Tattoo Removal & the Job Search

Tattoo removal rates experience a dramatic spike; experts attribute the increase to the pressures of a highly competitive job market.


Image Credit: Fabio Pereira (

Laser tattoo removal procedures increased by 32 percent from 2011 to 2012, according to a survey conducted by The Patient’s Guide, a leading online skincare destination.

“We’ve seen a marked increase in tattoo removal laser appointments,” said Jasson W. Gilmore, CEO & Co-Founder of The Patient’s Guide. “The increased awareness of laser tattoo removal, economic pressure and the explosion in tattoo popularity have all converged to drive up demand for this procedure.”

In many cases, job applicants fear that the presence of a visible tattoo will not only prevent them from receiving job offers, but will also limit their career advancement opportunities after they have accepted a position.

“There’s been a significant increase in the number of patients who desire tattoo removal for career advancement or for employment reasons,” says Dr. Eric Bernstein, renowned laser expert and Associate Clinical Professor at University of Pennsylvania. “I think this is as wrong as any other kind of discrimination, but patients tell me that their tattoos are affecting their professional lives. Many feel that their body could be holding them back and this has resulted in more folks seeking tattoo removal.”

In general, highly visible tattoos are considered to be a handicap during the interview process. Although job seekers can take measures to cover up or minimize tattoos for job interviews, the employer may expect them to continue to cover up the tattoo(s) after they have been hired. Consequently, some job applicants choose to take their chances and allow their body art to remain visible from the start.

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