With a boom in tattoo removal industry, people who regret their ink are being put at risk of permanent skin damage, as the removal can lead to serious burning and scarring.
The tool of choice these days is a laser, but the problem is that laser tattoo removers aren't required to have medical training, News.com.au reported.
Some removers use medical-sounding assurances such as "certified laser practitioner" or "accredited clinician", which generally means they took a course offered by the laser maker, which is often a precondition for obtaining liability insurance.
Hilary Quinn, proprietor of Melbourne Tattoo Removal in the suburb of Caulfield, who has been in the business for five years, said that she's seen more than a few burns and scars on patients who came to see her after suffering at the hands of an unskilled remover.
She said that she took a laser safety course, but that's only about using lasers safely, not tattoo removal and that's a skill you acquire over time, and you need to approach it like an apprentice.
Quinn said that the industry has really boomed, especially in the past six months or so, and unskilled practitioners far outweigh skilled ones.