TTATTOOS come in all shapes and sizes, whether from a booze-fuelled moment of madness or after months of meticulous planning.
Whatever the reason behind them, one thing is for sure – once someone gets a tattoo, its there for life.
But now a new survey, led by the University of Portsmouth, has revealed not everyone remains smitten by their ‘ink’.
Research by the university found an estimated 18 per cent of the population over 18 regretted getting their body art in later life.
In a survey of 1,000 people in the UK who regretted having tattoos, 67 per cent felt the need to cover them up - although eight per cent more men than women have never concealed them.
While more women than men felt they were judged because they have a tattoo.
Researcher Dr Stephen Crabbe said: ‘The results of this survey make for stark reading. Even today, society still seems to judge women more for having tattoos.
‘People may also just assume that people were young, naive, or victims of their own poor judgement if they regret having a tattoo. This survey actually shows us a more complex picture.
‘There are countless reasons why people get tattoos, but there are an equal number of reasons why they get them removed. Frequently, these reasons are not necessarily associated.
‘Despite living in a more tolerant society than ever before, where equal rights are correctly pushed across all groups, tattoos remain a subject that sees prejudice cast unfairly.’
Almost a third of men and a quarter of women regretted getting a tattoo of a person's name, with other major regrets for men being a tribal theme and Asian characters while for women star constellations were also a source of regret.
Women were most likely to be fed up with their tattoo because they had got bored of it and also because the colour had faded, with other reasons including the artistry being poor and because it no longer had the same value for them.
Men put loss of meaning as their top reason for regretting their tattoos, while others had got bored with them.
Tattoos that women most regretted were on their lower back, while men most regretted those on their forearms, the survey found.