Tattoos

A tattoo is a form of body modification where a design is made by inserting ink, dyes and pigments, either indelible or temporary, into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment. The art of making tattoos is tattooing.

Tattoos fall into three broad categories: purely decorative with no specific meaning; symbolic with a specific meaning pertinent to the wearer; pictorial a depiction of a specific person or item. In addition, tattoos can be used for identification such as ear tattoos on livestock as a form of branding.

The word tattoo, or tattow in the 18th century, is a loanword from the Samoan word tatau, meaning to strike. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the etymology of tattoo as "In 18th c. tattaow, tattow. From Polynesian Samoan, Tahitian, Tongan, etc. tatau. In Marquesan, tatu" Before the importation of the Polynesian word, the practice of tattooing had been described in the West as painting, scarring or staining.

There are different types of tattoos Abstraction Tattoos, Simplification Tattoos, Dedication Tattoos, Complex Tattoos, Naturalistic Tattoos, etc.

While tattoos are considered permanent, it is sometimes possible to remove them, fully or partially, with laser treatments. Typically, black and some colored inks can be removed more completely than inks of other colors. The expense and pain associated with removing tattoos are typically greater than the expense and pain associated with applying them. Pre-laser tattoo removal methods include dermabrasion, salabrasion scrubbing the skin with salt, cryosurgery and excision which is sometimes still used along with skin grafts for larger tattoos. These older methods, however, have been nearly completely replaced by laser removal treatment options.



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