Study: Tattoo Regret Highest on Valentine’s Day

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“Name of Ex-Partner/Spouse” the number one motivation to seek tattoo removal. 1,061 total respondents. Highest among the 18-29 year old demographic.

The most common reason people come in for tattoo removal at my practice is to remove someone’s name

In its annual survey of patients seeking tattoo removal on The Patient’s Guide to Tattoo Removal (, it was found that “Name of Ex-Partner/Spouse” was the number one motivation to seek tattoo removal treatment. Of the 1,061 respondents, 28% cited this as the primary motivation, followed by “Work-related conflict” (25%), “Change of Beliefs” (18%), “Unhappy/Don’t like it” (14%), “Replace with a new tattoo” (7%), Medical Reasons (4%), and Other (3%). Young adults (18-29 yr olds) were the largest demographic feeling a change of heart, with 30% of all respondents citing “Name of Ex-Partner/Spouse”, followed by Adults (30-40 yr olds) at 27%.

"The most common reason people come in for tattoo removal at my practice is to remove someone’s name," says Patient's Guide Chairman and laser expert Eric F. Bernstein, M.D. "Love is forever, except in real life under rare circumstances. When a relationship ends, people want the tattoo off. Other common reasons include feelings that it’s interfering with their job, or that it no longer represents who they are."

In a similar study conducted by The Patient's Guide in 2009, it was found that the majority of respondents didn’t appreciate the implications of tattoo ink being “permanent”, or which colors of ink would be more challenging to remove. "White and tan tattoo pigments are dangerous for laser specialists because they turn black when they get lasered," said Dr. Bernstein. "Once it turns black it might not ever come out, but more commonly, it’s just more difficult and takes more treatments. Green is challenging to remove as well, but the Alexandrite laser is classically referred to in order to remove green pigment. The Ruby laser is good for green as well."

About The Patient's Guide
The Patient's Guide's mission is to provide the most accurate medical information to enable consumers to make educated decisions about aesthetic treatments. The Patient's Guide team includes leading physicians in the fields of laser and dermatology. These experts are the innovators in skin care and cosmetic dermatology technology breakthroughs, including hair removal, skin rejuvenation, fat reduction and cellulite treatment. Each month over one million visitors go to The Patient's Guide, a family of 25 web publications, each dedicated to a specific condition or treatment. Visitors rely on the information The Patient's Guide provides because the information is written by leading experts. For more information please visit


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Grant Aldrich
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