The World Of Body Art – Tattoos

We all grew up watching Popeye and Captain Cook, one thing we could never figure out about them was the amount of tattoos on their skin. Tattoos are made from permanent ink that penetrates deep into the dermis layer, which results in change in pigmentation of the skin. Tattoos are permanent and temporary. While temporary last from a few weeks to a few months, permanent ones are like your best friends which stay forever. Though this kind of body art originated in Europe and is now spreading popularly all over the globe.

In ancient times, tattoos were mainly used to in script names or symbols of Gods or religion but now it comes more of a statement of style.


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Earlier tattoo ink was obtained from natural bases like herbs and planets. Now varieties of dyes are being made and send across parlors around the world. Some of the tattoo artists want to make their art look unique so they mix up a couple of inks together to make new colors.

Most common pigment used for modern day tattoos is Iron Oxide. Others like carbon black, titanium oxide and naphthol derivatives are used in making dyes.

Carbon compounds used in making tattoo dyes are known to interfere with MRI machines and even though they may be non ferrous in nature they may cause first or second degree burns to the skin. The interference mainly depends on the depth and density of the ink.

Precautions to be taken while Getting Tattoos

Proper hygiene is to be kept by the tattoo artist and the person getting the tattoo. Other aspects of maintaining hygienic conditions are listed below –

• Hands of the artist should be clean while the surface of the skin where the tattoo is going to be made is supposed to be cleaned.

• Any needle or stencil which is going to be used should be sterilized prior to avoid any passage of infections on to the person. Also disposable glove should be worn at all times of making the tattoo.

• A fresh supply of sterilized stencils, needles and other equipment of tattoo applying should be used for each client.

Rules are that disabled or people with impaired mental conditions are not allowed to get tattoos. So are the people under the influence of any kind of alcohol or drugs.

The artist who is applying the tattoo should be well aware of the diseases and pathogens that can be spread through tattoo art and should instruct the client properly about the hazards and precautions to be taken before and after the application of tattoos.

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After Care of Tattoos

There could be inflammation, pain or swelling around the tattoo region within 24hours of getting the tattoo but there’s nothing to worry since it is the body’s natural defense technique against any foreign particle which enters inside. Many measures are taken even after getting the tattoo –

• The tattoo shouldn’t come in contact with too much water in the first 2 weeks. This prevents any unnecessary washing away of the new ink from the tattoo. Also water might contain bacteria and since a tattoo is a recent wound to the skin it might cause infections.

• Most tattoos tend to come out as flakes or scalps and its advised to peel it off if that happens.

• Over exposure from the sun should be avoided for at least 3 weeks. Sun rays may cause fading of the tattoo.

• Also the tattoo should be kept clean at all times.

Some Famous Tattoo Stories

Singer Adele entered the Grammys 2013 wearing a tattoo of the letter ‘A’ printed behind her ear. Rihanna made news flashing her tattoo behind her neck, her short highlights made her tattoo look like no one else’s. Scarlett Johansson carries a horse shoe shaped, painful looking tattoo across her ribs.  This woman can definitely pull off a complicated looking tattoo very well. Other celebrities like Maroon5 singer Adam Levine, or comedian Russell Brand and front man for the band Red Hot Chilli Peppers are also top in the news for their latest tattoos.

Although there are certain health risks to the tattoo art like allergic conditions of the skin or other infections, and permanent tattoo removal can only be done by surgery, people still go for it since its becoming increasingly popular. If cared properly, a tattoo might even cause a change in the way people look at you.