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Essay Samples > Research > Inked Up
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Inked Up

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According to evidence from countries such as Egypt, Siberia, and New Zealand, tattoos have become a global art and have been in existence for a number of decades. In fact, the art of tattooing had been in existence for approximately  thousand years before England’s captain Cook encountered it in the South pacific in the year 1789 (Arp 20).

Origin of Tattooing

Certain scientists claim that certain marks on the skin of the iceman, a human body that dates back to 3300 B.C, are supposedly tattoos. If the allegations of these scientists have any ground, then we can say that it marks the first traces of the art of tattoos. Other tattoos date from 2000 B.C.; scientists found these tattoos on the bodies of an Egyptian and a Nubian. Classical authors have related the art of tattoos to countries such as Greece, Germany, and the country of the ancient Britons. Europeans discovered the art of tattooing during one of their exploration activities. They came to meet with American Indians and Polynesians. The word “tattoo” has its origin from a Tahitian word “tattau,” which means “a mark.” Since the European and US societies considered the art of tattooing as exotic, many of the Indians and Polynesians drew a lot of attention from crowds in events and artistic shows (Arp 35).

The Process of Getting Tattoos

Tattooing involves placing a certain pigment into the dermis of the skin. The dermis is a layer of dermal tissue that lies below the epidermis. After the initial injection, the color pigment spreads through the homogenized and damaged dermal layer, all the way through the epidermis and the upper dermal layer. This skin layers recognize the color pigments as foreign material. The foreign material activates the phagocytes in the immune system to absorb the particles of the color pigment. The damaged epidermis layer pills off and eliminates the surface pigment as the healing process of the skin continues. A granulation tissue forms under the skin, which later converts into connective tissue due to collagen growth. The above procedure heals the upper dermis, and the pigment remains within the fibroblasts. This leads to the concentration of a layer immediately under the boundary of the dermis and epidermis layer. The layer is usually stable for a certain period, but it decades and wears off in the long term. In some other communities, people created tattoos by making cuts of certain designs in the skin and rubbing ink, ash or any other agent in the wound (Nagle 55).

Types of Tattoos

There are 6 main types of tattoos in the modern world. They include the traumatic tattoos, amateur tattoos, and professional tattoos as well as genital, cosmetic, and medical tattoos.

Traumatic Tattoos

These are natural tattoos, which result from injuries. Coal miners could develop permanent marks on their bodies when coal dust entered their wounds. These marks can also come from contact with gunpowder. In addition, this tattoo can also occur in the event that agents such as asphalt stick in an individual’s wound due to an accident (Nagle 63).

Amateur and Professional Tattoos

This may include tattoos that individuals make as a sign of attachment to certain communities, religion, profession, or status. For example, young people may make tattoos on their bodies as a pledge of love to someone, a sect, or a status. One can have an amateur tattoo as a symbol of affection to a close relative such as a daughter or mother (Arp 102).

Cosmetic Tattoos

This includes surgical and noninvasive procedures of implanting marks on someone’s body. Cosmetic tattoos include permanent marks. It also involves neutralization of skin discoloration.

Medical Tattooing

These are permanent marks on the body that help in the location of body parts that require regular therapy procedures. The process is common in breast reconstruction.

Genital Tattooing

This involves the placement of permanent marks below the skin of an individual’s genitals.

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