The survey showed that 17 percent of the seven million Italians who have a tattoo now regret their decision. Four percent of those had even undergone cosmetic processes to remove tattoos.
The survey is the first by the ISS on tattoos and aims at reducing the associated health risks they bring. It also paints an interesting picture of tattoo culture in Italy.
According to the data, Italian women prefer tattoos, with an estimated 13.8 percent of all women now sporting one, compared to just 11.7 percent of men.
The survey also showed that tattoos are much more popular in southern Italy, with just a quarter of all tattooed Italians living in the north.
Almost 30 percent of all Italians aged between 35 and 44 – the age group with the most tattoos – have been inked.
But tattoos are still massively popular among young people, with the survey showing that 7.2 percent of all tattoos are performed on under-18s.
“It's a growing phenomenon that we should watch carefully because it can have health Implications,” said ISS president Walter Riccardi.
Data revealed that 3.3 percent of all those with tattoos in Italy had experienced complications such as infections or allergic reactions.