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Tattoos go as jobs get scarcer

world Updated: Dec 30, 2011 01:22 IST

Act in haste, repent at leisure, or so the saying goes, and not just at leisure but in pain and considerable expense when it comes to having a tattoo removed.

As job competition increases, what once seemed a cool fashion accessory - the spider web tattooed on your neck, that python encircling your forearm - can be a blot on your CV when it comes to job interviews. The Planas clinic in Barcelona has reported an 81% increase over the past few years in the demand for laser treatment to remove tattoos.

"Having a tattoo removed takes longer, costs more and is much more painful than having one done," Rafael Serena, head of the clinic's laser unit, told La Vanguardia newspaper.

Reasons for removal are many. Often it is a case of getting rid of "I love Maria" when it turns out that you do not.

However, most cite work as their motivation. Men who wish to sit the civil service exams to join the police or fire service, for example, neither of which will employ tattooed candidates. Women with jobs where they deal with the public want tattoos removed from visible areas such as their neck or ankle.