Tattoos are hip – a 2016 Harris poll shows that 29% of Americans and 47% of millennials have at least one. However, the same survey indicated that 23% of them regret getting a tattoo. That’s when people go to practices like Newhope Laser Skin Care in Westminster, California, where Phuong Tien, MD is in charge. She recently let entertainment company Super Deluxe film laser tattoo removals for their new YouTube series, Stoned Mode.
Super Deluxe’s description for their 51-episode program simply reads, “Best watched while baked.” This reporter watched the first ten videos as research (though not while baked). Rather than displaying drugs, as that caption suggests, the videos largely show the processes of creating art. They also showcase certain jobs that happen to make for visually pleasing content, including laser tattoo removal. Electronic music always accompanies the montage visuals – this one is set to Twice as Nice’s “Overture (Guy J Remix).”
The majority of the videos watched do not have interviews, text, or narration. This one, the first episode, is an exception. Two clients give voiceovers explaining why they sought the treatment. The video also features several clips of Sean Tran, who practices in Dr. Tien’s office, describing his work and his clientele. The doctor is a personal fan of body art, saying that everyone in his office sports at least one tattoo. He even considers it “sacrilege” to remove a tattoo if the client doesn’t intend to get a replacement. This respect for body art, he says, comes from his relationship with several parlors.
A Few Words About Laser Tattoo Removal
WebMD’s page on the treatment includes information that Dr. Tran and the video do not mention. While it’s generally safer than earlier tattoo removal processes, it can still leave a permanent scar on the skin. Though tattoos increasingly fade with each visit to a specialist, the skin under it can get lighter (hypopigmentation) or darker (hyperpigmentation) than the skin around it.
Anyone considering this treatment must also consider the financial cost. People are often unable to get insurance coverage for it. That’s because getting, and getting rid of, a tattoo is typically a “personal choice.” One client quoted in the video says, “At the end of the day, it’s gonna be three times more expensive than the tattoo was.”
Wanna see a reason why people might get their body art removed? Here’s an article about a tattoo vending machine.