When Johnny Depp and Winona Rider parted ways, Depp reworked one tat to read "Wino Forever." When Geena Davis split with first husband Renny, her tattoo redo showed up as the Denny's logo. But if you're going for a clean sweep of an old tattoo, fasten your seat belt. Mark Wahlberg decided to set an example for his two oldest kids and brought them along to his more than 20 laser-powered tat-removal sessions. "It's like getting burned with hot bacon grease. Hopefully that will deter them."
The number of removals in the U.S. hit 100,000 in 2011, according to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, up from around 86,000 in 2010. Every year should see thousands more. That comes as no surprise: A Harris poll found 1 in 8 American adults with tattoos regrets getting one. As someone once said, "A tattoo is a permanent reminder of a temporary feeling."
The most popular method of tattoo removal uses lasers (dermabrasion and surgery are the other alternatives).
That's because in the right hands (a board certified, licensed dermatologist or plastic surgeon) colors can be zapped away using various laser densities, and effective after-treatment minimizes scarring.
Think (twice) before you ink. You might want to consider veggie dye ink. Your tat artist may have to special order it for you, but it can be removed much less painfully.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.