Wednesday, May 22, 2024 May 22, 2024
83° F Dallas, TX



progress Tired of staring at your ex-wife’s name circled in hearts across your chest? Think that really cool
Harley-Davidson logo you had inked onto your forearm isn’t nearly as cool looking now that you’ve entered a bit more
respectable phase of your life?

Well, cheer up. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration has just given the green light to three of Dallas’s top
dermatologists-the only ones approved in the Southwest-to begin removing tattoos via the Q-switched Ruby Laser
machine. Before, removing a tattoo meant permanent scarring; now all it takes is a series of high-energy pulses that
actually shatter and absorb tattoo ink.

While the laser works wonders on brown, black, and blue inks-the colors the laser light absorbs best-it has not been
effective in eliminating reds and yellows. So if you’re sporting a big red rose or huge banana somewhere, sorry. And
having your artwork erased is costly: $150 to $300 per treatment (insurance doesn’t cover the treatments) with most
tattoo removal jobs requiring from three to six visits.

Doctors FORREST C. BROWN and LYNNE J. ROBERTS at Medical City Dallas and WILLIS I. COTTEL at
Presbyterian Hospital purchased the $150, 000 machines for their practices late last year. The most popular tattoo
removal requests, they say, are ex-spouse names. But there has also been plenty of tattoo variety in the 50-plus
patients they’ve treated so far, ranging from a simple pair of sparrows (on both breasts of a male patient) to the
more elaborate “Satanic-looking” figures.

“There’s a real social stigma attached to having a tattoo, ” says Brown. “Most of our patients are in professional
settings now, and they’d just as soon forget they ever had a tattoo. “