I love tattoos. I believe that it is a beautiful form of body art that can help a person cope, express their emotions, or keep something sacred with them at all times. I myself have four, all of which were well thought-out, planned, and saved for and all of which are sacred to me.

There’s also something else my tattoos have in common: they are places that can be hidden by clothing. I made that choice not because I’m ashamed of them, but because I realize I will be old someday. And that means my skin will probably be stretched and the body art will not look near as beautiful as it does now.

In 2008, a report done in Life Magazine estimated that 16 percent of Americans have at least one tattoo, and that was two years ago. As the culture has boomed, that number has definitely gone up.

Of course, one of the most popular places to tattoo is the lower back (I have one there). But it also seems that these days the arm sleeve is rivaling for the most popular tattooed body part. Your arm is a little bit harder to cover up than your back.

According to several studies, tattoos WILL change with age. Of course, genetics, tanning, and your overall health and diet will play a role, but let’s be honest, how many people over the age of 60 have nice, tight skin? Now picture those people with sagging tattoo. Will you even know what the tattoo is?

Ok, so now you’ve decided, yes, I will be old and now I have regrets. What do I do to get them removed? Laser treatment cost: $250-$850 per session (can be as many as 10), and it’s not guaranteed to work. Light therapy cost: $10 per pulse (can be multiple pulses per session), and it’s not guaranteed to work. DIY cream cost: $30-$125, and definitely not guaranteed to work.

I’m not discouraging you against them. All I’m saying is, think before you get one and think about becoming old someday.

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