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Maintaining a Tattoo Over Time

By definition, a tattoo is a permanent marking on the skin. The ink is injected by needle under the skin, creating the image of the tattoo. The needle moves very fast, puncturing the skin and depositing the ink into the skin. As the ink is depositing into the epidermis, the skin captures the color of the ink. The end result is a brilliant and vibrant tattoo for life. Maybe...

Over time tattoos will change with the skin as it reacts to the wind, sun, its own regeneration, water, and countless other things. The way a tattoo endures and maintains its original design depends on these changes as the skin shrinks, stretches, and ages. The pigment that makes up the tattoo must remain the way it is over time, although tanning and wrinkling can affect the color and clarity of the tattoo.

The overall length of time that a tattoo stays healthy and vibrant in color all depends on how well it has been taken care of after it was completed and how the skin has been kept healthy. From the very beginning things like infection affect tattoos - you must also promote good healing which retains the ink as it was applied. Most tattoos will heal completely within a couple of weeks and hopefully have been cared for to prevent scabbing. If allowed to scab, the scab that forms may remove some of the intended color of the tattoo.

After a tattoo is completely healed, the number one enemy of the tattoo is the sun. Just like other items' colors that are exposed to sunlight fade, the pigments found in tattoos will fade also. Yellow and red are the hardest colors to maintain over time. Blue and black are the easiest and most stable to maintain. Tattoos are considered to be part of the organism of living skin and need to be maintained to keep the color alive and fresh. If you are going to be out in the sun, you should always cover your tattoos and wear a quality sunscreen.

Tattoos that have been properly applied, properly healed, and protected from the rays of the sun can remain their best for many years without any need to retouch them. Although the colors will remain vibrant as well, time and the sun are definite enemies for tattoos. No matter how well you take care of your tattoos and protect them, there really is no escape from changes that come as a result of time itself.

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