Removable Tatoo?

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island (AP) -- Having someone's name permanently etched into your flesh is considered by some to be the ultimate testament to a relationship. But wouldn't it be great to make that commitment without really making it ... forever?

A technician uses a laser beam to remove a tattoo from the shoulder of woman who has had several treatments.

A new dye due to hit tattoo parlors this fall will provide an exit strategy of sorts for people who have thought about getting a tattoo, then wondered if they might someday have regrets.

The permanent but removable ink is made by storing dye in microscopic capsules that will stay in the skin for good. But if that butterfly tattoo on the small of your back starts looking lame, it can be zapped away with a single laser treatment that is simpler and less painful than the barrage of treatments now needed.

While the idea might intrigue some -- for example, the 36 percent of Americans ages 18 to 29 who get tattoos, according to a 2006 study by the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology -- some enthusiasts say getting inked without the lifetime commitment wouldn't be appealing. Those in the industry are also skeptical, especially since the company making the dye says it will cost considerably more than a regular tattoo.


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