Learning About Tattoo Ink

Posted by Dragon Tattoo on

Getting inked? A tattoo can raise a number of questions, such as, how safe will it be? Is there any reason to avoid a certain color? This is why, it's very important for the tattoo artist to know the various tattoo inks. Gaining knowledge on the subject can help to make a better decision.

Tattoo ink is the color being entered into the skin. Dermal needles are how the ink is deposited. The ink is actually within the machine that the tattoo artist uses. However, it is interesting to note that the tattoo ink is not primarily ink, but rather pigments that are suspended within the carrier solution. 

The pigment of the tattoo ink can be made from a variety of substances. It can be extracted from vegetable dyes, heavy metals or minerals and plastics. The carriers are liquid solutions, and it is used, as the name suggests, to carry the pigment that is to be delivered into the skin. So, if the carrier of the tattoo ink is good, it will help in the color getting spread evenly within the tattoo design. Some people have witnessed the tattoo ink being clumped, this is basically due to a bad pigment carrier.

Different inks from different manufacturers may have different consistencies. Some may be rather thick, others, watery. Some can be mixed with one another successfully. The ink the artist chooses could also be selected by the quickness of the hand and if the ink is being used for lining or shading.

Understand that tattoos, although permanent, are prone to fading. This is mainly due to the fact that colors, within the tattoo are considered foreign objects to the skin; it is then broken down by the immune system of the human body. Because the pigment particles are sufficiently large, they cannot be destroyed with the exception of lasers. This is why it is important that the selected tattoo ink has very good pigment. This will help in maintaining the color of the tattoo.

It is good for the tattoo artist to understand the 'make-up' of the ink and why. The ingredients are important. Some inks are dispersed, (manufactured), others concocted by the artist. The manufactured inks that are made in the USA pass the FDA guidelines due to it's composition. Some artists make their own and they do not have to report the content and often do not as they are not creating much and it is often considered as their 'Trade Secret'. Point being, it is important to always ask if the client has any allergies and sensitivities that they are aware of and what they are. The flip side of this talk, it is the clients responsibility in letting it be known if there is anything that could be of concern. Being knowledgeable about ingredients and chemicals and what the potential reactions may be is another professional responsibility. Most reactions, if any, are, SURPRISE, from red dye. If the client suggests any allergy or sensitivity and they still would like to proceed with getting tattooed, it is recommended that a skin patch test be done first. 


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