Body art has been around since Neolithic times, one ice age mummy who was called Otzi sported 57 different tattoos. Once associated with rebellion, sailors even criminals and bandits. Tattoos have become common place sported by many celebrities, even if you don’t have any body art yourself I expect you won’t have to think for long before you can name someone that does.
How Does Tattooing Work
Modern tattoo artists use a machine that hasn’t changed much since it’s invention. The modern tattoo machine was invented in the late 1800s by a gentleman called Samuel O’Reilly, it works by moving a solid needle up and down to penetrate the skin, the needle can penetrate the skin up to 3,000 times per minute.
With each puncture it deposits a drop of insoluble ink in what’s known medically as the dermis, about a millimetre below the skins surface.
Want to get rid of your old tattoo?
If you are considering getting yourself inked there are a few risks you should know about, the number one risk is infection. Be very careful when choosing your artist, make sure they was their hands and use a fresh pair of surgical gloves for every treatment. Bad hygiene can cause infections such as hepatitis, tetanus and skin infections. It is also possible that you could experience an allergic reaction to the ink used, scaring and bumps around the tattoo.
Another big risk with getting a tattoo is that you might go off it, wish you’d never had it done and want it removed, around 23% of people surveyed say the feel like this.
Tattoo removal methods
By far the best method of tattoo removal is laser treatment. The process involves using high energy bursts of light to break up the ink, laser removal rarely leaves a scar but it can do, it’s also not suitable for all skin types and not painless. Patients say it feels like having an elastic band flicked against their skin, numbing cream can be used to ease this sensation.
The ink will not dissapear with one treatment, it takes several sessions and different ink colours will take longer to disperse than others. When looking for a laser clinic make sure you find one that offers a patch test first, this will ensure your skin type is suitable for the treatment. If your skin is suitable for laser treatment you are one of the lucky ones, see other tattoo removal methods below.
Excision – You might be able to guess what this involves from the name, the tattoo is actually cut out from your skin and then grafted over. Excision will leave a scar, it is relatively cheap and results are immediate.
Saline Injections – Salt water injections into the skin break up the ink, saline injections aren’t usually effective in removing the tattoo, generally they just blur it.
Dermabrasion – Surgical sandpaper is used to break up the tattoo, as we said above the ink has been deposited deep in the dermis and removing involves removing your epidermis, the top layer of skin.
So there you have it, if you are considering getting a tattoo make sure you choose your artist wisely, make sure they do good work and employ good hygiene. Consider what your tattoo will be, it’s never advisable to get your boyfriends, girlfriends, even your wife or husbands name inked into your skin because relationships can end and tattoo removal might be even more nightmare than divorce.
If you are considering getting your body art removed make sure you choose an established clinic, look into laser tattoo removal and choose a clinic that offers a free patch test to make sure your skin type is suitable for the procedure and you won’t be left with a scar.