The Costhetics mailbox is always filled with an interesting mix of questions about all kinds of cosmetic enhancement procedures. One topic that seems to be occupying a lot of our readers’ minds is body art and how to remove unwanted tattoos.

Actually, it’s not just our readers who are interested in this subject. According to Choice magazine, more than one-third of Australians who have a tattoo say they regret their decision to some extent. Of that group, 14% have begun or looked into tattoo removal. This wave of tattoo regret is part of a worldwide trend:

“Revenue for tattoo removals has surged 440% to an estimated $75.5 million over the last decade.” – Market Watch

6 Questions to Ask Before You Get a Tattoo

We’ve posted in the past about how to fade and remove tattoos and reported with pleasure on new technologies and advancements in laser tattoo removal. That being said, we recommend that you think twice before inking your body and ask yourself these questions to avoid having to re-think your ink:

  1. Am I Intoxicated with the Idea of a Tattoo or Just Intoxicated? – Getting a tattoo when you’re inebriated is a bad idea for two reasons. First of all, alcohol thins your blood, which increases the risks for problems while being inked. Second of all, your judgment is impaired. This could lead to an immediately regrettable tattoo.
  1. Is My Tattoo Artist Intoxicated? – Tattoo artists are just like any other business people; some are more professional than others. Don’t walk into an un-vetted tattoo parlour and let a stranger take a needle to your skin. If you have your heart set on body art, do a quick online search to find a professional tattoo artist with a solid reputation.
  1. Am I Sure of the Spelling for My Tattoo? – Misspelled tattoos are common, especially when they’re in a foreign language. Just ask singer Rihanna who has not one, but two misspelled foreign phrases on her body! Write down the phrase you want and double-check it.
  1. Have I Done My Research? – Ideally, your tattoo is going to be with you for a long, long time. Instead of impulsively choosing a design while you’re waiting to be inked, visit your tattoo parlour in advance and look through their gallery of designs. This will help you select an image and words that will be meaningful for the rest of your life.
  1. Should I Give It a Test Drive? – If you’re on the fence about a tattoo and wish you could try on a design before committing to it, you can! Companies like Tattly.com make custom temporary tattoos that you can “test drive.” As for the cost: It’s certainly less costly to test drive a tattoo than to get tattooed and then have the image removed.
  1. Will My Tattoo Grow with Me? – If you’re like most of us, your weight will fluctuate as you age. That’s not a problem unless you’ve placed a tattoo on a portion of your skin that will stretch when you gain or lose a few kilos. Hips, biceps, calves, and shoulders are the body parts least affected by weight gain.

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