New Techniques to Refresh Skin

New medical spa techniques erase tattoos and signs of piercings and other youthful indiscretions.

It seemed like such a good idea at the time. We are talking about that double pierce on your client’s left ear, the nose ring their parents warned them about, or the permanent blue eye liner so they could wake up with makeup.

Many clients may have a case of body art remorse—an all too common phenomenon that often falls under the ‘mom knows best’ umbrella. While no precise statistics exist for all types of body art, research has shown that at least one third of people with tattoos regretted the decision to get inked.

The good news is that there is a plethora of effective ways to remove the physical reminders of past indiscretions and bring in new clients to your medical spa. “Facial plastic surgeons are adept at helping patients reverse piercings, ear tunnels and plugs, as well as tattoos and permanent cosmetics, all of which are surely on the rise,” says Stephen S. Park, M.D., president of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS).


Adventurous Ear Piercings:

“Earlobe repair and earlobe reduction can reduce the size of earlobes, reshape earlobes and even repair holes that have become torn, stretched, or damaged by heavy hoops,” says Edwin Williams, M.D., FACS, president-elect of AAFPRS. “This is a quick in-office procedure performed under local anesthesia.”

But today many men and women often do more than just add an extra hole or two to their lobes. “We are seeing more people who regret pierces in the tragus, which is the small inner ear flap, the helix of the upper, outer part of the ear, and the daith or cartilage located at the inner origin of the helix in the center of the ear, across from the ear canal,” says Williams.

Another notable trend involves people having plugs and tunnels implanted to stretch their earlobes.  According to Williams, “Many people do not realize that once they have stretched the lobe for long periods, the likelihood that it will go back to its original size gets lower with every size the lobe is stretched to. In extreme cases, this results in a deformity that requires surgical correction.”

Nose Ring Remorse:

Nose rings and nostril piercings were oh-so trendy back in the day, but that day may be over for many adults. “The best way to remove adornments to the skin and cartilage of the nose is to take them out and let the piercings close naturally on its own,” says Williams. “It’s also important to keep the area clean to avoid infections while the area is healing.”

Tat Regret:

The new picosecond lasers are literally light years ahead of previous systems. They are faster and less painful, making it easier that ever to get rid of tattoos of all colors, inks and types. “These advanced lasers can zap away greens, blues, and other hard-to-erase colors in fewer sessions than older lasers,” says Park. “In general, they cut the amount of sessions in half for all colors and cut sessions by two-thirds for resistant colors.”

Says Park, “All forms of body modification should be taken very seriously because there can be side effects including infections and delayed healing, and long term consequences which may leave visible scars.”