Free cartoon tattooing is on the up, with an estimated 300,000 people having their tattoos digitally removed every year, according to research.
However, some argue that removing tattoos is not the answer to everyone’s problem with tattoos.
The research published in the journal Psychology of Tattoo Removal and Healing found that people with tattoos were more likely to have problems than those who had not.
Researchers from the University of Manchester and University College London compared tattoos that were digitally removed with those that were not.
“People who have tattoos may not be aware that they have tattoos, but their tattoos are a part of who they are,” Dr Nick Brown, the lead author of the study, said.
“We wanted to look at tattoos and tattoos and what it does to the body and how it affects us.”
Dr Brown and his team found that the tattoos were associated with more anxiety, depression and poor physical health.
“Tattoos are an important part of our bodies and if you have tattoos and you do them well, you’re going to have a good body and if your body doesn’t feel good then you’re not going to get enough exercise, you may have problems in your relationships and in general your body will be a bit off,” Dr Brown said.
He said that while tattoos are often associated with sexualisation and self-expression, some were not for the faint of heart.
“There are people who don’t like tattoos, and they can feel uncomfortable with it, they might feel embarrassed about it, or they may feel ashamed about it,” he said.
Dr Brown said the tattoo removal was the best way to improve the health of the body.
“The best thing we can do is look after ourselves and if we want to be good at our job and to be able to look after our health, then we have to do it the right way,” he added.
“It’s really important to look out for yourself and make sure you’re getting the proper support and the right treatment.”
Tattoo removal is the third most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the world and the second most common procedure for body piercings.
However the study found that tattoos were less likely to cause serious or permanent damage than tattoos that had been digitally removed.
“Tough times come for people who have tattooed their body,” Dr Richard Dutton, a consultant dermatologist, said on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“When you’re a teenager or early 20s, it’s very difficult for your body to adjust to the changes that have been made.”
If you have a tattoo and it’s gone, that can be a major problem for your health.
“You may have to have surgery for it to go away.”
Some people may feel like tattoos are not really something that they should have.”TATTOO TAKINGS If you or someone you know needs help with a tattoo removal, call the Royal College of Surgeons, or contact a tattoo clinic near you.
Tattoon removal can also be an option for some people who are allergic to certain tattoo ink.