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Tattoos are permanent designs produced by injecting nano-particles of ink deep into the skin with fine needles. The granules of tattoo ink within the dermal cells are visible in the top center of the image, in areas of deep red around the blood vessels (solid regions of bright pink). The epidermis, or the outer layer of the skin, is visible in dark purple at the bottom right of the image, and is topped by wisps of keratin, the protein that makes skin waterproof. The granules of tattoo ink reside within the dermis for life and can only be removed using laser treatment.
A section of human skin bearing a red tattoo was stained in purple and pink with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and photographed using a light microscope at 400X magnification.
Marianne Hamel MD, PhD, Bethlehem, PA and Nikki Johnson, MFA, New York, NY. "For more information on forensic science, please visit @deathunderglass on Instagram and Twitter"