Tattoos in today’s society are a global phenomenon – they are so widespread it’s getting pretty hard to walk down the street and not see at least one person who got some ink done. Not only that, nowadays there are so many tattoo parlors and artists to choose from, the list is almost endless, especially with the ever increasing demand for tattoos.

Before thinking of getting some ink done, there are a number of factors to take into account – deciding on a design and style of your future tattoo (and thinking long and hard about it), picking the right tattoo artist to bring your ideas into life, taking into consideration your lifestyle as well as your job environment, and probably the most important thing, bearing in mind that the tattoo you choose will be on display for the rest of your life. Or will it?

Even if you take all these things into account, life can get in the way and, for whatever reason, you may one day begin to regret getting that particular ink done. On the other hand, your tattoo may been a thing of impulse – if that was the case, do not despair, because you’re not alone in this one. So many people got their tattoos for all kinds of reasons, be it due to fashion, current trends or they simply made a decision in a split second and bit the bullet too soon. The worst scenario certainly is having your idea butchered by improperly trained or amateur artist.

Whatever the circumstances are, there are several solutions to what may seem like an unsolvable problem. Still, you possibly may not be able to fully remove your tattoo if you choose to. You should bear in mind that the decision to get inked is something you’ll have to deal with for the rest of your life, whether you admire the work you had done or try to find ways to cover it up on a daily basis.

So, what are the options in store to deal with tattoo regrets?

1.)  At first glance the “easiest” one, but at the same time, the most difficult one is to eventually accept the tattoo you have and make peace with it. You may ask now if that is even possible. The key is to look at your tattoo choice as a reflection of yourself in a particular moment of your life. It may represent something that was once of great importance to you and serve you as a reminder of that. Or, as a reflection of a transformation you experienced and want to have a memory of. It can be about changes or, in the end, it can just be about humor. If this is the road you decide to take, find a meaning in your ink and own it without regrets.

2.)  The other and a possibly more realistic thing you can do is cover up the piece you have with a better one, this time thinking it through a lot more than you initially did. But, don’t be quick to jump into letting any tattoo artist attempting to cover your ink because sometimes the result may look worse and you could end up even more disappointed. Should you decide to get a cover‑up, find a reputable artist who will present you with all the options for you to choose the one you prefer. Be aware though reworking an old tattoo depends on a number of things, such as the color scheme of the ink, how old or faded it is, how do you want to cover it up and if you want to try and salvage some parts of the tattoo you want removed. Beware, not all tattoos can be covered the exact way you want to, so prepare yourself to make some compromises. If you choose the cover‑up option, take all things above into consideration and you can end up with the perfect tattoo you wanted from the beginning.

3.)  The last one, but certainly not the least one is laser removal. This solution is the most popular one if you want to permanently remove your tattoo. If this is your choice, there are some steps to follow in order for you to have the safest removal. First of all, take some time in finding the right specialist and let them explain the procedure so you can set your expectations from the start. Some tattoos require fewer treatments to fade than others, but the general rule is the simpler the tattoo the easier it is to remove it. The standard is eight to ten sessions, but this is a rather individual thing that can be precisely determined only after starting the process. The recommended minimum between two sessions is six to eight weeks, but it may take longer in some cases. Another important factor is the location of the tattoo – usually, the ones closer to the heart fade faster because of better circulation. Take into consideration that this is a costly procedure than can have some side effects such as hyper- or hypo-pigmentation of the skin that usually disappears after some time. Cheap laser removals done by non-certified staff are never the way to go, wait for the right moment to find the right person for the job, irrespective of the price. Even then there is always a risk your tattoo cannot be fully removed and you’re left with the ghost image of the tattoo. If laser removal is your choice, find the right person to do it, go prepared and you should have a safe procedure that will most likely solve your tattoo issues, leaving you with a fresh start, whether you choose to leave it blank and never look back or cover the skin with a new tattoo that will make you feel satisfied and proud to show it off.

So, there you have it, three completely different solutions to one problem. Choose the one that suits you the most and choose wisely, let this one be the last time you’ll have to deal with regretting your tattoo choices. Take the time to make the final decision, arm yourself with all the information you can find and most importantly, enjoy the final result, whichever it may be. You deserved it!