Revenue from tattoo removals up 440% even before Apple Watch issues discovered

Spending on removals is growing in line with the of the rest of the tattoo industry

Hazel Sheffield@hazelsheffield
Thursday 30 April 2015 11:40

There was some bad news for heavily tattooed tech junkies this week after it was revealed that the Apple Watch won’t work properly over ink.

But they aren’t the only ones having second thoughts about their body art according to research from the US. Revenue from tattoo removals is up 440 per cent over the last decade to an estimated $75.5 million.

Spending on tattoo removals is expected to continue growing to hit $83.2 million in 2018, keeping pace with growth in the overall tattoo industry, accord to research seen by MarketWatch.

Across the US there are nearly 8000 tattoo business. Revenue from the entire sector grew 2.9 per cent to $3.4 billion in 2014.

Read more: New tattoo removal cream promises to fade ink

People in their thirties and forties are most likely to get tattoos removed, but it’s not cheap. In the US, costs range from $500 up, depending on the colour and the depth of the ink on the skin. Pastel-coloured and yellow ink, which has grown in popularity, is more difficult to remove than black ink.

It’s not just new Apple Watch users who may be adding to this figure. Changes to people’s personal lives such as relationship breakups or new jobs can prompt tattoo removal. High unemployment may also have driven growth in tattoo removal as prospective employees look for ways to make themselves more attracted to employers.

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