Tattoos – the must-have fashion accessories of the noughties, are fast being taken over by a new revolution in the Hunter – removal.
It seems the novelty of a defining mark for many of our heavily inked millennials has worn off and a blank canvas is now the new black.
Old flames, wrong spelling, dodgy art work and star signs are just some of the regretful tatts Vamp Cosmetic Clinic’s Dermal Therapist Ginny Gruber Bucchi is removing.
The Newcastle clinic, owned and operated by Dr Jake Alexander of Rutherford Family Medical Practice, receives several inquiries each day about laser tattoo removal and some weeks can treat dozens of clients wanting their body art banished.
Men and women of all ages are having their unwanted ink removed but according to Ginny a great number of people aged between 20 and 40 are opting for the treatment.
“We’re removing the names of plenty of old flames. We also see a lot of quotes that perhaps don’t hold the same meaning for people that they did previously,” she said.
There are many who have admitted visiting a tattoo shop after a few drinks and waking up the next morning with a throbbing arm or leg not realising what they had done.
Monique Pearce recently underwent laser treatments to have her tattoos removed. “I had a shell on my wrist and a quote on my arm and I just didn’t want them anymore,” she said.
“I was sick of seeing them and as I got older I wanted a clean slate. They’re both completely gone now. It took about 15 sessions for the shell because it was quite deep and only about five for the quote,” she said.
So is it painful? “It’s more like an annoying pain but only for a few minutes. For the sake of the removal, I’d highly recommend the treatment,” Monique said.
Ginny said it’s not relaxing but neither is getting a tattoo. “Most clients find the treatment bearable and a small price to pay for removing unwanted ink. “We can apply topical anaesthetic if clients wish or they can use gas,” Ginny said.
Ginny said Vamp is the only cosmetic clinic in the Hunter with the revolutionary Picoway laser. “This means we can treat ink colours like green and yellow which were traditionally very hard to clear away,” Ginny said.
Picoway is a medical grade laser that uses three wavelengths of light, proven to treat all ink colours. Energy is delivered quickly (in a picosecond or a trillionth of a second).
“It is a more advanced laser than the previous generation of tattoo removal lasers and uses acoustic sound which is incredibly forceful,” Ginny said.
Its high peak power breaks ink into particles the body can clear away. It also means less heat goes into the skin leading to more effective treatment with less down time so clients can return quicker for their next treatment.
About six to eight treatments are required, depending on the type of ink that was used and how vibrant the tattoo is.
Still a fan of ink? Check out tattoo photos from people across the Hunter
“Some people are just looking to fade the ink so they can re-tattoo the area,” Ginny said.
While tatts have become part of our culture and are more acceptable than they were several years ago, those partial to a spot of ink these days will be the next generation of removal clients.
“It’s impossible to predict whether you will still feel connected to a piece of artwork in 10 or 15 years. You wouldn’t keep your house decorated the same way your entire life. Our style evolves over our lifetime,” Ginny said.