The Science of Tattoos- Permanence,Fading and Removal

Most people know that getting a tattoo involves some needles, and some ink, and you know, it never going away.It is a lot more complicated than that!

There’s the aspect that they are permanent yes. Then there is also the aspect that some of them fade too. Now in more recent times you can also have laser surgery to remove your tattoos!


So tattoos are permanent because:

  1. The needle pierces through the epidermis – the first layer of skin, punching ink into the dermis – the second layer of skin.
  2. Each time the needle drives the dye in, it causes a wound which starts something called the ‘inflammatory process’. To which special cells called fibroblasts and macrophages respond to try and heal it.
  3. These cells get trapped in the dermis with the ink inside and that shows through your skin to the rest of world.



And Tattoos fade because:

  1. The place that they are in- hand and finger tattoos have a tendency to fade quite drastically.
  2. If they are exposed to UV light. It might be worth covering your tats up in the sun. Would you rather some dodgy tan lines for a few months? Or having to get re-inked?
  3. The quality of ink nowadays means that tattoos shouldn’t really fade, not quickly anyway. If you don’t take care properly when you first get your tattoo done, you will find you may experience some ink loss.


Laser surgery works how?

  1. The laser light penetrates your skin and breaks up the ink pigmnent particles in the tattoo and makes it fade. Your immune system gets rid of the now smaller particles over time.
  2. It causes no harm to the skin but it does hurt because of the intense energy being projected onto your skin.Some people have described it similar to a burning sensation.


So there it is all made simple. I always find it a lot more gory than you expect. Although it does make you understand why the process can be quite painful. All worth it though right?!




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