Tattoos have a huge sentimental value to some people.
They can be a permanent reminder of a special memory, an important message or a tribute to a loved one.
So it can devastating when the end result isn’t what you had in mind before you worked up the courage to sit down in that terrifying chair.
One woman has been left absolutely heartbroken after being told the tattoo she got for her late mum doesn’t say what she thought it did – and she didn’t notice for seven years.
She’s extremely upset and wants to know if it’s acceptable to go back to the shop and ask for a refund for the tattoo, which cost her £100.
Writing on the parenting website Mumsnet , she said: “About seven years ago I got a tattoo on my wrist of the Chinese symbol ‘mother’.
“My mum died when I was a teenager so I had this idea that it would be nice.
“A few months ago I started a new job and made friends with a lady from China and she informed me my mum tattoo wasn’t the correct symbol for mum and in fact it didn’t mean anything.
“I’m so upset, would you go back to the shop?”
But people weren’t entirely sympathetic.
One user replied: “Oh dear, I’m sorry. Unfortunately your story is quite common and it shows why it’s a problem tattooing yourself in a language you don’t know.
“I’m not sure going back to the shop will help, because it’s unlikely they could alter the tattoo without making a mess of it. You could have it partially lasered and then covered with something else?”
Another commented: “Tattooists aren’t foreign language experts. It’s your responsibility to check the meaning of these things I’m afraid.
“There’s no point going back now, I doubt they’d remember you and you couldn’t prove they even did it.”