Tattoos. They have been around forever and will likely remain around for years to come. In recent years, tattoos have even seemed to lose some of their stigma and now it feels like everyone has them. But what makes a tattoo permanent? Why does the ink my kids put on their arms wash off, while my tatts remain on my skin forever? A new video addresses those scientific questions.
The new video made by the American Chemical Society explores what makes tatts stay forever. Although I have a number of tattoos, I never really thought that much about how they work. Only that they do work. So this is especially fascinating. See below:
Tattoo needles puncture the skin at 50-3,000 times a minute. Ouch! But that’s not all. The needles prick the skin’s top layer — the epidermis — and inject ink into its underlying layer of connective tissue, the dermis.
Cells in the dermis are not shed as often as they are in the epidermis, hence why tattoos are permanent and ink on top of the skin isn’t. But if you poke a pen deep, all bets are off!
The permanence of tattoos is often the reason people give for not getting them. “What will you think when you are 50?!” Here’s what I will think: I will love mine. Each one of my tattoos means something to me. My lilac tree reminds me of my mother’s favorite flower and the lilac tree outside the house where I grew up. My children’s initials on my wrist remind me of them, and the tattoo I share with my husband on my forearm makes me think of him all the time. Even more than our wedding rings.
I love the permanence. That’s the whole point of a tatt in the first place! And now I know why.