For centuries we have assumed that once tattooed that’s it – the image or words are there for life. Then came tattoo cover-ups, allowing ink that people had grown tired of or grown out of to be covered up with a new design by experienced, talented artists.
Finally, we reached the point where lasers were employed to remove tattoos entirely. The technology works, and it means that those youthful (or not so youthful) indiscretions can be made as invisible as possible. Sometimes, however, it’s not possible to remove all of it. This is especially true of tattoos with a colored pigment.
Things may be about to change though. A study carried out in France, regarding just how permanent that ‘permanent’ ink from a tattoo is, has revealed surprising findings. The research, carried out on mice, has shown that the skin cells into which the tattoo is fixed are not fixed themselves, and when they die, those cells can pass the pigment on to new cells. But they don’t just pass them on – they ‘eat’ the tattoo beforehand, thus reducing the amount of ink in the skin over time.