Some teens use them to show their rebellious side. Others just think they're cool. One thing's for sure: The effects of extreme piercings and tattoos are long-lasting. And, sometimes, the decisions you make as a kid can hold you back as an adult.
Take Louie Loniewski.
Loniewski had his ears pierced at age 18. It didn't take time for those little holes in Loniewski's ears to stretch big enough to fit a three-quarter inch plug.
He admits that at the time wasn't thinking of the consequences he might face later in life.
But, when he tried to join the Navy at age 22, he was told the holes in his ears would probably keep him out.
So, Loniewski turned to laser surgery.
"Clothing and hairstyle and dying your hair - all those things are not permanent. But when you start to do things that really alter your body, cosmetic surgery or piercings, they can be permanent or difficult to repair," says reconstructive surgeon Dr. David Magilke.
At least once a month, Dr. Magilke has someone in his office looking to erase the past. Many are young adults forced to change their appearance through surgery in order to start their careers.
But these come at a price. Laser tattoo removal can cost up to $250 per session, and require several. Sewing your ears back up can cost a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars.
For Louie, it is money well spent.
"Now that I have this done, I can talk to my recruiter and I'm sure he'll take me a little bit more seriously," he says.