Feelings of embarassment or remorse caused by having one or more tattoos.
If business is brisk at InkLifters, a survey Northwestern University conducted last year shows why. The study noted 36 percent of Americans ages 18 to 19 have tattoos; 24 percent of Americans ages 18 to 50 have tattoos. What's more, about 50 percent of respondents in the study said they suffered from "tattoo regret." In other words, they wish they had opted against getting a tattoo.
—Pomera M. Fronce, "InkLifters removes tattoos with ease," The Salt Lake Tribune, June 28, 2007
On the horizon is a development that could change the very nature of tattooing: A type of ink encapsulated in beads and designed to break up after one treatment with a special laser.
The technology for the ink, called Freedom-2, was developed by scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital and Brown and Duke universities. It is to go on sale this fall.
"We think the fence-sitters who always wanted a tattoo but have been afraid of the permanence will jump in and get tattoos," said Martin Schmieg , the chief executive of Freedom-2. "But as your life changes from young to middle-aged to older, from single to married to divorced, you get tattoo regret, so we think the tattoo removal market will increase as well."
—Natasha Singer, "Tattoo removal in high demand," The Virginian-Pilot, June 17, 2007
Dr. Anderson's team reported on the removal of 57 tattoos from 19 men and women who were described as desperate to get rid of tattoos.
—Lawrence K. Altman, "For Those With Tattoo Regret, Here's Hope," The New York Times, April 28, 1989