TED-Ed explains why tattoos are permanent

Por qué los tatuajes son permanentes

You may probably have wondered more than once why tattoos are permanent, or you may have wondered why their color and shape change little by little as years go by. Well, the truth has been known for some years now, but they way in which Claudia Aguirre has explained it on a TED Education event is just perfect.


TED-Ed is a website affiliated to the TED conferences. In the TED conferences different kinds of topics are covered: Science, History, Culture, and so on and so forth; and when speaking of culture and social studies there’s always a spot for tattoos. This is a brief 5-minute video made by Claudia Aguirre.

Some interesting things mentioned in the video:

  • Did you know that there have been found ancient tattoos all over the world? The oldest dating back to 6000 AC and found in Peruvian mummies.
  • The tattoos’ ink is stored in the dermis (second skin layer), epidermis (first skin layer) and also the lymphatic layer (besides the extracellular matrix). The dermis skin layer regenerates pretty fast and it’s the first layer to fall off, and that is the typical thick skin that falls off within the first couple of weeks.
  • Tattoos can, in fact, be removed. In order to do that special radiation is used, which brings pigmentation into smaller pieces, and our immune system then takes care of carrying those smaller particles away.

Finally, I recommend you to visit the TED-Ed website, where you will find a lot of other videos of general interest.

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