Types of tattoos

You may assume that there is one type of tattoo but there are in fact several which include:

Amateur tattoo

This type of tattoo can be achieved via a home tattooing kit or by an amateur practitioner. The difference between it and a professional tattoo is in the depth of the tattoo. If the tattoo has been applied using Indian ink then it will probably be confined to the top layer of skin only the epidermis, and should be easy to remove. One example is that of henna tattoos. But a tattoo applied using a tattoo machine can be applied at different levels beneath the skin which is more problematic to remove. The main reason for this is that it will have been applied too deeply under the skin as compared to a professional tattoo. Amateur tattoos are usually in a single colour such as black, brown or blue.

Professional tattoo

A professional tattoo is usually comprised of several colours and applied evenly to the layer beneath the skin called the dermis. Professional tattoos use stronger inks than amateur tattoos.

Cosmetic tattoo

This is also known as permanent make-up and involves the application of pigments into the skin, resulting in soft shades of colour which imitate make-up (cosmetics). For example, they can mimic the effects of foundation, blusher or eye shadow. This is a permanent form of make up which removes the need to apply cosmetics on a daily basis.

Medical tattoo

These serve a practical rather than decorative purpose. They can be used to indicate if a person has an allergy; as an aid during radiation therapy to prevent damage to non-cancerous areas and as a means of restoring pigment loss to the areola following breast reduction surgery. Medical tattoos can also help to reduce or disguise scars as a result of an accident, illness or injury.

Traumatic (natural) tattoo

Traumatic or natural tattoos occur due to an accident or trauma, for example, grazes following a road accident or accidental stab wound from a pen or pencil.

Whatever type of tattoo you have, your main concern is that of removing it which is discussed in more detail in our treatment section.

Main problems of having a tattoo

These include risks of skin infections and blood-borne diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C: problems if you have to undergo certain medical procedures such as an epidural: scarring and the formation of keloids. Another factor and one that is discussed in our reasons for tattoo removal section is that of problems when searching for employment. The jobs market is very competitive; especially in the current climate and the saying its an employers market is never truer than before. A tattoo or several tattoos can put you at a real disadvantage in the jobs market. These are the problems but more importantly, what can be done about an unwelcome tattoo? Answers can be found in treatmentsection.

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