The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Ask Anything

Dear Ask Anything,

So last weekend got pretty crazy and I somehow ended up at a tattoo parlor getting inked with a tigress. Well I may have thought that it was a cool idea then -but sober, I think it’s pretty lame. How do I get it removed and how much does it cost? Let me know ASAP, I’m going to Mexico for Spring Break and don’t want to bring the not-so-pretty kitty along.

-Accidentally Inked

Dear Accidentally Inked,

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First off, don’t feel bad that you got a tattoo unless, that is, you got it in a “no-no zone” – because roughly half of all people who get a tattoo later regret it. Whether it was a conscious decision or a little too much wop on a crazy Friday night, mistakes happen. For example, just look at who The Spectator hired to write this column.

Now – to face your feline fiasco. You’re in luck that you live in this day and age. According to an article on, older procedures involved a lot more pain than today’s laser techniques. While still available, dermabrasion (think taking a belt sander to your skin), cryosurgery (think liquid nitrogen) and excision (think cutting the tattoo out with a big knife and stitching together your remaining skin) are no longer the preferred methods to removing said embarrassing body art.

But in my opinion, if you make a questionable decision during one of your drunken escapades, then you should toughen up and face the consequences. (Besides, I think playing with liquid nitrogen seems like fun.)

Referring to the same article, lasers use pulses of intense light that normally pass through the top layers of the skin “to be selectively absorbed by the tattoo pigment.” The good thing about lasers is that the light removes only the pigment from the tattoo ink, not your skin pigment – meaning the treatment is very effective.

Remember my comment earlier about the pain involved with earlier procedures? While lasers are a huge improvement over dermabrasion and the like, the procedure isn’t painless. People who have gotten their tattoos removed with a laser describe the pain as being similar to getting snapped with a thin rubber band. The amount of pain varies by the ink – black is the easiest to remove, while green and yellow are the hardest. (I wouldn’t remove that Packers tat, anyway. How can you go wrong with Brett Favre on your behind?)

And physical pain isn’t the only place you’re going to feel it. Removing a tattoo is much more expensive than getting one. Based on the size, shape, color and location of your tigress, the process could cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

But you’re in luck that a nice guy like me answers letters for a living – there are programs available that offer free tattoo removal to give teens like you a clean slate, so to speak. However, most of these programs are for teens who have gang-related tattoos on their bodies.

In that case, I’d get cracking on forming the “Eau Claire Wild Tigresses” gang, or you’re going to have a hard time finding the money to get down to Mexico. Either that or just do what always happens to me – realize that you’re so physically unattractive that society won’t let you take your clothes off.

Good luck with the kitty cat, Inked. Have fun in Mexico and, if you’re going to drink, stay away from the tattoo parlors.

Ask Anything is a weekly question and advice column. Send your questions to HHH 108 or [email protected].

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