Eurasion tattooing practises date from the Neolithic Age and are still widespread today. Among the earliest tattoos found are marks that are thought to be therapeutic tattoos; others serve a more decorative purpose. Some cultures have historically used tattoos for spiritual purposes, while many have also used tattoos to brand their criminals.
In the 1700s, sailors voyaging with Captain James Cook began returning home with tattoos that had been inked in far-flung places. The association with sailors comes from this period, although by the nineteenth century, tattoos had become popular with the aristocracy.
Nowadays, people from all walks of life have tattoos; celebrities and sports stars have popularised tattoos and made them fashionable. The reasons for having a tattoo vary widely, with gangs using them to demonstrate allegiances, while ordinary people choose designs that are personal to them.
With the rise in the number of people getting tattoos, there has also been a rise in the number of people opting for laser tattoo removal. Many people experience tattoo regret, maybe because they decide to get it on an impulse and later change their minds, or maybe because their tattoo no longer represents who they are.