces of body art. Such celebrity ‘endorsement’ has encouraged women from all walks of life to have their own.
Sam Cox is the editor of a tattoo website. Two thirds of her body is tattooed. It started with a small butterfly on the base of her back.
• Maybe you have a lover's name or facial image tattooed on your body. This is never a good idea - if you're considering this and if you absolutely feel compelled to do so - make it small so that if the worst happens you can design another tatto over and around the original one.
i love wrist tattoos. and i love word tattoos, or neat symbols and shapes.
hopefully going to get another tattoo in December
I'm also open to questions! I was thinking of doing a Q&A post since I haven't blogged for a month!
Basically Ichigo meets some girl god or soul slayer, I think that is what they are called who gives him some of her power and he too becomes one. So you get to travel through his many adventures watching him killing the bad guys and sometimes fighting with the good guys and becoming a full fledged warrior who I believe can kick most of those dude butts.
The bleach anime wallpaper features all the stars of the anime cartoon series as well as the bad guys. You get to put them up on your desktop and change them at will. You can find most of these wallpapers if Google the word bleach, where you will find several website willing to give you free wallpapers.
Join the fun and get yourself bleach anime wallpaper which you can put up on your desktop. Watch the anime cartoon series and get to choose who your favorite of the characters portrayed in the cartoon. Enjoy the wonderful bright and beautiful colors which are mixed together to showcase great bleach wallpapers.
This gentlemen wanted some of my pinstriping on himself, so we did this skull design on his ribs...ouch!
I painted green realistic fire inside the racing stripe on my friends truck, I like the skull on the front of the hood...
Halloween is my favorite time of year. This is one of my neighbor's house. I like the ghost in the window that moves...nice!