Story by Louise Starkey
Edited for online by Conor Tobin

A tattoo removal clinic in south-west Brisbane says it has seen a significant increase in tattoo removal over the last 12 months.

Westside Dermatology laser and cosmetic nurse Dimity Radcliffe said people need to think more carefully before getting a tattoo.

“I think there’s definitely an increase in the removal (of tattoos),” she said.

“I’ve been doing tattoo removal for over 20 years.

“While they look great when they’re put on it can have affects on people trying to get jobs and employment opportunities.”

Ms Radcliffe said family and work reasons are two of the many reasons people have tattoos removed.

“It affects the social group if they have children, some of them are embarrassed about exposing themselves at the beach if they’ve got young children, but generally it’s work related and the fact that they’ve outgrown it,” she said.

Sarah Rae regrets a tattoo she got five years ago and said it has forced her to change the way she dresses.

“I think that most people make decisions like I did without really thinking about them too much and then they just fix it up afterwards,” she said.

“I didn’t really put too much thought into it, it wasn’t something that I really wanted.

“When I was going to job interviews I would always wear pants to cover them up,” she said.

Tattoo enthusiast Xoanne Walker said modern removal technologies are great and provide people with flexibility.

“With today’s modern ability to remove older tattoos, it’s a lot safer for a person now if they feel unsatisfied with what’s gone on their body,” he said.

“There are options to laser it or re-tattoo it with a proper tattoo artist who can fix it, I think the negative consequences are also diminishing as we get into a more technological society.”