Thing’s you should know about before getting your tattoo done


Shot of an unrecognizable tattooed businesswoman holding a mug

Getting a tattoo now has gained so much recognition all around the world now. It is known for a fact that one out of three people all over the world do have a tattoo.

This number can go on and on up to a 60% especially with the younger generations of today.

This article brings to you somethings you should know and consider before getting your tattoo done. Things such as

  • How tattoo specifically works
  • What layer of the skin does it actually go into
  • Why doesn’t our body try to get rid of the ink which is a foreign substance
  • What does it mean for tattoos to be permanent
  • Why do tattoos fade away after a while
  • Risk factors associated with getting a tattoo done
  • Aftercare methods that should be employed and many more

If you wish to know more about tattoos well I encourage you to keep reading as I take you through this interesting journey

What is tattooing and how does it work

A tattoo artist tattooing her client.
Source : Gettyimages

Tattooing is as old as man itself. It is one of the ancient art works done by man.

It involves creating permanent images on the skin with a very sharp needle and ink. The ink is injected under the skin layer.

Why do people get them done

Rear view of a young man with a lot of tattoos
Source : Gettyimages

Back in the days even till this present time tattoo’s are being done for different purposes such as

  • As a means of identification
  • Religious reasons
  • For beautification purpose
  • To cover skin imperfections
  • To express one’s self

How does tattooing work?

Process of getting a tattoo done.
Source : Smarter everday

When getting a tattoo done sharp needles are used in puncturing the skin.This needles puncture the skin very fast like up to 50 to 3000 times per minute.

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After which the ink is then deposited into the puncture wounds. The ink then travels through the puncture wounds which then moves to the dermis layer of the skin.

What layer of the skin does the tattoo ink actually goes to

In other to have a proper understanding on where the ink goes to you should understand the different layers of the skin.

The three layers of the Human skin graphical illustration. Source : Gettyimages

Basically humans have 3 major layers of skin which are :

  • Epidermis – the outermost layer of the skin
  • Dermis – the second layer
  • Hypodermis – the last layer of the skin

How does ink deposit affects each layers of the skin

How the tattoo stays on the skin.
Source : Smarter everyday

The Epidermis layer

It is known as the outermost layer of the skin which consists of many flattened cells. The epidermis layer sheds about 3000 dead cells in a week, that is quite a very large number of cells to loose I know.

This layer provides protection to the skin from pathogens and infections. It is responsible for regulating the amount of water lost throughout the skin.

During the tattoo process the sharp needles puncture the skin down into the Dermis layer of the skin.

Though there is no much effect of tattoo on this layer as compared to the others. If it was on the epidermis layer the ink will fade off after a while.

The Dermis layer

The is the layer that seperats the epidermis from the Hypodermis layer of the skin. It consists of dense irregular connective tissue, collagen, hair follicles, and sweat glands.

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This layer of the skin consists of fibrocytes, collagen and its constituents. The fibrocytes is what is responsible for the healing up of wounds.

During the process of getting the tattoo done tiny wounds are being created by the sharp needles. The foreign substance being the ink is then deposited into the skin layer.

Body cells called macrophages is then released to take care of the foreign substances. Due to the fact that the ink is made up of a non biodigestible compound the macrophages engulfs the ink. Their ability to do this makes the ink stay much longer on the skin.

The Hypodermis layer

This is the last layer of the skin tissue. It contains mostly connective and fatty tissue. Due to the fatty tissue present it helps in keeping away cold from the layer of the skin. Also it acts as a shock absorber to the skin.

How does the tattoo ink remains on the skin

How tattoo remains on the skin.

When the ink gets into the dermis layer of the skin, the body sends the the white blood cells to fight of the invasion. The leukocytes ( white blood cells) tries to fight away the foreign substances which is the ink.

Tattoo ink which is made from inorganic substance can’t be digested by this cells. So when the ink gets engulfed it stains the blood cells. But over time the white blood cell dies what then happens next?.

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When cells die the ink gets released back to the dermis layer which also gets engulfed by new cells. This process goes on and on, which is the reason why the tattoo ink stays longer and permanent on the skin.

Why do tattoos fade away after a while

An old tattoo fading away.
Source : Gettyimages

As it has been said earlier the leukocytes are responsible for the tattoo staying longer on the skin. But when white blood cells die they release the ink back into the skin layer.

Part of the ink fragments gets reabsorbed back into the skin by this cells. The remaining fragments gets absorbed into the blood streams. Also ultraviolet rays have effects in fading away the ink from the body.

Risk factors associated with getting a tattoo done

Having known a lot about tattoos let’s dive more into the risk factors associated with getting it done.

  • Allergic reactions to the tattoo ink. Reactions to the ink can result into various skin issues such as Rashes ect.
  • Itching and swelling
  • Skin infections
  • Inflammation of the skin causing granuloma
  • Interferance with MRI examination and many more

Tattoo Aftercare

If your tattoo is not being taken well care of it can result into serious problems. The after care method employed helps a lot in preventing further skin infections.

  • Always were a sunscreen as it helps prevents the effects of the uv rays on the skin
  • Always apply a moisturizing cream on it it helps retain the color.

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