If you had a little too much New Year’s cheer and you’ve found yourself with a colorful reminder somewhere on your body, all is not lost. It seems the more Iowans who get tattoos permanently inked onto their bodies, the more Iowans are lining up to get them removed. John Raikes runs a laser-based tattoo removal service and says a certain age group appears to be regretting their ink flings.
Raikes says “It’s not the stereotype who you would think would be coming in to have a tattoo removed. If we were to say a category it would be women about 35 to 45 who did it in the last five or six years and were at a certain stage in their life back then and now it doesn’t just sit with their program.” Besides the dragons, roses, butterflies and barbed wire, Raikes says ex-lovers’ names are common tattoos to be removed. He says “In fact we have one tattoo, it’s a gentleman’s name and it’s on three different women and the women don’t know each other.”
The cost of tattoo removal starts around 200-dollars per treatment and the process almost always requires more than one treatment. Raikes explains how it works.
He says a laser “heats up the ink pigment to a point where it breaks into smaller particles and then it’s your body’s lymphatic system or immune system that wastes those small, little particles away and that causes the tattoo to slowly fade.” The ease of removal depends on things like what part of the body it’s on and what type and color of ink was used. Raikes says black is the easiest to erase, while colors like white and many metallics can never be removed because they reflect the laser’s heat.