The eating cells and the color: Why do tattoos stay in the skin
Hold and keep tattoos - sometimes longer than the carrier loves. As the longevity comes about, researchers have now found out on tattooed mouse hinges. The knowledge could help with the distance.
Cause of the durability of tattoos clarified
It was long assumed that the ink color so -called fibroblast cells in the skin. Recent results pointed out that the pigments are not there, but inside macrophages. These food cells of the immune system rush like first aiders to the scene when bacteria or other foreign bodies appear in the skin after an injury. Color molecules that are hunted into the skin by the tattoo needle are such intruders and are swallowed. The macrophages should be particularly durable, researchers suspected. Because with her death the recorded color also disappears.
The team around Sandrine Henri and Bernard Malissen from the immunological center Marseille-Luminy now tattooed mouse tails with green ink for detailed examinations. It turned out that the eating cells were actually the only cell species that took the tattoo color. A sensation causes further knowledge: the food cells die, the pigment is released - but within weeks of new macrophages swallowed again at the point before it can be removed. It is not the longevity of the cells, but the renewed recording is therefore the cause of the durability of tattoos.
Findings help with distance
The researchers can therefore suspect that the removal of body images can be simplified with a temporary switch -off of the feed cells in the skin.
"As a result, the particles, which are broken by laser, would not be immediately absorbed again, which increases the likelihood of rushing them away over the lymphatic vessels," explains Malissen. "It is a reasonable, solid, tested information for the first time. You just saw before that it just works," says tattoo expert Mark Benecke, chairman of the Pro Tattoo Association and well-known criminal biologist, to which in the "Journal of Experimental Medicine "presented analysis. In principle, the removal of tattoos did not act according to biology, explains dermatologist Klaus Hoffmann, head of the Center for Laser Medicine at the University Clinic Bochum. The lasers destroy the color pigments, the body transports them off.
"If we imagine the color as a cup, we hit the hammer on it and smash them. But in which closet this cup has stood and what exactly happens with the splinters, we don't know. And that shows this study", Hoffmann says. In order to remove a tattoo, several treatments are currently necessary between which they have to be at least four weeks or even longer, while the color is slowly fading. The particles end up in lymph nodes, pass the liver, spleen and kidney and are released over the urine.
If you can remove a large -scale tattoo from the back, a few days later, the urine can dye dark. However, the distance does not often succeed: traces, shadows or paint residues remain, especially with colored tattoos.
Every treatment option must be viewed critically
"You have to consider that we don't want to distribute every pigment through the lymphatic system in the body," says Gerd Kautz, President of the German Dermatological Laser Society. The consequences of risky colors could extend to cancer. "Therefore, every new treatment option must be viewed very critically and scientifically processed."
So-called AZO colors, which contain carcinogenic components, have now almost disappeared from the market, says tattoo expert Benecke. In thousands of distant cases, he and his colleagues would have seen hardly any problems. "We don't see any worrying things with the tattooed nor after laser," says laser doctor Hoffmann. Although more and more people can be tattooed and the tattoo has arrived as a fad in society, Benecke sticks to a basic idea of skin art: "I am against distance," he says, even from head to toe with numerous tattoos.