To Ink Or Not To Ink? That Is The Question


Manage episode 293337321 series 2839375
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On this episode of the pod, we answer the question: How do tattoos work? We kick things off with a summary of the tattooing process and some statistics on how common tattooing is (broken out by demographics). We talk about the various reasons why people get tattooed -- some of which are cultural and/or religious. We summarize some history of tattoos as far back as several thousands of years ago. We then dig into the science of modern tattoos and detail the immune response that is triggered when we get tattooed (it's a complex process involving innate immune cells called macrophages). We spend some time discussing how tattoos may seem static and permanent but actually represent an indefinite, dynamic process. We discuss why the permanence of tattoos contribute to the challenges in removal. We of course detail some risks of tattoos including allergic reactions, skin infections, and the regulation (or lack thereof) of tattoo ink and potential safety issues. We wrap up with a brief discussion about how some people with tattoos are opposed to vaccines-- and touch upon the complicated psychology and cognitive dissonance involved in that thought process.
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