How Permanent is Tattoo Ink?
tattoo gun and some ink for tattoo on a sterile napkin

How Permanent is Tattoo Ink?

At Think B4 You Ink, we are experts in laser tattoo removal. We realise you may be wondering what to expect with laser tattoo removal, as tattoos are designed to be permanent. Today we are going to focus on exploring how permanent the ink is, and how we now have the technology to tackle all kinds of tattoos, including multi-coloured tattoos and tattoo sleeves with our laser removal services.


The Chemistry of Tattoos

Tattooing is both an art and a science, so when you choose to get one, we often accept that it will be on our skin permanently. The tattooist works to penetrate the ink into your skin with a needle at just the right level to inject the pigment permanently in your skin. However, not only do we know that tattoo ink can fade over time, it’s possible to essentially speed up this process through the use of laser tattoo removal. So, what was once thought of as permanent is not as permanent as we thought. Whilst this doesn’t impact those who want to keep their tattoos, it is hugely beneficial to those wanting a better cover-up job or to return to their usual skin.


Cell Replacement and Tattoos

It takes between seven and ten years for the body to replace every cell in your body. Whilst this is fascinating, essentially meaning we become new people by the end of this process, this is a gradual change as cells die and are replaced constantly. When it comes to tattoo ink, whilst ink may fade a little, the ink particles are generally too big for the body to break them down. The ink is swallowed by macrophages, which means that if the macrophages die, the ink is ingested by other macrophages and stays in the same position.


The Role of Macrophages

Macrophages are white blood cells that surround and kill microorganisms, remove dead cells, and stimulate the action of other immune system cells. When macrophages pass on the ink particles, they eat away at them as well, reducing the amount of ink in the skin. This is why tattoos can fade slightly over time. However, tattoos can be touched-up when faded, and this process doesn’t enable total removal. Macrophages are found in the dermis layer of the skin (the part that is under the epidermis). As the tattoo ink essentially wounds the skin, these cells help to keep the tattoo permanent. However, they also play a role in the accuracy and success of the removal. This is because the best laser tattoo removal can specifically target the macrophages, so that there are fewer and fewer pigments to swallow up.


Contact Us

Based in Swindon, for more information about our laser tattoo removal services and to find out the general prices, or to obtain a specific cost for your treatment, please get in touch through our online contact form, or email us at You can also speak to a member of our team directly by calling us on 01793 602 450 or visiting us during business hours. We would be glad to help you with any queries you may have for us.


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