Billie Piper is the latest in a long line of celebrities once love struck enough to get a tattoo with the name of a partner – and living to regret it.
According to reports this week, the actress – currently wowing critics and audiences in Yerma at the Young Vic, a performance that scooped her Best Actress at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards – has just had the inking, dedicated to her ex-hubby Laurence Fox, removed.
She had the tat tribute – that bore his name and the date of their nuptials on her arm, Mr Fox 31-12-07 – removed just months after their divorce.
She appeared tattoo free as she collected her Best Actress award in London last weekend.
Also in the news this week, a tattoo parlour in Birmingham has been fined £1,200 after a woman was rushed to A&E following tattoo removal by an untrained staff member using a machine bought off eBay.
The court was told that the victim could suffer long-term damage as a result.
There were no instructions with the equipment, the woman was offered no eye protection and no aftercare was offered. The staff member had never carried out the treatment before, the Birmingham Mail reports.
Now, comparethetreatment.com expert Anouska Cassano is warning us all to be on our guard when it comes to seeking tattoo removal treatment – and advises us that removal will not mean out skin will be back to what it was.
She says: ‘The after effects of unwanted tattoos can be a lifelong reminder – in the form of scars, incomplete colour removal or pigmentation issues where the tattoo once was. It's worrying that some people think “removal” will return skin back to pre-damaged state. It won’t.
‘When seeking tattoo removal, it's important to consider the correct method for you, the type, colours and size of tattoo as well as your lifestyle. You should consider the potential risks and, very importantly, the aftercare commitment. If it is not realistic that you can adhere to the aftercare, you risk the outcome and/or infection and elevated risk of scarring.’
Consultation with a qualified practitioner is key so that we understand:
• What the removal process will involve
• What the likely outcome is going to be
• The reality of our expectations.
Anouska says: ‘Focusing on realistic results is a huge part of achieving a "successful outcome". No matter how experienced the practitioner, her or she will not be able to tell you exactly how many sessions it will take to remove your tattoo.’
This, she says, is because they are working ‘blindly’ – in most cases, there will be little to no knowledge of the brand of tattoo ink, how deeply it was tattooed and so on.
Therefore, to minimise risk, it's far safer the practitioner to be cautious in order to avoid unnecessary damage. Although, Anouska adds that some damage might be unavoidable, depending on how the tattoo was performed in the first place.
She also cautions that this may have a cost implication i.e. more sessions may be required.
However, she points out: ‘Don’t be seduced by practitioners offering exceptionally quick results as the hidden cost to the speed of removal might be scarring. This is not always the case but do your due-diligence. If it sounds to good to be true, etc…’
The caveat to this is excursion (where they cut out the tattoo). This will leave you with both a scar and any risks associated with skin healing. At best, you will have a thin linear scar and at worst, might result in further surgery to correct unsightly scar formation.
Anouska says: ‘Bottom line is there is no completely risk-free removal; all have their merits and risks.’
Whichever removal method you have chosen you should be able to request from your provider evidence of the following:
• Training in the specific method of removal e.g. Correct laser, chemical tattoo, etc
• Before and after pictures of clients the practitioner themselves have worked produced. Not manufacturer’s pictures or pictures from the internet
• An ability (and a desire) to talk you through in detail what the process is from beginning to end comfortably and confidently
• Support mechanism should there be a ‘problem’ and information about any associated risks
• Any information re: problems experienced by the practitioner’s patients in the past
• Length of time they have been practising the treatment.
Anouska adds: ‘Last of all, go with your gut feeling. People underestimate their instinctive ability to recognise something that might not be right for them. If you feel uneasy or not confident, the safest thing to do is “do nothing”, get more information, meet other practitioners and wait until it feels right.’
Meanwhile, news is that the latest tattoo craze involves devoted parents getting the scribbled drawing of their kids inked on their bodies.
The artwork – that usually ends up stuck on fridge doors and/or in the bin – are inspiring mums and dads to get them replicated in the form of a tat.
Our advice? Again, think before you ink – unless you know for sure that your little darling is going to grow up to be the next Picasso or Van Gogh, of course!
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