Tattoo trauma – do you regret yours?

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I was interested to read on BBC health about the surge in tattoo popularity in recent years - an estimated one in five British adults has one. Research being presented at the British Association of Dermatologists' conference this week suggests nearly one in three people regret tattoos.

Skin experts at Burnley General Hospital surveyed nearly 600 people during a six-month period. They found men were more likely to regret tattoos than women and three times more likely to regret tattoos drawn when they were under the age of 16.

A tattoo involves injecting dye into a deep layer of skin, below the epidermis. They can be removed with laser treatment, but some colours and sizes of tattoo are more difficult to remove than others and can leave a degree of shading on the skin. Some people can also end up with scarring. There is also a significant monetary cost in having a tattoo removed.

Dr Caroline Owen, a skin consultant with East Lancashire Hospital NHS Trust who conducted the research with a colleague, said: "I would like to see an enforced cooling-off period so that people who get them done on a stag or hen party, when they've drunk too much, have to go away and think about it first."This sounds like an excellent idea. A cooling off period could prevent many regrets the following day.

Patricia Wakeford

Solicitor - Clinical Negligence Team

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