Are tattoos placed on the muscle or between layers of skin?
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Q:

Are tattoos placed on the muscle or between layers of skin?

A:

Quick Answer

The ink used in a tattoo is placed through a needle into the dermis, or second layer of skin, according to Dartmouth Medical School. The epidermis, or top layer of skin traps the ink to create a permanent design.

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Full Answer

A tattoo needle will only penetrate an average of one millimeter into the skin. Still, the epidermis will need time to repair itself after a tattoo is applied, usually two to three weeks on average. According to the Harvard Health Blog, a new tattoo should be treated as an open wound. Aftercare includes avoidance of the sun to protect against blistering. The affected area should also be kept covered and dry with a clean bandage till the skin is fully healed.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How fast does a tattoo needle go?

    A:

    The needle of a tattoo machine punctures the skin 50 to 3,000 times per minute. Tattoo artists have control of the tattoo machine and can set it to run faster or slower depending on how comfortable they are with the machine.

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  • Q:

    How do you set the depth of a tattoo needle?

    A:

    A tattoo needle should reach down into the dermis layer of the skin, which means that on the tattoo gun, one must hold down the armature band and adjust the depth of the needle to somewhere between 1 and 2 millimeters. If the needle is too shallow, then the ink eventually comes out of the skin, but if the needle is too deep, it causes pain and damages the skin.

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  • Q:

    Why don't tattoos wear off?

    A:

    Tattoos do not wear off because the tattoo pigment particles are embedded in the dermis, and the body is unequipped to remove particles of a certain size from the area. The body naturally turns over skin, but this process does not affect particles in the dermis.

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  • Q:

    How are real tattoos applied?

    A:

    Electric tattoo needles create semi-permanent designs by rapidly injecting ink into the second layer of skin, known as the dermis. Each penetration is roughly 1 millimeter in depth, and the ink is deposited into the tiny punctures. Tattoo artists use insoluble ink that does not dissolve, and special tattoo needles can make up to 3,000 injections per minute, according to How Stuff Works.

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