Tattoos are becoming more and more popular, with no part of the body being safe from the needle and ink. Ankles, backs, feet, necks and even faces have become popular places to display tattoos. They are no longer personal but constitute a statement of the self, designed to be put on a show and to reveal something about the wearer’s personality to onlookers.

The difficulty with such public displays is that while a tattoo is permanent, identity is not. It changes over time, like life, responsibilities, experience and those around us change. The tattoo that was once a source of pride can become a simple source of embarrassment or even shame.

Tattoo removal is an effective way to get rid of any offending designs, but it cannot be seen as an easy solution. The treatment works better on tattoos that have been inked by a professional using black ink; certain colours respond less well to the treatment and some may not resolve completely.

The process is accumulative, and not without discomfort. The affected area of skin needs to be protected from sunlight during the course of treatment in order to prevent damage. All this needs to be taken into consideration, and if in doubt, find another way to make your statement.