Tattoo Remorse? New Ink Easily Erasable

Unhappy purists claim that removable artwork isn't real in the first place.

Aug. 12, 2007 — -- For those with tattoos and buyer's remorse, there is now a way out.

A company called Freedom 2 offers permanent tattoos made with erasable ink — a biodegradable and bio-absorbable dye that the company promises can be safely removed with just one laser session.

It's a common scenario: The new girlfriend objects to the tattoo of the old girlfriend, or the barbed-wire tattoo doesn't fit in at the office.

The FDA reports 8 million of the 45 million Americans who have tattoos regret getting one. But, removing a tattoo is expensive, painful and slow.

A single laser treatment costs on average from $900 to $1,500. And completely removing a tattoo often requires a series of treatments.

"You have to wait about a month or two between treatments," said Dr. David Ores, who removes tattoos as part of his practice. "So, you're looking at about a year, a year-and-a-half, to remove a tattoo, sometimes up to two years."

Freedom 2 says its tattoo is removable because the ink is encased in tiny beads which are then injected into the skin. With a single laser procedure, doctors pierce those beads, allowing the body to safely absorb the specially formulated ink.

Not everyone is happy that tattoos may be more easily removable. Tattoo purists argue that if it's not truly permanent, it's not a tattoo.

"I just think it's cheap," said Joe Kuharic, a New Yorker who sports several tattoos. "If you can erase it at will, you cheapen the whole concept of a tattoo."

John Berman, Suzanne Yeo, and Rehab El-Buri contributed to this report.