Tattoos and the workplace don’t always mix. A recent study by The Patient’s Guide, an online skin care resource site, found a 32 percent increase in demand for tattoo removal from 2011 to 2012. The most cited factor in wanting a tattoo removed was “employment reasons.”
“We've seen a marked increase in tattoo removal laser appointments," says Jasson W. Gilmore, CEO and co-founder of The Patient’s Guide. “The increased awareness of laser tattoo removal, economic pressure and the explosion in tattoo popularity have all converged to drive up demand for this procedure.”
Data was collected for the amount of in-office laser tattoo removals for two years in locations in North America. Patient surveys were given to 700 participants to gauge reasons for initiating removal procedures. “Employment reasons” led with 40 percent of all submissions, while “Name of Ex-Partner/Spouse” followed with 18 percent.
Manhattan-based plastic surgeon Arthur W. Perry, MD, FACS, sees many people that come in unhappy about their tattoos.
“Whether right or wrong, employers judge people based on their appearance, and they weigh the effect their employees will have on customers,” the author of “Straight Talk about Cosmetic Surgery” (Yale University Press, 2007) says. “I have seen people who are extremely upset with their tattoos after they have realized their full implications.”
Tattoos may only cost a few hundred dollars to get, but could cost thousands to remove. Even when you “burn out” a tattoo, Perry says, a “ghost” or white scar is usually left.
“Think very carefully about it,” Perry says. “Think abut the clothes you wore 10 years ago. Would you wear that now?”
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