One in five Americans have at least one tattoo, and while most who get their tattoos are happy with the decision, women are much more likely than men to decide to get them removed. In fact, 70 percent of women are more likely than men to get their tattoos removed, according to the archives of dermatology who interviewed 200 people in a surveying process.
The authors of the study noted that the gender difference might be attributable to the fact that women appear to face more social stigma and negative comments as a result of having a tattoo. This social stigma tends to drive women to tattoo removal procedures, according to the authors, which hasn’t shown to be a real issue for men. Society supports men, because tattoos relate to a male dominating and masculine characteristics, while tattoos for women may translate to be a transgression of gender boundaries.
According to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 24 percent of 18- to 50-year-olds have tattoos, and 17 percent have considered tattoo removal. The best way to remove a tattoo is with quality-switched, or Q-switched lasers, which have become widely used in the last decade. The beam of light searches for contrast between skin tone and ink and pulses intensely on the skin to break the ink down into particles small enough for the body to absorb. Laser treatment works differently for all patients, depending on the tattoo. The greater the color contrast between the ink and skin, the easier the removal will be, which is why black ink on light-skinned people, is the easiest to remove, while bright colors, such as green and purple, are very difficult to completely erase. Smaller tattoos are also easier to remove, as are older tattoos, because the ink is easier to break down. Taking those factors into consideration, patients should expect to undergo five to 12 laser treatment sessions and must wait a month between treatments, so expect the entire tattoo-removal process to last six months to a year.