It’s no secret, the number of people who have tattoos has majorly increased in past few years. We know that people under the age of 45 are twice as likely as those of 45 and over to have a tattoo (31 percent vs. 14 percent). Additionally, among 18 to 29-year-olds, 12 percent said they had just one tattoo compared to 26 percent who said they had two or more. Just as numbers vary on the ages of people who have tattoos, so do the statistics on those who suffer from “tattoo regret.” So, who’s blasting their ink away and why?

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), tattoo removal is on the rise. There were 45,224 procedures for tattoo removal in the United States in 2014. This number is significantly higher than the 40,801 removals performed in 2011.

Numbers from the ASAPS study indicate that women account for the largest percentage, 72.7, of laser tattoo removal procedures. So, what’s driving women to get their ink lasered off? There isn’t much concrete data on why women are choosing this path, but we can guess that there are a variety of causes: career change, children, or plain old aesthetic appearance.

In 2014, more than half of laser removal procedures were for individuals ages 19 to 34. Of all age groups, the largest number of laser tattoo removal surgeries in 2013 occurred among those aged 35 to 50 – 19,046 to be specific. On the other end, Americans under the age of 18 accounted for only 0.6 percent, or 261, of all procedures, which is actually higher than we expected.

Another surprising fact is the number of Baby Boomers who have started to utilize tattoo removal services. The ASAPS reported that for the first time in their data bank’s history, Americans over 65 have started using tattoo removal services. Although the number is small, 424, it is a growing demographic within the market.

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