Are you one of 29% Americans, who have at least one tattoo on the body?
Actually tattooing practice came to us from China, Japan, North Africa and New Zealand, where people made tattoos for medical concerns. Some of them were applied close to acupuncture points.
Just imagine that the oldest tattoo, recorded on human's body, was made about 5300 years ago!
Nowadays insertion of the multicolor inks has become very popular in our modern society.
During this process thin needles puncture your skin, delivering inks into the deep layer, 1.5-2 mm below your skin surface.
But how can your tattoo “survive” after scrubbing and washing? Even though your skin constantly renews itself, pics stay on your body for many years.
You may be surprised but the reason is about your immune system. This natural defensive mechanism can not only protect you from infection, but also hold the tattoo on your body.
When tattoo master inserts ink-contained needles into the dermis (deep part of the skin), he or she hurts blood vessels and nerves, causing pain and bleeding. Your immune system gets signals about this trauma and promotes clotting formation to stop bleeding. After that, it sends special cells, called macrophages and neutrophils, in order to get rid of foreign substances. At the same time, damaged collagen (protein that normally provides skin elasticity) becomes repaired due to activation of the fibroblastic cell. This process results in scar formation.
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Macrophages “swallow” pigment and hold it in the dermis. With time, some of these colored cells may travel deeper in the skin and even spread into the lymph nodes.
However these immune cells aren't deathless. Does it mean that your tattoo may die together with macrophages? In short, no.
Recent research found that immune cells release pigment into the dermis before dying off. Molecules of free pigment are then caught up by the new or neighbor macrophages.
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In this study scientists tattooed green stripes on the tails of the mice. After several weeks investigators killed pigment-carrying immune cells, without causing harm to the mice.
During the close examination, it was found that new macrophages replace the dead ones and recapture pigment from the extracellular space.
To test this process more thoroughly, researchers put a piece of tattooed tail from one mouse to un-tattooed albino mouse. After six weeks green pigment was held by the macrophages, originated in the recipient mouse.
The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!
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