WTAP @ 5 To Your Health Report: Tattoo Removal

By: Chuck Roberts
By: Chuck Roberts

It's estimated that over 45-million Americans have tattoos.

That's according to a recent survey by the U-S Food and Drug Administration.

Some people show then off proudly; while others may have second thoughts once their tattoos are etched in their skin.

So what can you do to undo your tattoo if you don't like it any longer?

Here's Chuck Roberts with Today's Health Minute.

Tattoos can be a work of art, a form of expression or a by-product of young rebellion.

Jenna Mahon had four tattoos before she was twenty.

Now at thirty, she wants to get rid of most of them.

"It was nice when I was younger but now I have kids and I'm trying to be a little more professional."

With lasers, doctors can eliminate some of evidence of Jenna's youthful enthusiasm.

Years ago the only options were to cut out or sand off a tattoo, leaving permanent scars.

Now plastic surgeons erase them with intense beams of light.

"It provides a certain amount of heat, which breaks up the tattoo pigments."

Single-color black or blue tattoos are the easiest to take off.

"The lasers have an easier time picking up the darker colors than they do the lighter colors"

And they don't magically disappear.

Sometimes it takes months even years for a tattoo to fade away.

The procedure is painful, so jenna says think before you use your body as a canvas.

"You should put a picture by your bed with the tattoo you want, wake up every morning, look at it for two to three weeks and if you're not sick of it by than, it's probably the tattoo for you."

For today's Health Minute, I'm Chuck Roberts.


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