How do tattoos work?

Ever wonder how tattoos stay in your skin? 

Let’s start with a quick biology lesson on skin.

There’s 3 main layers in our skin : The Epidermis , the Dermis and the Subcutaneous. 

The Epidermis Layer is in charge of sensing our environment and acting as a barrier to keep infectious organisms out. The epidermis is constantly making new skin cells. This happens at the bottom of the epidermis. The skin cells travel up to the top layer and flake off, about a month after they form.

The Dermis Layer is in charge of many bodily functions including growing hair, bringing blood to your skin, making sweat and also holds the nerves. In our opinion, its most important feature, being home to your professional tattoo! 

The Subcutaneous Layer is primarily a fat tissue layer that hold your dermis to your muscles and bones. It’s role is to help control the regulation of temperature of the skin itself and of the body. The size of this layer varies throughout the body and from person to person.

A properly executed tattoo is done in the dermis skin layer. The needle must penetrate through the ever changing epidermis to allow the ink to settle in the dermis. If ink is settled in the epidermis, much of the tattoo can begin to disappear within weeks of tattooing. However, going too deep and puncturing the subcutaneous layer can cause permanent scarring. It’s often common to see a bruising effect or “blow out” in the subcutaneous layer as the fat tissue in the subcutaneous layer doesn’t hold ink and it tends to spread out beneath the tattoo. Over several months, sometimes years, the ink that has “blown out” can sometimes fade as it get’s reabsorbed and eliminated through the bodies natural healing process. 

Because all bodies are different, and there’s no real way of understanding where that fatty tissue is on every person, it is always a small risk when getting tattooed. However, choosing an experienced & professional artist will minimize your risk of “blow outs”. And of course, there’s always a way to finding a solution to minimize it’s appearance.