Getting inked is no big deal today, especially when it comes to declaring love for someone. Sounds romantic, but what happens if the couple breaks up? Then follows a never-ending ordeal of covering up the tattoo either with expensive intricate designs or laser sessions to lighten it.
Take 25-year-old Prashant Kale, who inked his girlfriend's name on his nape on an impulse, but regrets it now ever since he has broken off with her.
The problem is that a tattoo cannot be completely removed. It can only be lightened by using laser technique or it can be camouflaged with more intricate designs.
As Rajesh Khurana, president of Timpac Healthcare puts it: "To make a tattoo you invest Rs.2,000 but to remove it you have to pay more than Rs.20,000."
"So, my advice is before anyone goes for one, think whether you are doing the right thing and going for the right design," Khurana told IANS. Timpac Healthcare is known for offering clinical obesity management, cosmetology, medical aesthetics, wellness, medi spas and anti-aging treatments.
Tattoos are quite popular among celebrities too. Stars like Deepika Padukone and Saif Ali Khan went ahead and got the names of their partners tattooed. While Saif Ali Khan's relationship is going strong, Deepika has already broken up.
But Deepika, who inked her ex-boyfriend Ranbir Kapoor's initials on her nape, doesn't regret her decision and has no plans to remove it in the near future as it can be easily covered by her hair.
Saif got Kareena Kapoor's name inked on his forearm.
In the case of Amrita Arora, her boyfriend Usman Afzal got her name inked on his arm but they later broke off. Though no one knows what happened to the tattoo, Amrita is happily married to Shakeel Ladakh.
Delhi-based tattoo artist Aditi Naithani of Devilz Tattooz, says a lot of people come for cover-up tattoos and want to strike off the name of their ex.
"Out of 30 clients in a month, at least five come for the cover-up. In most cases, they have a break-up and in some it's a bad job done," Naithani said.
"We try to use complicated and intricate designs to do the cover-up. Also, we use darker colours to do the job in the right manner. The most popular cover-up design used is of a dragon as it is so intricate," she added.
The cost of covering up a tattoo by re-doing it depends on its size.
Sometimes a tattoo design gets horribly wrong or one gets bored with it, and hence people want to remove or redo it.
"In most cases people either dislike what they had or else the tattoo does not match their expectations. Then they want to remove it immediately. The number of such people who had tattoos done recently but dislike it is rising," Jalandhar-based skin surgeon Mohan Singh said.
"The incidence of people demanding tattoo removal is rising every year by double. More and more younger generation people are getting sucked into the desire to have tattoos while they are not that mentally matured to keep them," he added.
A laser session requires a minimum of four-six sessions within a space of one-two months, but it is not easy to completely remove the tattoo as it is deep into the skin. One session generally costs around Rs.3,000.
"My advice is to be very patient with the procedure and take all needed sittings on time. Tattoo laser removal is a very highly technical scientific method. There are no quick rewards. Be patient with the number of sittings and the total time required and you will have very elegant and cosmetically beautiful results in the end," said Singh.
Khurana points out that being patient might not help in tattoos made with colours like green, blue, yellow and red as they are very difficult to get rid of, while black is easier.
So the next time you are tempted to get a tattoo, think twice!