Anatomy of a Tattoo

I am ever curious about how the human body works, and recently I pondered the permanence of tattoos. Skin is always shedding layers of dead cells (especially if you exfoliate), so how can a tattoo remain year after year?


Let's start at the beginning with how a tattoo is created. Tattoos are made by inserting pigment into the skin with an electrically powered solid needle that punctures the skin between 50 and 3,000 times per minute (makes me think of a sewing machine - yikes!!). The needle penetrates the skin by about a millimeter and deposits a drop of insoluble ink into the skin with each puncture.

When you look at a person's tattoo, you're seeing the ink through the epidermis - the outer layer of skin. The ink resides in the dermis - the second layer of skin, just below the epidermis. Dermis cells are far more stable than the cells of the epidermis, so the tattoo's ink will stay in place, with only minor fading and dispersion (spreading out), for a person's entire life!

Fit's Tips: FYI - tattoo parlors are NOT regulated by the FDA and not ALL states require tattoo parlors to be licensed. If I were you, I'd go to a place that is licensed and inspected by the state. The licensed places will definitely follow all the correct sterilization and sanitation procedures. Since tattoos involve needles and blood, you want to make sure there is little risk for the transmission of diseases such as hepatitis, tuberculosis, and STIs. These regulations may make tattoos safer, but it sure won't make those needles hurt any less!

Want to see some interesting tattoos? Then read more

big1828tattoo

FunnyPart-com-tattoo

biofan1

p21

Layla's Blossoms-450

jp-back-19

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