Tattoos may be awesome, lovely, or ugly, but they're almost always painful, so what is it about your body that eventually loves getting a tat?
Tattoos have a long history, and over the years, they have grown even more popular. Some say doctors in Egypt used to recur to tattooing to treat some physical ailments like headaches and joint pain. They then used to tattoo over the skin some sort of mark to try to ease the pain where the patient felt any discomfort. It might be ironic that something so painful could cause relief. So, whatever the origins of tattoos may be, what is it that happens to your body when you get a tattoo?
The needle pierces through your skin between 50 and 3 thousand times per minute
The tattooing process is simple. There's a needle with ink that pierces through the first and second layer of the skin called, epidermis and dermis, respectively. This same needle forms a kind of channel, which in turn, leaves the ink within the dermis, and these channels are what form ink figures inside your skin. If the needle falls short of reaching the dermis, that is, if it stays in the epidermis area, the ink may fall off and it will be easily erased. As is enters the skin, the needle may also pierce through some nerves and blood vessels. This is why tattoos are painful to get, and it's also why there's usually some bleeding involved.
The ink spreads a little
The skin usually traps the ink. However, the ink slightly filters through it over time. This means your tattoo will eventually get distorted as you notice changes in your skin. None of this is dangerous, and it will mostly be invisible to the naked eye. However, beware of infections, irritation, and itches, specially days after you get your tattoo. If this does happen, contact your tattoo artist or your doctor.
Further reading: Single Needle Tattoos For People Who Desire True Elegance
Your skin traps the ink
When the ink is placed inside the epidermis, the body goes into defense mode and sends its first lines to the skin in order to protect it from external threats. This is how your own body traps the ink and it therefore remains in one place, without expanding to other places.
The cells "eat" the ink
Not all cells do it, just the so-called macrophages. These cells are tiny and are responsible for keeping the skin healthy. Their role regarding in tattoos is preventing inflammation; they do this by eating whatever is causing the epidermis to look swollen (in this case the ink). They eat it gradually, so the pigmentation of the tattoo disappears over the years.
There may be bleeding even after healing
As we said before, the needle may break through some blood vessels. Don't worry about a small amount of bleeding because it's normal. This is because even after being done with the tattoo, vessels take their time to heal.
Fibroblasts absorb ink
These are another type of cells that absorb each pigment of the ink, but they do not go away completely and they remain suspended in the epidermis until a few years pass and suddenly they leave thanks to the contamination and the contact with the outside. In this way, the figure of the tattoo turns green. However, there are sometimes times when this depigmentation occurs one day after the performance, so it is important that you go with your tattoo artist if you notice a similar change.
You release natural pain relievers
As the needle penetrates your skin and releases adrenaline, endorphins are also released as a natural pain killers for the body. But nerves, coupled with stress, fear, and other confusing feelings, can cause a sense of relaxation and despair simultaneously. To many people, this is actually pleasant.
You release adrenaline
A needle piercing through the skin implies some sort of trauma, which means your body is altered in many ways. It responds by trying to prevent itself from suffering more than it can bear. The nervous system therefore activates a reaction to pain, which causes it to release adrenaline in order to get rid of stress.
Maybe tattoos have become an addiction for you, but that is actually completely normal. Before you get one, though, you should consider what having a drawing on your skin really means and what it can do for your body. Still, tattoos are always a nice feature for the brave and the daring. If this is you, don't hesitate to get as many as you wish, specially now that you're so aware of what happens to your body when you get one. So, have at it!
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