How technology revolutionized the business of tattoo removal

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How technology revolutionized the business of tattoo removal

Tattoo removal is now a business with entire clinics set up to help people rid themselves of unwanted body art.

Tattoo removal has become big business with entire clinics devoted to helping people rid themselves of unwanted body art. But not too long ago, dermatologists weren’t rushing to reap rewards from regret.

“It was nothing to hear things like ‘I don’t want those people in my waiting room’ or ‘I choose to have tattoo removal clinic on a day when I don’t bring in any other patients,’ ” says Myrna Armstrong, Ed.D., RN, an emeritus professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, TX and one of the nation’s leading tattoo researchers.

It didn’t help that physicians, especially dermatologists, tended to be “pretty WASPy” — white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant, she says. This shared background, she says, molded their prejudices about tattoos and those who had them. And, of course, anti-tattoo bias in society as a whole contributed to the phenomenon of tattoo regret.

But things changed over the past decade or so, Armstrong says. Now, dermatologists are much more willing to work with patients who want their tattoos to go away. At the same time, laser technology is giving dermatologists more power than ever to make tattoos dim or disappear.

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