Motivations for removal of tattoos may be similar among different populations. Our data support the Boston, Mass, report1 that tattoos applied impulsively in youth are regretted in later years.
In a survey of 68 patients, 44 men and 24 women, requesting tattoo removal at the Bridgend Laser Clinic, Bridgend Mid Glamorgan, Wales,2 we found that 71% of patients had tattoos applied before 18 years of age. Forty-five percent of patients had applications because tattoos were perceived as fashionable, 22% because of peer pressure, 7% through "sheer stupidity," and 6% because they were in love. Only 13% were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time. Ten percent of patients regretted the tattoo immediately and 28% voiced remorse within the first month. The primary motive for removal of a tattoo was an overwhelming desire to improve self-esteem (48%), followed by removal of a socially stigmatizing and discrediting
Varma S, Lanigan SW. Motivation for Tattoo Removal. Arch Dermatol. 1996;132(12):1516. doi:10.1001/archderm.1996.03890360110023