Many people in Iran were tattooed to beautify themselves, cure sickness, or to protect against the evil eye (Gifford).

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Sometimes people will get a tattoo of someone’s name or a symbol who is close to them or a lost loved one to remind them of that person they lost (Hawthorne).

Hawthorne thinks it is related to self-mortification and always has been (Hawthorne).
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Gifford says in other parts of the world there skin is too dark to contrast the pigment. Africa, Australia, and New Guinea where the people’s skin is too dark to contrast efficiently so they produce artificially raised scars (Gifford).
Spalding says laser removal can cause scaring or permanently lightens the skin (Spalding).