WHOM DO YOU TRUST?
Ever since we received a news clipping about a young, eighteen-year-old women who wanted to remove a tattoo of her boyfriend’s name—block letters three inches high, from wrist to elbow—and didn’t know who to contact or where to go, so she removed it herself with a scalpel (!), I have been diligently researching the top, professional laser tattoo removal services in various cities across America. In the last ten days we have created a Tattoo Removal Directory (including alternative non-laser technologies) and signed on fifteen tattoo removal services in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington State—professionals who we wholeheartedly recommend.
In conversations with these physicians and technicians, we thought the scalpel incident was the end of the horror stories. No so. Many of them told me about people coming in with scars, keloids, infections and destroyed skin tissue due to botched do-it-yourself laser removals, not to mention similar results from posers who bought second-hand laser equipment, read some instructions on the Internet and began removing their neighbors’ and friends’ without a clue of what they were doing.
The big surprise was when I called legitimate, experienced dermatology offices and was unabashedly told, “We don’t do laser removal. If a patient wants a tattoo removed, we excise it.” Excise it? OMG! From what I learned, that means they insert a needle, blow up the area with air and cut off the tattoo with a scalpel and then deflate the whole mess. Similar to what the eighteen-year-old did.
When I called tattoo shops across the country to ask if they thought a Tattoo Removal Directory was a good idea (especially for lightening a tattoo to make way for a new design), the response was an enthusiastic “yes.” Then I asked, “If that’s the case, to whom do you send your clients?” All but two answered, “We don’t know of anyone.” Two shops said that some laser removal service stopped by and left some business cards on the counter. But they didn’t know anything about the service or talk to anyone who did.
We are continuing to build our Tattoo Removal Directory and would appreciate any suggestions or recommendations that you may have. Please contact me at baxter@tattooroadtrip or call (503) 568-3169.