The problem of “tattoo removal”


  • The professional who performs a tattoo must display the certificate of training in hygiene and health conditions in the place where customers are received.
  • He must also declare his activity to the Regional Health Agency.

The debate has largely come out of the shady circles where it was confined in the 20th century… An initiation rite in a society that no longer has one; affirmation of its identity and its difference; aesthetics? The tattoo has become trendy, and tattoo artists have never had so much work. According to an FOP survey, one in ten French people has a tattoo and almost as many think about it seriously. The desire for tattooing no longer escapes any class of the population.

Ink components

Yet a big brake has already almost been given in 2013. The color inks used were to be banned in France by decision of the Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM). The decree dates from March 6 of that year. Its application was delayed and then shelved by the profession’s protest, which won its case.

The opacity of the manufacturers on the components of the inks was the first reason. Only black, white, gray, green and blue had to slip through the cracks, but in limited hues. But now, there are rules specified by, the official site of the French administration.

Getting a tattoo is a practice as old as man: Ötzi, our old ancestor found frozen in the Alps, was tattooed. The name comes from the Tahitian “Tatau”. The tattoo acquired its recent bad reputation by its infamous use among slaves or in Nazi concentration camps. A symbolism that the youngest contest, preferring to see it as an art developed by their idols in sport or show business, but also New York or English traders…

Inks, health products?

Like piercing, which mothers with pierced ears find difficult to condemn, we must look at this phenomenon without hysteria and bring into this conflict of generations only precise facts. After the argument (not necessarily exact) of “it’s for life”, there is also the legal aspect: tattooing is prohibited among minors without parental consent.

Added to this is the problem of the inks still used by some tattoo artists. The yellows, reds, certain blues and greens contain additives which we do not know and which, injected into the skin, pass immediately into the bloodstream. The rule is never to be injected with a product that you do not know according to the precautionary principle that applies in human medicine. The solution would be to treat tattoo inks like health products, food colorings, or cosmetic products, under ANSM control. A precautionary principle that is violently contested by the National Union of Tattoo Artists.

Tattoo removal, a booming practice

If the tattoo is fashionable, “tattoo removal” is a booming trend, especially in the United States. Nearly a quarter of American students have one or more tattoos, and half of them seek treatment to remove it a few years later. Not so long ago, to erase a tattoo, you had to go through surgery, often with a big scar, or even a skin graft. Today, the laser is the most effective and above all the safest. Depending on the size, the location and above all the quality of the ink used, around ten sessions are enough to completely erase the drawing. Unfortunately, only for white skin; on matte or black skin, the drawing disappears less well. Long and expensive, this process, to avoid the dangers, must always be done by a dermatologist.

To choose your tattoo artist:

– Hands washed, skin disinfected;
– Sterile single-use equipment (including gloves and needles);
– Follow the “no touch” rule which consists for the tattoo artist not to touch anything that is not “protected” or disposable while tattooing.

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