Do you have a tattoo and ever wonder if your tattooed skin is any different from your non-tattooed skin? Are you just now reading this wondering if this is something you should be wondering about?
Skin is your body’s first defense against pathogens and works best when it is intact. Tattoos break that defense by using tiny needles to deposit granules of permanent ink directly into the skin. Tattooed skin heals over time, but researchers in Denmark and the Netherlands wondered if the function of tattooed skin would be permanently altered compared to non-tattooed skin.
They tested this possibility on 26 tattooed individuals of varying ages and varying tattoo ages (meaning, the number of years it had been since their tattoo(s) were done). By measuring a number of different skin parameters, such as pH and conduction, the researchers were able to understand skin barrier function in the tattooed and non-tattooed areas of each person. They found no differences between tattooed and non-tattooed skin for each measurement except capacitance, is a measure of skin hydration that was increased in tattooed skin. That higher capacitance suggests that tattooed skin is more hydrated in deeper layers than non-tattooed skin. The researchers aren’t sure why tattooed skin would have higher capacitance, but they suggested that a larger study could get to the bottom of this question.
In the meantime, they did conclude that the skin barrier gets fully restored after a tattoo. So if you have a tattoo, you can rest assured that it looks great and has no impact on your skin’s function.