Credits:  George White, For FLORIDA TODAY

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tattooremovalEven good people can make decisions they later regret. For instance, getting a tattoo.

Of the 45 million U.S. residents with tattoos in 2013, 17 percent regret getting them, with 11 percent having them removed, according to of the Pew Research Center.

“People come in generally with stories of why they got them,” said Eric Lang, DO, the doctor who oversees the removal process at Tatt’s No Good in Melbourne. “Most people with tats have them and sometimes things change and they don’t want them anymore.

“Now they don’t have to just live with them because there are safe ways to get rid of many of them.’’

Lang uses a laser that generates the necessary frequencies to penetrate the skin to break up the dark ink. The body will eliminate it naturally over several weeks, Lang said.

Treatments last about 15 minutes. The average tattoo requires a minimum of three to five treatments, at a cost from $75 to $200 a visit. Tattoos with color or done by a professional will require additional treatments, Lang said.

A former relationship was the cause of the one and only tattoo on Sarah Smith of Melbourne. The bartender at the Thirsty Lizard in Satellite Beach had a small symbol and initial of her boyfriend’s name tattoed on her abdomen.

“I was young and naïve and it didn’t work out,” Smith said. “We broke up about a year later. Not long. I thought about it the moment after I got it.

“I would consider getting another tattoo but not (with) a name.”

Eslya Vasquez, 28, of Satellite Beach, has for years wanted to remove his blurred tattoo of what he described as a lion fighting a Barbarian.

“I was just young and just wanted to get a tattoo,” he said. “When you are in your 20s, you are kind of crazy.’’

The treatments are described as uncomfortable, but no more so than when the tattoo was created.

“The skin will redden and may blister a little bit, which is good,” said certified laser technician Tari Kinyon, who works in Lang’s office. “A tattoo is flat. The laser kind of raises it up a little bit and that’s how you can tell it’s doing what it’s supposed to.”