Skin Deep 134

News is just breaking about a new tattoo ink developed by a company in America that can be lasered off if the wearer doesn’t like the image any more. Apparently they have come up with this new ink that has a tiny covering of polymer beads that stops the ink being ingested into the blood stream. Without this coating the ink will allow the tattoo to disappear over time. However, if you don’t like the design anymore it can be lasered, which will split open the polymer allowing the tattoo to be absorbed into the body.

Call me a cynic but all the treatments I’ve seen that involved the removal of tattoos by laser leave a certain amount of scarring. So there is a new laser being designed especially for this treatment? 

And I think the manufacturers of this ink have missed the point completely. Surely in these enlightened times are we not sufficiently well informed and sensible enough to choose a design that we would wish to wear until we die?  Isn’t this ink undoing and belittling the heritage of tattooing?

For me, one of the most appealing aspects of being tattooed is the permanence of the design. I feel the process, the pain, the permanence and research into what will become a superb piece of living art is the reward for your collaboration between you and your chosen tattooist.

These new ‘disappearing inks’ will only make people less likely to bother about the research and meaning to their new tattoo saying: ‘Oh, If I don’t like it, I can have it lasered off later’.

I feel this is belittling tattooing and will have a negative effect on the industry relegating this ancient and wonderful art form to rub shoulders with the rest of this world’s throwaway society?

If you think you can’t live with your tattoo for the rest of your life – Don’t have the tattoo.


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