Love 'em or hate 'em, about 25 percent of people between the ages of eighteen and thirty have tattoos, and about 17 percent of those regret their decision.
That means costly tattoo removal procedures are becoming increasingly popular.
"It was a different time and place in my life," said Cheyrel Mitchell of the unicorn tattoo on her shoulder.
"I went for a weekend trip to Albuquerque, found a tattoo place, and on a whim decided to get one."
Cheyrel has undergone six or seven laser treatments, and while it's not entirely gone, she's happy with the results.
"Some people have outgrown it," said Dr. Brian Norkiewicz, a general surgeon, who offers laser tattoo removal.
"Some people have outgrown that person it reminds them of or that phase of their life and they want to move on."
"They more or less decide 'I don't want to be the person I was when I had this tattoo," said Dr. Jerome Koch, an associate professor of sociology at Texas Tech.
Koch has spent years researching the whens and whys of tattoo removal.
"Two-thirds them are women, and they're women between the ages of twenty-four and forty, and in effect they've decided they've outgrown them," said Koch.
"A fair number of them have suggested that they get negative comments at work or they're worried it will have some impact on their work. That seems much less the case for men."
The most popular method of removal involves a laser.
"It works by breaking up the ink into smaller particles and accelerating the fading process," said Dr. Norkiewicz.
"Your body naturally tries to fade tattoos and this just accelerates the process."
It turns out not all tattoos are created equal.
"It has to be over 6 months old. Dark colors ar easier than light colors. Green and white are especially difficult to take off. It doesn't absorb the laser light very well."
Another downside...it hurts!
"It's like someone getting a rubber band and popping you, but he does it lots and lots of times, and it hurts really bad and then it welts up," said Mitchell.
"The darker the color, the more it hurts," said Dr. Norkiewicz.
It can also take up to ten treatments for the image to finally disappear.
So for those who want a quick fix, plastic surgery is another option.
"You can cut out the tattoo, and close up the surrounding skin or use a skin graph," said Dr. Robert Schmid, a plastic surgeon.
No matter which route you go, tattoo removal can cost thousands of dollars, so doctors encourage folks to think twice before going under the needle.
"If you're going to get a tattoo you really need to know what goes in to having to correct it," said Dr. Schmid.
"I think people go into this will a flippant attitude, but when it comes to taking it off, that takes major commitment."
Both surgeons, and Dr. Koch mentioned the newly developed ink, Freedom-2, which was designed so once a laser hits the image, the ink disperses and disappears.
Freedom-2 is set to be released in July.