Afraid to commit? You’re not alone. Tattoos are painful to receive and remove and, barring the later, last a lifetime. But a new technique makes skin art durable and easily removable.  Although it can’t take away the pain, it can ease the regret.  "I was the first recipient of a Freedom-2 tattoo. I wore it for several months and then had it lasered off. Now my arm is completely clean," said Martin Schmieg, president and CEO Freedom-2, based in New York City.

Safe, and Sane

The process starts with pigments free of heavy metals and other toxins that can induce an allergic reaction or produce other health problem in some people. Clear plastic beads encapsulate the pigments, and are mixed in a solution so tattoo artists can use the pigments the same way they would use ink.

"The pigment is homogenously dispersed in the capsule to get the right color," said the microcapsule developer, Edith Mathiowitz, a professor of medical science and engineering at Brown University in Providence, R.I.
Once the tattoo is etched into the skin, the design is permanent. But unlike conventional tattoos, a Freedom-2 tattoo can be removed with a single laser treatment.

The laser bursts open the microscopic beads so the tiny particles of dye can be absorbed and removed naturally by the body’s immune system. Regular tattoos require six or seven laser treatments to break down the various colors of ink.

"I consistently and constantly push myself and try to grow. I think it’s good that the industry does that too," said Eddie Jackson, tattoo artist and shop manager of Absolute Tattooing in Menomonee Falls, Wisc. "I like the natural aspects of the ink and I think it’s great that it can be lasered off in one treatment."

But, he says, people should still think it over in the first place.

"I don’t think a lot of tattoo artists would be excited about people who weren’t committed in terms of body art," said Jackson. "The hardcore people that are intense have a lot of pride. They want their imagery out there to be seen."

Freedom-2 is tattooing 50 people at three test sites across the United States as part of a long-term study. According to Schmieg, the inks will be ready for the marketplace this fall.

Via: Discovery Channel