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Why do Tattoos last forever? | Buy Tattoo Supplies Online


I recently read an article titled ‘Here's why Tattoos last forever despite our dying skin cells'.  Although I’m a massive fan of tattoos myself and have a relatively good knowledge of the tattoo process, this isn’t something I’d ever thought about before... and the more I thought about the statement , the more surprised I was that I'd never really contemplated the idea myself until now.  If our dying skin cells are constantly being shed and our body regenerates new skin, then why on earth are our tattoos still here?  When we cut or scrape ourselves (provided it isn’t too deep), new skin cells form, and the cut heals and the affected area looks exactly as it was before.  So, it  wouldn’t be crazy to assume that new skin cells formed would just be the exact same colour as our natural flesh tone, so why when we shed the old skin cells where our tattoos are do the skin cells not just regenerate and look like fresh skin with no ink, no pigment, just natural new flesh? 

At Magnum Tattoo Supplies where you can buy tattoo supplies online, naturally, we're very keen to learn about new discoveries within the tattoo industry, and finding out exactly why our tattoos stay put even though skin regenerates brand new cells was certainly an intriguing concept for us! 

According to the article, the permanence of tattoos on the skin is a notion that’s puzzled scientists for quite some time, and although tattoos naturally fade over time and loose their vibrancy, they’re still completely permanent and hold in the skin for a lifetime. It’s a scientific fact that our skin cells absorb tattoo pigment thanks to immune cells called macrophages that soak up ink just as they would an infection, so this is how tattoos are created in the skin, but what happens when they die and are replaced with new skin cellls? Scientists from Aix Marseille Université researched the idea and produced some really interesting results!

When new skin cells are being generated, the dead cells release the tattoo ink into neighbouring cells, which in turn creates a continuous cycle, meaning your tattoos stay perfectly intact for years to come. One of the researchers purports;  
"We think that, when tattoo pigment–laden macrophages die during the course of adult life, neighbouring macrophages recapture the released pigments and insure in a dynamic manner the stable appearance and long-term persistence of tattoos". 

This conclusion was reached after they conducted a study involving a pair of mice.  The research team tattooed the tails of these mice, and they observed the macrophages in their skin which soaked up the pigment.   When the original tattooed cells were destroyed, the tattoo didn’t change.  Even more interestingly, the scientists transferred a piece of tattooed skin from one mouse to another, and after 6 weeks the new mouse’s cell’s had absorbed the pigment as well.

This kind of study is really useful when it comes to the understanding and improvement of the  laser tattoo removal process. The more knowledge we have of skin cells and skin-regeneration, the equipped we are at the removal of tattoos! 

So, if you’re debating getting a tattoo then think very carefully, as (obviously), they are one of the most permanent changes you can make to your skin, and now we know why!  It’s definitely worth thinking long and hard about what you’re going to get, and always ensure you do your research when it comes to choosing the right artist for you!  Don’t forget, if you’re a tattoo artist yourself, then you can buy tattoo supplies online from our web store! 



Love Toni 

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  • Antonia McLoughlin