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Open Access Short Report

Tattoo removal in the typical adolescent

Luca Cegolon12*, Vincenzo Baldo1, Carla Xodo3, Francesco Mazzoleni4, Giuseppe Mastrangelo1 and VAHP Working Group

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, Padua University, Padua, Italy

2 Imperial College London, School of Public Health, London, UK

3 Department of Educational Sciences, Padua University, Padua, Italy

4 Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Plastic Surgery Unit, Padua University Hospital, Padua, Italy

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:209  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-209

Published: 21 June 2011



Although popular tattoos are often regretted later on for different reasons. Nevertheless, tattoo removal is a complicated and costly procedure seldom providing satisfactory results. The aim of this study was to investigate the awareness of the implications of tattoo removal among a substantial sample of Italian secondary school adolescents.


Students were recruited by a stratified convenience sample and surveyed by a self administered questionnaire. Logistic regression analysis was performed, reporting adjusted Odds Ratios (OR), with 95% Confidence Interval (CI).

4,277 pupils returned a usable questionnaire. Piercings were more frequently undertaken than tattoos. Only 40% of the respondents were aware of the issues related to tattoo removal. Males and pupils with younger fathers were less likely to be aware, whereas students satisfied with their physical appearance and those with a positive attitude towards body art were more likely to be aware.


Male adolescents with younger fathers can be regarded as the ideal target of corporate health education programs driven by school counsellors and primary care physicians.

survey; epidemiology; tattoo removal; piercing; secondary school adolescents; health education