Inside: What is a Dermis tattoo and why would you get one?

Several people think of tattoos as works of art. They are varied in size, shape, and design, and deliver a lot of beauty. Tattoos date back to ancient times and can be found in several civilizations across the world. In the purest terms, tattoos are works of art; it’s just that the canvas is the human body. Tattoos are composed of ink, after all.

However, unlike simply painting your nails or adorning one’s skin with peel off stickers, tattoos are more permanent. The ink isn’t simply used to cover the skin but is injected into the skin. Specifically, the ink is injected into the dermis, which is the under-layer of the skin.

This is why a permanent tattoo is technically known as a dermis tattoo.

So, what happens to the ink in a dermis tattoo?

Dermis Tattoo Definition

What is a Dermis Tattoo?

Dermis tattoos are named such because they involve injecting ink into the skin and creating cavities to house it. This is what differentiates tattooing from face painting and other forms of body art. The ink becomes part of the human body in some sense. That’s why washing up and just leaving the tattoo out in fresh air won’t get rid of it.

However, you need to be aware that the invasive nature of a dermis tattoo can be very traumatizing to the skin. In the literal sense, it is the creation of tiny wounds in the skin. These wounds are then filled with ink and allowed to close.

These tiny pockets of ink then comprise the entire tattoo. The invasion into the skin can also cause infections. That’s why only certified artists using antiseptics and antibacterial swabs should be trusted.

Dermis Tattoo

Where Does the Ink Go On a Dermis Tattoo?

The ink in a dermis tattoo is absorbed into the tiny cavities made by the tattoo needle in your skin. The needle in use creates thousands of tiny pricks every minute into the skin. This is why getting a tattoo can be so painful at times.

The ink filled needles push the colored ink into the skin and this allows for permanent designs to be created. The ink is hidden beneath the epidermis, which is the outer layer of the skin. This protects the tattoo from any sort of vaporization or sun exposure.

Also, the epidermal layer of the skin is always shedding. This is why it’s easier to rub out any stain on the outer layer with time and pressure. Within the skin, the shedding of layers or replacement of cells is much slower. It takes years for the ink to be drained out.

Why Does Getting a Tattoo Hurt So Much?

The dermis is a very sensitive layer. That’s why you wrap up wounds with bandages or apply antiseptics. The sensitive dermis is permeable to all sorts of infections and traumas. However, piercing into the dermis sends the human body’s immune system into a frenzy. It rushes blood cells called macrophages to the site of the wound.

These macrophages then remove the foreign ink as best they can. This is why tattoos do fade over time, even if they’re below the skin. However, the process is slow. Certain macrophages swallow the ink over time and send them out through the lymphatic system. Others remain in the system. This allows the injected ink to remain visible for a long time.

Dermis tattoo options

Negative Side Effects of Dermis Tattoos

Studies into what happens to tattoo ink are quite recent. In a 2015 report, the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that tattoo ink particles can actually travel very far. A woman with cervical cancer was examined to find that it had spread to lymph nodes. However, further examination revealed that these were actually tattoo ink particles.

The study found that particles which were very small, about nanometers in size, were the most likely to infect people. They were most likely to migrate to lymph nodes and cause cancer.

One of the most common inks that breaks down into nanoparticles and travels to the lymph nodes is carbon black. The researchers also found that titanium dioxide, a common tattoo ink ingredient, were also detectable in carbon black nanoparticles.

Other research shows that some toxic heavy metals from tattoo ink can also end up in the lymph nodes. For instance, nickel, cobalt, and chromium have been found in lymph nodes of people with tattoos. Permanent deposits of these metals in the body can cause untold harm.

Experiments done on mice have found that tattoo ink particles can also make their way into liver cells. This means that the pigment can travel through blood to reach other vital organs of the body.

This is why it is so important to emphasize safety when getting tattoos.

Learn More About Tattoos

  • Tattoo Peeling Tips – Tattoo peeling is one of the least fun parts about getting a new tattoo. Don’t worry though, it is a natural part of the healing process and will not have a negative effect on your tattoo long term. While uncomfortable and at times a bit alarming, peeling is no big deal. Read our expert advice on what to do with tattoo peel.
  • Tattoo Blowout – Tattoo blowouts are not super common, but when they do occur it is generally because of the tattoo artist applying too much pressure. The ink is placed below the surface of the skin and in turn is injected into the next layer of fat. This can cause a number of issue both with the tattoo clarify, longevity, and even some health concerns. Read more about how this happens and what to do.
  • Hand Poke Tattoos – If you are interested in getting inked but aren’t too sure about the lifelong commitment, a hand poke tattoo might be the right answer for you. They are pretty cool looking when done professionally and last up to 10 years if done correctly. Typically there isn’t as much pain involved if you have someone with experience. Take a peek at these hand poke tattoo designs.