Another Tattoo Question: Why Still Here?

In high school our science teacher told us that all of our cells are replaced every 7 years.* If this is true, why do I still have my tattoo?

The continued presence of moles and birthmarks I understand because they are genetically coded to be there but I didn’t even get inked until I was 24. That was 12 years ago and the tatts are still here.

What’s the Straight Dope?

  • Not all at once, gradually. Though a one-time “ZAP! You’re new!” would be cool.

Tattoo ink is placed between cell layers, not within cells.

But don’t those layers move up and slough off?

High school science teachers say the darnedest things.

Epidermal cells slough off. Tattoos are made at the dermal level, past the basement membrane.

I would like to know why tatoos, which can look so crisp and vibrant when first done, will fade and blur as time goes on.

According to this, it is because of sun exposure.

Wow…and urk. I visit Cockeyed a lot but never saw that piece. Now I’m not sure if I’m glad I did. Some of those pix were just nasty. :eek: But the overall explanation made a lot of sense. Thanks for the link!

No problem.

I have an autographed photo of Brooke.