Mistakes happen — and for Kelly Osbourne, a few of hers appear to be written in ink.
The talk show host revealed on Instagram that she is getting two tattoos removed from her arms, one of the word “Lovely” on her right wrist and a keyboard on her forearm.
A post shared by Kelly Osbourne (@kellyosbourne) on
"Who else knows how bad this hurts??? It’s 1000000000000 times worse than getting the tattoo!!!" the 35-year-old captioned the post featuring photos and videos that showed the tattoo removal laser hard at work on her skin.
So is Osbourne right about the pain of the experience? Well, yes and no.
But before we dive into all that, let’s start with how the tattoo removal process actually works. Basically, a laser removes tattoos by sending a pulse of light energy into your skin. When the light energy passes through, it is absorbed by the tattoo ink, which then breaks apart the ink particles, allowing your immune system to remove them.
So back to the main question at hand: does it hurt? Well, yes, but it’s ultimately relative. Some find it more excruciating than getting the tattoo put on, like Osbourne noted, while others find it to be a less painful experience. Most say it’s similar to what it felt like to get a tattoo. But what’s not up for debate is that getting a tattoo removed is a long, usually expensive experience.
The first thing to know is that unlike getting them done, most tattoos are not removed in a single appointment. It typically takes an average of 6 to 8 sessions to get a tattoo removed, with larger tattoos sometimes needing double-digit visits in order for the ink to be fully gone.
And since your skin needs time to recover after, you can’t get these done quickly or back-to-back. Experts typically recommend you wait for a minimum of six weeks between sessions, meaning it could take up to a year for the full removal process.
Also, pain doesn’t necessarily stop when the sessions are done, as people will often experience side effects like redness, tenderness, swelling, blistering, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation and bruising.
As for the financial side of things, there’s a good chance getting a tattoo off your body ends up taking a bigger hit on your wallet than it cost getting it in the first place. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) estimates that just a single session costs an average of $463. That means that you could be out a few grand, or even more, if your tattoo is on the bigger side.
But despite all of that, if you really feel like you want to get a tattoo off your body and out of your life, you can take comfort in knowing that many — three in 10 Americans have tattoos, according to a Harris poll, and an estimated 23 percent of that group regret at least one tat — have been in the exact same place as you.
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