Requests For Tattoo Removal On The Rise in Australia

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By Smitha Nambiar | August 12, 2014 2:19 PM EST

Youngsters in Australia, removing their tattoos through surgeries is on an alarming high, reveals a research conducted by the Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australasia (CPSA).

REUTERS/Miami Beach Police De
Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber shows his tattooed left arm, while in police custody in Miami Beach, Florida January 23, 2014 in this Miami Beach Police Department handout released to Reuters on March 4, 2014. Bieber was charged with driving under the influence, resisting arrest and using an expired license after Miami Beach police say they caught him drag racing on January 23. Bieber pleaded not guilty to the charges. REUTERS/Miami Beach Police Dept./Handout via Reuters

While tattoo removal is on the increase, across the globe, a rise of more than 300 per cent in the number of inquiries regarding tattoo removal has been observed only in Australia. As per a survey conducted by the Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australasia, at least one in four Australians above the age of 20 have a tattoo and a third of these have expressed their regret in doing so in later years. While it takes not more than an hour to have a tattoo inked in your skin, the removal process is extremely complicated and painful.

While most common requests of tattoo removal are the names of a former partner and spelling mistakes, people who regret their design or have grown out of it also opt for tattoo removal. "We know that over 25 per cent of the Australian adults aged 20 years and over have a tattoo. We also know that a growing number of these people have come to regret their decision," said CPSA spokesperson Catherine Porter.

"One of the clinical problems is when you have multi-coloured tattoos. There are some colors that are far more difficult to remove than others, like lilac, aqua blue, teal green, purple or yellow. The colors loved by girls with their dolphins and butterflies are exactly the ones that are the hardest to remove," said Dr John Flynn, censor in chief of the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery. Tattoo removal can cost up to $5000. Regarding the cost of tattoo removal, Flynn said that a five centimetre by five centimetre tattoo costs approximately $180 for removal. However, he said that the amount might vary, depending on the number of colors used in the tattoo. "It could take two to five treatments - that's the most common. But there are some tattoos that will take you 20 or more," added Flynn.

CPSA recommends people to consult a qualified aesthetic medical practitioner for removal of tattoo to avoid burns, scarring and "the creation of a boggy unhealing mass" that was earlier a tattoo.

All those interested in tattoo removal can visit www.cosmeticphysicians.org.au.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Miami Beach Police De / )
Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber shows his tattooed left arm, while in police custody in Miami Beach, Florida January 23, 2014 in this Miami Beach Police Department handout released to Reuters on March 4, 2014. Bieber was charged with driving under the influence, resisting arrest and using an expired license after Miami Beach police say they caught him drag racing on January 23. Bieber pleaded not guilty to the charges. REUTERS/Miami Beach Police Dept./Handout via Reuters
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