The Demographics and Rates of Tattoo Complications, Regret, and Unsafe Tattooing Practices: A Cross- Sectional Study

Walter Joseph Liszewski, Elizabeth Kream, Sarah Helland, Amy Cavigli, Bridget C. Lavin, Andrea Murina*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND Tattoos have become increasingly common in the United States; however, there are limited data on the rates of tattoo complications and tattoo regret. OBJECTIVE To determine the rates of infectious and allergic complications after tattooing, rates of tattoo regret, the perception of dermatologists among people with tattoos, and the demographics of people with tattoos. MATERIALS AND METHODS An 18-question cross-sectional survey was fielded in New Orleans in January 2015. Participants had to be at least 18 years old, have at least 1 tattoo, and reside within the United States. RESULTS In total, 501 participants from 38 American states were enrolled. Of all participants, 3.2% had a history of an infected tattoo, 3.8% had a history of a painful tattoo, and 21.2% had a history of a pruritic tattoo; 16.2% of participants regret a current tattoo and 21.2% are interested in having 1 or more tattoos removed; 21.2% received a tattoo while intoxicated and 17.6% had a tattoo placed somewhere other than at a tattoo parlor; and 78.9% believe dermatologists are knowledgeable about the infectious and allergic complications of tattoos. CONCLUSION Given the rates of pruritic tattoos and tattoo regret, there is an opportunity, and trust among people with tattoos, for dermatologists to manage these complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1283-1289
Number of pages7
JournalDermatologic Surgery
Volume41
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology

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