The Spanish Fort City Council Monday night voted in favor of rezoning regulations that would prohibit tattoo parlors inside city limits.
They're big business in Mobile. But tattoos are like your weight. Easy to put on, but more difficult to take off.
"This stuff's not sloughing off on the top part of your skin, it's actually so deep in that we're causing a micro trauma on the skin, but deep down we're causing more irritation. So instead of coming in every three to four weeks, we're now spacing these treatments out eight, ten even 12 weeks apart," says Dr. Michael Lyons, a certified plastic surgeon.
Millions of people get tattoos each year in America, but Dr. Lyons says you'd be surprised at how many immediately regret the decision.
"There's over 50 million people who have tattoos and over half of those wish in two weeks that they hadn't had it done."
"My mother passed away and I wanted to have something. It was a momentary lapse of reason because it's too permanent, but I wanted to have something to remind me of her. Have her with me all the time. It's a flame, which is the sign of the Holy Spirit," says Elisabeth Wells, who is in the process of getting her tattoo removed.
Dr. Lyons says he's even had calls from people still at the parlor wanting to know how quickly they can get them taken off.
"Patients that have the most regret are those that have had a name put on for a loved one and….they're no longer with them," says Lyons.
Part of the difficulty is the cost. The procedure is considered cosmetic and is not included on insurance.
"The highest we've ever charged for a tattoo removal is $350 per session and most of the time about five, maybe eight sessions."
At the outset, that's almost $3,000 for something that originally cost only $100 to get. So in addition to giving a tattoo serious thought, Lyons also offers this advice:
"Yeah, try the stick on ones, they usually come off pretty easily in the shower or the tub!"