#37: Inked Forever

The Question

Becky Says:
May 23rd, 2005 at 4:15 am

How do tattoos stay on your skin?

As far as I’m aware, baby skin cells are born in the bottom dermis layers and migrate to the top as they grow. Then they die and flake off.

Why doesn’t the ink die with the cells as they flake off? Are these ink-dyed cells cloning themselves or is tattoo ink a fountian of youth for the injected skin cells and they never die?

Also would I look good with a celtic cross tatto on my hip?

The Answer

Well, it comes down to layers. And the magical power of the Tattoo.

No wait, it’s just layers.

When a tattoo artist inks you up, what he or she is really doing is injecting ink into the dermis, which is the second layer of skin, under the epidermis. The epidermis is the skin layer that is constantly flaking off and being replaced, but the dermis underneath will last as long as you (unless you get scraped or something). That’s why the ink never vanishes – it’s not in the skin cells that are getting replaced constantly.

I have to say though, the idea of the ink-filled cells cloning themselves is pretty keen.

At the risk of sounding outrageously flirtacious, I’ll answer the second question with a “Yes” – since I have yet to see evidence of you not looking pretty. Given that I’m married and we’ve never met, I feel like this does not cross the boundaries of impropriety.

But think of this! Do you really want to ink your dermis? Given the fact that it will ALWAYS be there? If you are comfortable with the idea of that tattoo being there forever, go for it.

Since it took me so long to get to this answer, I have to assume you made the choice already. So, what’s the verdict?

5 thoughts on “#37: Inked Forever

  • 9/19/2005 at 4:50 am

    I’m a wimp. Someday though.

  • 9/19/2005 at 10:12 am

    Think about it for at least a year.
    -R “I have an impulse tattoo” S

  • 9/19/2005 at 5:05 pm

    Also, you can’t donate blood for a good while after getting a tattoo. A point against it, I think.

  • 9/19/2005 at 9:57 pm

    I have never, ever donated blood. I’m not an organ donor either. It may sound selfish, but if I make the body parts, I want to keep them.

  • 9/20/2005 at 10:45 am

    I’m pretty sure I’m not allowed to give blood at this point. Mainly due to two trips to London (one during the Foot-and-Mouth epidemic) and my good times with a friend I like to call Lyme Disease.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *