The tattoo

Synonyms in a broader sense

scientifically also tatooing = tattoo
English: tattoo


A tattoo is a motif that is applied to the skin using ink or other coloring agents. To do this, the color is usually applied with the help of a tattoo machine through one or more needles (depending on the desired effect) pricked into the second layer of skin and drawn a picture or text.
There are a few things to consider after getting a tattoo, for example when doing sports. Also read: Can I do sports after getting a tattoo?


There are various reasons not only for wanting to get a tattoo, but also for the urge Remove tattoo allow. Often, clearly visible names of people and partners who were once loved are perceived as annoying after the separation. Sometimes it is Tattoo or the tattoo artist does not live up to the artistic claim, or one can no longer identify with the tattoo motif. Often, however, it is social changes that go hand in hand with the desire to have a tattoo removed. If you want to get rid of your tattoo, you often have to find that it is not that easy. Nevertheless, there are well-established methods and the latest developments make tattoo removal almost scar-free.

Read more about the different methods Remove tattoo

History on the topic of tattoos

The tattoo however, is not an invention of the 20th century. Many peoples have independently discovered and practiced the cult of tattooing for themselves. 7000 year old mummies with tattoos on their hands and feet have been found in northern Chile. And the famous glacier mummy "Ötzi", who lived around 5000 years ago, was also tattooed. Elaborate and extensive tattoos were also found among equestrian peoples from the Russian steppes and the Caucasus. This execution also gained ritual significance in Micronesia, Polynesia, among the indigenous population and Ainu and Yakuza (Japan). The Old Testament forbade its believers to get tattoos. In early Christian sects, however, it was partly common. And even today, many Christians express their honor and belonging to faith through tattoos of a cross, folded hands, angel wings and the like. Until 1890 it was even common in Bosnia to tattoo Catholic girls so that they could not switch to Islam.

Nowadays, body jewelry is usually no longer carved into the skin by hand, as it was then, but rather applied to the skin by mechanical pressure with the help of professional tattoo devices. Most tattoo artists nowadays enjoy a graphic training and pay more attention to hygiene measures in order to avoid possible infections. The skin, as the largest and heaviest human organ, is exposed to about 20 needle pricks per second during a tattoo, with some of the color substances being immediately transported away via the skin's vascular system. Larger pigment crystals remain in the skin and form the tattoo, the tattoo. In the case of a properly performed tattoo, the tattooed color pigments are in the middle layer of the skin. That only remains in this shift Tattoo (relative) preserved colourfast. Are the color pigments of the tattoo such as at Henna tattoos only tattooed in the outer layer of skin, the tattoo disappears by itself over time, as this layer of skin renews itself completely independently and the Dander fall off. After a certain time, the tattoo color sometimes fades or unintentionally leads to a color change. The reasons for this are either a photochemical reaction or the removal of the color particles by the body's own body Macrophage system. Tattoo inks can therefore also be in the closest Lymph nodes enrich. These then usually appear enlarged or appear black in theirs distance.

Epidemiology / trend

Creating a tattoo

Surveys have shown that currently in Germany about 10% of the population have at least one tattoo, for young people (16-29 years) it is up to 23%. As a result, the number of tattooed people in Germany has clearly exceeded the 7 million mark. Approximately 20,000 tattoo removals can be dated per year. That means an increase of almost 40% in the last few years. Mostly women between the ages of 25 and 50 deal with their Tattoo no longer feel good.

Special forms and meaning

Tattoos can have many different meanings:

  • Membership mark
  • Ritual or sacred symbol
  • Opportunity to express the distinction and exclusivity
  • Amplification of sexual stimuli
  • Protest or political statement
  • Jewellery
  • Membership and function of prison inmates (At that time, too, concentration camp prisoners were given a prisoner number and members of the SS were given a tattoo on their upper arm)

Over time, special forms of tattoos have developed. A large industry is the application of permanent make-up. Here, contours are e.g. highlighted, traced and shaded by eyes and lips. Surgery also makes use of this aesthetic technique by concealing surgical scars or reconstructing areolas.

Find out more about: Tattooing an eye - is that possible?

Have you already done a tattoo and don't know how to treat it? Read more about our previously published topic: Aftercare of tattoo.


Tattoos are not easy to remove without leaving any residue - with no method. Depending on the accuracy of viewing the skin, after one Tattoo removal will almost always Skin changes or paint residues or both can be detected. Before the tattoo is removed, the conspicuousness of the permanent skin changes cannot be precisely predicted. The following factors play the main role in an advisory assessment: the tattoo itself (Body part, size, colors, age), Skin type, Removal method. The practitioner must be familiar with the corrective therapy of scars. A partial treatment can be offered for testing.