Tattoos are a form of self-expression and creativity serving as canvases to tell stories, convey beliefs, and capture moments in time.
However, according to a report from Advanced Dermatology, tattoos are not always a lifelong love affair: 1 in 4 Americans admit to regretting at least one of their tattoos.
The types of tattoos people regret most include lettering/script tattoos, symbol tattoos, names, animal designs, and tribal tattoos.
The top reasons why Americans regret their tattoos are dissatisfaction with how it looks, simply not liking it anymore, disappointment in the tattoo artist’s work, loss of connection to the original meaning, and negative impacts on professional opportunities.
Location plays a significant role in tattoo regret, with certain areas of the body standing out as regrettable choices. The forearm ranked highest in terms of regrettable tattoo locations, closely followed by the bicep/tricep and the chest. Shoulder tattoos and thigh tattoos tied for the fourth spot, while the ankle rounded out the list.
Regret is a feeling that can settle in at various points in time after getting a tattoo. Interestingly, 51% of respondents reported their regret did not fully sink in until two or more years had passed since getting the tattoo. However, for others, regret was immediate, with 18% experiencing it just a few days after getting the tattoo, 16% felt regret within one week to three months, and 15% realized their regret within six months to one year. It may not come as a surprise that 48% say the tattoo they regret the most is one they got spontaneously.
Nearly 1 in 4 (23%) Americans plan to have tattoos removed in the future. In fact, 51% plan to have one tattoo removed.