A Brief History of Tattoos
Tattooing has existed for thousands of years. Once mankind discovered ways to feed and shelter themselves, self-expression began. Clothes were fashioned, jewelry was made and the first tattoo was applied.
As mankind progressed, so too did the art and safety of tattooing. The use of natural materials progressed to using more permanent inks and tattooing became an integral part of many cultures as it often signified the transition into adulthood or a belonging to a specific tribe.
For many years, tattoos were seen by Western countries as something tribal rather than as a way to express oneself. However, this attitude started to change once sailors begin to explore foreign ports and come back with tattoos.
Sailors received tattoos from these ports, and other social groups soon followed by expressing themselves via tattoos and body art. However, while the art, science, and safety of tattooing progressed, the mainstream social acceptance of those with tattoos was still perceived as negative.
For decades, those with tattoos in western countries like America were viewed as rebels, outlaws, bikers, or convicts. However, once mainstream America including teachers, lawyers, doctors and other professionals began being tattooed in the 1980s and early 90s, the social view of tattoos underwent a major cultural transition.
Fast forward a decade and in 2006 a study conducted by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology determined that 24% of Americans between 18 and 50 are tattooed. This survey also concluded that around 36% of Americans between the ages of 18 to 29 have at least one tattoo.
While tattoos are now socially acceptable in the mainstream, they are still not yet accepted in many workplaces especially in a corporate environment where image and appearance of extremely important. This is why many with visible tattoos which can not be hidden by clothing have to either cover their tattoos up everyday with make-up or have them removed.
If you want or need to remove a tattoo, there are a variety of tattoo removal options including surgery, laser treatments and using a topical cream/gel such as those listed in our tattoo removal grid. All of these tattoo removal options have both positive and negative connotations including the risk of scarring from surgery and the expense of laser removal treatments.