Tattooing has become increasingly popular in recent decades. Unfortunately, about 20 % of those who have had a tattoo regret their decision and many of them want to get rid of it.
The EADV Media & PR Committee started a public awareness campaign in 2014 with press releases during the congresses and with information on the EADV website. In 2016, a first video cartoon was launched addressing the younger generation and focusing on the risks of tattooing. A new video cartoon has now been prepared which illustrates the pitfalls of unprofessional tattoo removal.
People who regret a tattoo will often look for a “do it yourself” solution and be tempted to use products which are advertised on the internet with misinformation. These chemical methods often contain caustic ingredients which can lead to burns and disfigurement. Others will choose more invasive methods such as dermabrasion and surgery, all potentially leading to scarring.
The current standard of care for tattoo removal is a specific treatment with appropriate lasers. Some tattooists offer laser treatment but in many European countries this procedure is not allowed by non-doctors; moreover, good knowledge of the devices and the skin condition is required. Unprofessional treatment can result in side effects including textural and pigmentary changes.
Patient selection and counselling is important to avoid disappointment because the treatment is painful, tedious, expensive and not always successful. Laser tattoo removal should be done by an experienced professional. Even in the best hands a perfect outcome cannot be guaranteed.