In recent years, tattooing has been embedding itself more and more into the national pop culture consciousness. Once shunned as the mark of criminals, outcasts and degenerates, the practice is nearly ubiquitous today. As The Atlantic noted, approximately 20 percent of U.S. adults have at least one tattoo, and that number is sure to grow in the years to come.

Of course, as the number of tattoos given rises, so too does the number of tattoos that are removed. Tattoo regret is a common enough ailment – data from the Pew Research Finder revealed that 17 percent of tattooed individuals experience unfortunate post-needle second thoughts, and 11 percent have actually gone as far as to have a tattoo removed. As the industry continues to grow, the tattoo removal market will similarly expand, as already new technologies have surfaced that have revolutionized the removal process.

Rough beginnings
Not surprisingly, tattoo removal is far from a new practice. In fact, it's estimated to be as old as the act of tattooing itself is. The Atlantic reported an account of documented tattoo removal that dates back to 6th-century Alexandria and Constantinople. According to an entry written in a medical encyclopedia, tattoos of the day were removed by smearing them with terebinth resin and bandaging them. Of course, as history has demonstrated, while methods evolved that were more effective or immediate, such practices were also far more aggressive, often bordering on barbarism. 

One of the more common historical tattoo removal practices, especially among Roman soldiers, was simply to cut out the marked skin. Of course, as a tattoo penetrates the outermost layer of skin and actually rests within the dermis, such a carving had to have been deep and extensive, and extreme scarring and disfigurement were common side effects of this process. Some Native American tribes were also reported to have their own tattoo removal processes – one example is the Chickasaws of the 18th century, who removed tattoo marks by rubbing them with green corn juice.

The future of tattoo removal
Fortunately, modern tattoo removal methods are far less invasive. Laser tattoo removal has been around for around 40 years, but the technology has enjoyed significant development and advancement in that period. The newest advancement in laser tattoo removal is the picosecond laser, which fires at a frequency that enables tattoos to be obliterated more quickly and with less scarring.

The growth of an industry
What was once an esoteric practice has since blossomed into a full-blown industry. Tattoo removal has become big business in recent years, expanding exponentially by around 440 percent in the last decade, MarketWatch reported. Over the next four years, the tattoo removal industry is expected to to hit over $83 million in revenue. 

Why are more people getting their ink excised? The majority of those going under the laser are in their 30s and 40s, and as youthful tattooees grow into middle-aged job-seekers, this ratio will likely remain intact. But it's not just aging former rebels who are offering up their skin a second time – many who get tattooed to commemorate jobs, relationships or sports teams are likely to find themselves making laser tattoo removal appointments in the not-so-distant future as well.

PicoSure® is the latest technology for laser tattoo removal and offers faster and better removal in fewer treatments. PicoSure shatters ink into smaller, dust-like particles which are more efficiently absorbed by the body's natural processes. It is the first and only aesthetic picosecond laser that is FDA-cleared for the removal of tattoos. Visit to learn more and find a PicoSure Practitioner near you.