The main issue that Geronemus anticipates with Ephemeral tattoos is the potential for disappointment as the tattoo begins to vanish. “As it fades, it’s going to look washed out, which may not be necessarily appealing,” he says. But in the event that someone wants to remove the semi-faded tattoo even quicker, Geronemus has faith that laser removal will work just fine with Ephemeral’s ink.
If you’re considering a made-to-fade tattoo, then hopefully you’re well aware it will start looking dull over time, a sentiment Abelman seconds. “I knew exactly what I was getting into,” she says. “I went into this knowing I wanted to test out what it would be like to have a tattoo on the front of my arm. I usually place them in less conspicuous places, but lately, I’ve been curious about getting a full sleeve and showing off the tattoos prominently. Ephemeral has just proved to me how amazing tattoos look, no matter where on my arms I get them.”
Tina Alster, a board-certified dermatologist and founding director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery, is a bit more hesitant about Ephemeral’s ink and warns of potential scarring or allergic reaction to tattoos. Though the risk for both is small, she says people should be aware it’s still possible with made-to-fade as well as traditional tattoos. But with black ink, in particular, the risk is actually pretty rare, according to Geronemus. Make sure to follow your tattoo artist’s aftercare advice, and contact a board-certified dermatologist if you’re worried about a possible infection or reaction.
Abelman points out that you can expect your Ephemeral tattoo to itch much like a mosquito bite as it heals, just as a standard tattoo will. This is completely normal and part of the process. It may feel raised too. Don’t worry, the texture will smooth out over time.
Most of all, Ephemeral’s ink allows people to flex their creativity with tattoos, knowing they will decorate their skin for only about a year. Without a lifelong commitment, you can take a bigger risk with daring body art. “As Marissa was finishing up my tattoo, she said that she anticipates tattooing lots of couples with each other’s names or matching art,” Abelman says. “I can’t wait to check in with her in six months or so to see if she was right.”
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