The Tattooing Process

The practice of tattooing has been prevalent throughout all known cultures and civilizations with their meanings and representations differed across these cultures. A tattoo meaning has changed significantly throughout different eras and parts of the world being used to communicate who they are, where they came from and what is important to them.

While tattoos, their meaning and the tools used have changed over time, the process of getting pigment into the skin has remained unchanged. Tattooing involves getting the pigment deeper into the skin pass the outer layer known as the epidermis into the dermis (Figure 1.) and each time the needle deposits ink into the skin it creates a wound that alerts the body to beginning the inflammatory process calling for immune system cells to the wound to start repairing the skin.
The inflammatory process signals two types of immune cells known as neutrophils and macrophages, the ink is then enveloped into these cells which is used as a barrier vessel to keep the foreign bodies such as ink from spreading through the body (Figure 2.).

The ink is release but then taken up by and replaced by new younger cells which results in the ink staying stationary and suspended in the dermis creating a permanent tattoo. Ink that remains in the upper epidermal cell layers will shed away over 2 to 4 weeks as the damaged skin begins to regenerate itself.  During this healing stage, it is vital to give the upmost care to the artwork.  Without a dedicated healing product like Ink Guardian, your skin can dry out resulting in shedding and ultimately the loss of saturation and vibrancy of your tattoo.  It is also critical to ensure your method of healing prevents infection by utilising nature’s antibacterial products like ones used in Ink Guardian.