Currently, tattoos are widely accepted in North America, but what many people don’t think about it, is the other side of getting tattoos – removing them. An article done by the Canadian broadcaster CBC in 2015 stated that there aren’t many regulations regarding tattoo removal.
Quebec’s College of Physicians formed a committee to better regulate the process after an investigation by Radio-Canada revealed that 18 women in the province suffered second-degree burns after having their tattoos removed.
There are many ways to “get rid of” an unwanted tattoo and a removal isn’t always the best option. Getting a removal done doesn’t necessarily mean the tattoo will no longer exist. It can strip the colour or make it less noticeable. Tattoo cover-ups are also an option when a person doesn’t like their existing tattoo.
This issue is timely and important because after this story was released, there hasn’t been much talk surrounding the topic, even though tattoos are so popular, especially among youth.. There are many risks involved in tattoo removal that can really irritate some people’s skin. It’s a question as to why tattoo shops are even allowed to use these tattoo removal products if there has been such a negative reaction to them.
The debate has mainly been discussed in blogs rather than the mainstream media, with some arguing tattoo removal is just as safe as laser hair removal, and other arguing for increased safety standards and improved regulation.
MedicineNet. “Laser Tattoo Removal.” 2016. http://www.medicinenet.com/tattoo_removal/page2.htm
CBCNews. “Tattoo removal products risk scars, skin irritation, Health Canada warns.” February 24, 2015.http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/tattoo-removal-products-risk-scars-skin-irritation-health-canada-warns-1.2969699
Matt Kwong, “Tattoo culture making its mark on millennial.” CBCNews, September 19, 2012.
Health Alberta, “Health Standards and Guidelines for Tattooing.” June 2002. http://www.health.alberta.ca/documents/Standards-Tattooing.pdf
Just Answer, “What are the licensing requirements for laser tattoo removal,” 2012.
Student Researchers: Richelle Peace (University of Regina)
Faculty Evaluator: Patricia W. Elliott (University of Regina)