Perhaps the most identifying characteristic of a tattoo is its permanence. Think about it; every time you mention finally getting that tattoo you’ve been on the fence about for years, someone always chimes up and reminds you that you won’t
be able to take if off if you ever change your mind. So, for fear of regret and not wanting to hear any “I told you so” declarations from family and friends, you have thus far carried on with your life as an inkless individual. But that perfect tat design is always in the back of your mind isn’t it?
Well stay tuned, because what you’re about to read will shatter everything you know about body art and might be just the thing you need to hear to finally get that tattoo out of your mind and onto your skin. Researchers at the Harvard Medical School have developed a special tattoo ink that can be totally and painlessly removed with no scarring.
First, understand that the coloring currently used in tattooing is not really ink, but various pigmenting agents ground up and mixed with a carrier solution. The solution serves a couple of functions: to sterilize the pigments and make them smoother and easier to work with. Though these inks fall into the category of things that could be regulated by the FDA, they are not. Ink venders don’t even necessarily have to disclose the contents of their products. Their have been reports of carcinogens and other contaminants that can poison the body and even be fatal.
The new ink is the first ever such substance approved especially for tattooing. The color is enclosed in tiny particles that are designed to contain it forever. So a tattoo done in this manner can be permanent if you want in to. However, if you should decide that everyone else was right and you wish you hadn’t got the tattoo, it can be easily removed. The pigments carrying particles can be broken down through a simple, painless process and the color harmlessly absorbed and flushed out of the body.
The there are a few choices of procedures for removing conventional tattoos, but they are pricey and painful. For example, one method uses a saline scrub to literally scrub away the layers of your skin until all the ink is washed away. There is another similar option that uses a material that works very much like sand paper. Even laser surgery is not risk free. It’s expensive and you may have to do it more than once. It even leaves a scar that’s basically shaped like the very design you’re so desperately trying to get rid of, so instead of having an unwanted tattoo that people are always asking about, now thy can ask how you got such an unusual scar.
None of these methods are fool proof. All of them carry some risk and will not completely remove every trace of the offending body art. You will have traces of pigment left, if not a noticeable outline. If your tattoo is comprised of several different hues, it may require a separate treatment for each one. Unlike the new ink which dissolves completely with no scarring or residual pigmentation.
Those involved in the tattoo industry like the idea of a clean ink, but are skeptical about it being temporary. They believe body art is a sacred tradition, made so by in part by the fact that it lasts forever. They also feel that taking away the consequences will crowd their ranks with people who aren’t serious about their art. The new ink is not expected to be on the market for another couple of years.