PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - With a growing number of Americans getting tattoos, there is also a larger number getting them removed.
New technology is allowing the process to be more complete with less scarring and blistering. In some ways, users believe it can undo bad choices.
A recent Harris Poll shows tattoos are particularly prevalent among younger generations. About half of millennials and a third of Gen Xers say they have at least one, compared to just 13 percent of Baby Boomers.
One in eight millennials have regrets about at least one tattoo. The men who own and run "ReversaTatt" David Cope and Wesley Henderson, say they are helping people erase those regrets, one laser session at a time.
When a person gets a tattoo, it's a memory of the start of a chapter in life. They can remember the whole experience of choosing the design and the placement. In some ways, the laser can offer a page turn into a new chapter: one without that tattoo.
Two women named Stephanie Goodman and Stephanie Gray each came to ReversaTatt recently seeking tattoo removal assistance.
"They all came from different places and they all have different meanings, but I'm going to keep all these ones, they're not going anywhere," explained Gray.
Gray came to ReversaTatt for her first session to remove a design along her neck. She says the story why it's coming off is private, but she would like this tattoo to disappear.
"It was a name, yeah, so it's going to be gone," said Gray.
After a consultation, Cope points the PiQo laser at her neck and says, "here comes the heat."
In 13 seconds, he backs off. The first treatment is done.
While the pain is a bit more intense than getting the tattoo, according to Gray, it's over quickly.
"It was nothing," said Gray.
"The red from this little stripe here is completely gone," said board certified physician assistant David Cope, pulling up his sleeve and pointing at part of his tribal arm band.
Cope said he got his own tattoo when he was in a medical program as part of a pact to finish. Now, years later, he was encouraged by patients to remove the tattoo to understand the procedure better, so he agreed.
"This is kind of an ink explosion kind of feeling in your skin, so it's not just something you've felt before," said Cope.
Now, on his second session, parts of the tattoo have completely disappeared and others have started to fade.
Getting a tattoo removed by their PiQo laser requires short sessions, a month or so apart, five to 12 times over.
Laser tattoo removal clients are 70 percent female, according to recent studies.
A Harris Poll of U.S. adults surveyed online in 2015 showed 47 percent of millennials and 36 percent of Gen Xers have at least one, and they're exponentially more likely than their elders to have multiple.
Tattoo removal clinics have grown by 400 percent in the last decade.
ReversaTatt says the laser they use does not cause blistering or scarring like previous methods. The results are more complete too. Cope claims his clients' tattoos will disappear 98 percent to 99 percent.
ReversaTatt has seven locations in Florida including Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Jupiter and Port St. Lucie.