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Skin Care Author: Wendy Lewis Last Updated: Sep 7, 2017 - 10:06:33 PM

Body Art Remorse

By Wendy Lewis
May 27, 2015 - 11:54:04 AM

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( - It may have seemed like a good idea at the time...that double piercing on your left ear, the nose ring your parents warned you about, or the colorful dragon stretched out across your bicep.

You may have a case of body art remorse - an all too common phenomenon that is definitely on the rise. According to a 2014 survey conducted by Syneron-Candela, around 19% of respondents with at least one tattoo had considered tattoo removal. [1]

The good news is that there is a plethora of effective ways to remove the physical reminders of past indiscretions. "Facial plastic surgeons are adept at helping patients reverse piercings, ear tunnels and plugs, as well as tattoos, all of which are surely on the rise," says Stephen S. Park, MD, FACS, President of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (

Adventurous Ear Piercings

"Earlobe repair and earlobe reduction can reduce the size of earlobes, reshape earlobes and even repair holes that have become torn, stretched, or damaged by heavy hoops," says Edwin Williams, MD, FACS, president-elect of AAFPRS. "This is a quick in-office procedure performed under local anesthesia."

But today many men and women often do more than just add an extra hole or two to their lobes. "We are seeing more people who regret pierces in the tragus, which is the small inner ear flap, the helix of the upper, outer part of the ear, and the daith or cartilage located at the inner origin of the helix in the center of the ear, across from the ear canal," Dr. Williams says.

Another notable trend involves people having plugs and tunnels implanted to stretch their earlobes.  "Many people do not realize that once they have stretched the lobe for long periods, the likelihood that it will go back to its original size gets lower with every size the lobe is stretched to. In extreme cases, this results in a deformity that requires surgical correction," he added.

Tat Remorse

The days of endless painful laser sessions that cost a fortune and didn't always work are a thing of the past. The new picosecond lasers are literally light years ahead of previous systems. They are faster and less painful, making it easier and safer to correct a wide range of tattoos of all colors, inks and types. "These advanced lasers can zap away greens, blues, and other hard-to-erase colors in fewer sessions than older lasers," says Dr. Park.

According to Chevy Chase, Maryland Dermatologist Rebecca Kazin, "Many people today want to change or correct an old tattoo they no longer like.
The PicoWay® Dual Wavelength Laser from Syneron-Candela literally cuts the amount of treatments needed to clear an unwanted tattoo in half in some cases. This represents a quantum leap over previous technologies available."

Nose Rings Reconsidered

Nose rings and nostril piercings were trending back in the day, but that day may be over for many adults. "The best way to remove adornments to the skin and cartilage of the nose is to take them out and let the piercings close naturally on their own," says Dr. Williams. It's also important to keep the area clean to avoid infections while the area is healing.

So think twice before you take a step to do anything to your body that is permanent. "All forms of body modification should be taken seriously because there can be side effects including infections and delayed healing, and long term consequences which may leave visible scars," says Dr. Park.

Wendy Lewis is President of Wendy Lewis & Co Ltd, author of 11 books and Founder/Editor in Chief of


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