It seems that the UK has gone tattoo crazy; footballers and pop stars parading arms covered in permanent symbols are the role models for teenage boys, and the girls are just as happy to have a badly spelt Chinese symbol on their over displayed cleavage. In the eighties, earrings for men were the chosen weapon of teenage defiance, but thankfully for the over 40's male, they were a removable accessory unlike tattoos that are not as easily thrown in a drawer.
Are the next generation aware of how trends and fashions work, and what seems cool today, will be an embarrassment tomorrow?
Research being presented at the British Association of Dermatologists' recently suggests nearly one in three people regret tattoos.
Skin experts at Burnley General Hospital surveyed over 500 people during a six-month period. Their research found men were more likely to regret tattoos than women and three times more likely to regret tattoos drawn when they were young teenagers. It seems that we fall for tattoos when we are youngest. 45% of patients had their first tattoo aged between 18 and 25 years old and most had between two and five tattoos.
Dr Caroline Owen, a skin consultant with East Lancashire Hospital NHS Trust who managed the research with a colleague, said: "I would like to see an enforced cooling-off period so that people who get them on a stag or hen party, when they've drunk too much, have to go away and think about it first."
One such Laser tattoo removal clinician in the Wirral UK has seen more and more patients wanting tattoos removed.
"It's a sign of the times really" Karen Biddulph of Refine Beauty told us.
"The more tattoos people get the more regrets they seem to have, and I am getting busier by the day. We have the latest laser technology to remove tattoos, it does require a treatment course and this takes time but most tattoos can be treated."
Karen works at refinebeauty and runs clinics at over 4 salons throughout the North West as her business has grown very quickly.
"We all have moments of madness but come and talk to us, we can remedy the situation," Karen reassured us.