LAFAYETTE, Colo. — You can't change the past, but there are some things you can erase. Like a tattoo you never wanted in the first place. Norma Dominguez has one on her neck, that says "Mario."
"Just regret, why did I do it?," she asks, when she looks in the mirror.
Mario was an abusive partner, who made Norma tattoo his name in a visible place. Getting the tattoo, Norma says, was very painful.
But she has ended the relationship, and now she wants to get rid of his label on her body.
"I think this will just be complete and total freedom," she says.
Norma's employer is helping her pay for tattoo removal at YouBaby, a new skin treatment business in Lafayette.
Co-owners and sisters Susan Melching and Nina Smith hope their business will give people a fresh start, with treatments including skin rejuvenation, permanent makeup and laser tattoo removal.
"The whole mission behind you baby is empower people to feel better about themselves," says Melching, who has been an aesthetician for 30 years.
A tattoo removal takes a series of treatments, depending on the size and colors of the tattoo. Melching compares the process of removing a tattoo to breaking up a large boulder than breaking those pieces into even smaller pieces, until the body has absorbed all the pigment from the tattoo.
The first treatment for Norma took only about 10 minutes. It's painful, but Norma says getting the tattoo was worse. After the treatment, the tattoo is already beginning to fade, bringing a feeling of relief to Norma.
Laser technician Nina Smith says the clients are the reason she and her sister do this job.
"If can be an important piece of someone's life even if just for a minute or something like that it makes us feel like we're doing something worthwhile," she says.
Norma says she's looking forward to the tattoo fading, and moving on with life. She'll tell her 3 year old son about it someday.
"I want to make sure he knows that even if you make a mistake, you can come back from it."
YouBaby opened its doors on August 2nd. It's located at 390 Empire Road, Suite 200, Lafayette CO.