Tattooing has been a part of human history for thousands of years, gaining popularity with each passing day. Ötzi, the 5300-year-old, health-riddled, mummified hunter discovered preserved in a glacier in the Ötztal Alps, has 61 tattoos located near his joints, suggesting they may have been associated with an ancient treatment for arthritis. Similarly, Tofi women have swirl patterns on their faces, indicating their family lineage.
Tattoos are either the source of self-expression or expressing the religious beliefs, but it is sure that tattoos are here to stay for an entire lifetime of the human race. Although tattoos are famous amongst every people irrespective of their age but have you ever imagined about how actually tattooing process works or the chemistry behind the tattoos?
Major ingredients required for tattooing process:
A tattoo design is usually called as ‘flash’ and it is simply a sketch or any sort of artwork from simple symbols or letters to detailed sketches useful to create a tattoo. Flash can be shown in color or can be in black and white appearance adorned in tattoo salon either in books or along the walls. Moreover, clients may bring their own design or can work in collaboration with a tattoo artist to develop a customized flash.
With help of a special copying machine, a stencil (copy of a flash or design) is prepared. The basic purpose of the stencil is to outline the design on the skin so it can be traced by the tattoo artist. A tattoo artist creates a stencil of the tattoo design before he takes a needle to the skin. The artist draws the stencil with a special ink that transfers to the skin.
Tattoo inks are available in a variety of colors and are typically packaged in 4 oz plastic squeeze bottles so they are easily dispensed. The inks are in form of liquids which in the United States, are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The ink houses dyes derived from metal components. For this reason, an allergic reaction to the type of ink used is possible.
To operate the tattoo machine, power is required. It is a handheld needle gun which is connected to a power unit which provides pressure to needles so that they can move. The needles of the tattoo machine may vary from different sizes and shapes which are bundled together on a needle bar in different patterns depending on the requirements of the artwork. The unit is further attached to a power supply that gets activated by putting a pressure on foot pedal on the floor beside the workstation. And when the foot pedal gets activated, needle bar moves up and down very quickly and penetrates the skin to inject the dye 3,000 times per minute.
Apart from the above-mentioned requirements, many other supplies are required during the course of the procedure. The tattoo artist may need additional supplies like skin disinfectants, disposable razors, bandages, petroleum jelly, and biocidal cleaning supplies.
Get to know Tattoo inks
Tattoo Inks consist of pigments combined with a carrier when used in tattooing. Available in a myriad range of colors and shades, most tattoo artists prefer to buy inks pre-made, while there are other tattoo artists preferring mixing on their own using a dry pigment and a carrier.
Usually, tattoo ink is permanent and one who wishes to remove a tattoo has to undergo a cumbersome, difficult, painful tattoo removal process.
Getting ink into the skin
How permanent tattoos come into existence? They are made by injecting an ink into the skin using needles. As soon as a tattoo needle punctures the skin, it tends to create a tiny wound to which body responds by sending macrophages to close the wound and defeat any foreign invaders. Whereas in the case of tattoo ink, the pigment particles are so large that they are unable to destroy macrophages and hence get stuck in the dermis.
When a tattoo fades? A tattoo will fade if your immune system ever succeeds in breaking up the pigment particles. This is how laser treatment to remove a permanent tattoo works. The basic agenda of laser treatment is to target a single color in the tattoo and break up the pigments into something the macrophages can handle.
So, if you are planning to get a tattoo, it is necessary that you understand the entire process first. Getting a tattoo on your skin is not a minute decision to be made; it will become a permanent organ of your body which will live with you until you live on this earth. So, it becomes highly important that you undergo a thorough research before finalizing to go ahead with a tattoo.