With the stigma of tattoos diminishing, more baby boomers are heading to tattoo salons to add colorful designs to their bodies.  "One of my best clients got his first tattoo after he retired," says Dan Conner, co-owner of Mid Air & Ink, a Des Moines tattoo studio. "He worked for the government and felt he couldn't do it then. He was 60 when he retired, and he really went nuts. But he had a great plan (for getting tattooed)."  Conner says he does a lot of tattoos for clients who are in their late 40s to mid-50s.  "With some, they felt it wasn't socially acceptable 15 or 20 years ago to get a tattoo," Conner says. "And some are getting close to retirement, and they don't give a dang."  A 2008 Harris poll showed that about 20 percent of adults between the age of 40 and 64 reported having one or more tattoos. People are becoming more comfortable and curious about body art, tattoo artists say.  Dr. Ava Feldman, a Clive dermatologist, says she has seen a slight increase in the number of baby boomers with tattoos at her office.  One woman had a blue rose tattoo on her in remembrance of her late mother. Another had a little angel tattoo near where she had melanoma, Feldman says. Improving laser techniques are helping with tattoo removal, but it is still a long process, she says.  People on certain medications, such as blood thinners, are not good candidates for tattoos, Feldman says. Others are allergic to certain types of tattoo dyes, she says.

Source:  Des Moines Register (5 June 2009)

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