Tattoos have been a part of everyday life through the ages in diverse cultures. Its beginnings can be traced to the Mediterranean. Despite often being considered as a deviant act, the popularity of tattoos has increased during the last decades. Accordingly, investigating the motivations behind acquiring tattoos has become relevant in diverse academic fields, especially in the West. However, in parallel to the increase in tattoo consumption, the feelings of regret have also increased, which have been studied less in previous literature. Considering this research lack, through a qualitative inquiry with tattoo makers and consumers, this study sheds further light on both the motivations of acquiring tattoos, which mostly concentrate on the desire for self-expression, and the reasons for regret, which can mainly be categorized as social and physical. Our results contribute to previous research, especially by expanding the discussion regarding the tattoo modifications and showing the cultural differences regarding the perceptions of tattoos in an Eastern Mediterranean context. Copyright (C) 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.