British study predicts how your tattoo will age
Saturday 30 April 2011
Tattoo artists are increasingly leaving their mark on Western culture, but a study released Thursday reveals for the first time how their designs will deteriorate as their human canvases age.
Tattooed celebrity trailblazers as diverse as David Beckham, Angelina Jolie and British "first lady" Samantha Cameron have helped bring body art into mainstream culture, but will they be regretting their choice as the years pass?
Ian Eames, a researcher in fluid mechanics at University College London, has created a mathematical model which can be used to predict the movement of tattoo ink particles over time, and give an idea of which designs age better.
"Tattoos are incredibly popular worldwide with more than a third of 18-25 year olds in the US sporting at least one design," said Eames.
The paper, which is published in the Mathematics Today journal, will enable those considering getting a tattoo to accurately predict how their design will look in 20 years' time.
Eames said the study would "pave the way towards assessing whether there are any long-term health implications" and provide "an idea of how their chosen design could look several years down the line".
Tattoo inks are a suspension of water-insoluble particles, such as mercury, lead, cadmium and iron, which are injected under the skin using a needle.
Over time, these inks become dispersed as the cells which contain them die, divide or leave the body.
"Skin type, age, size, exposure to the sunlight and the type of ink which is used all influence how a tattoo disperses with time," explained Eames.
"Broadly speaking... the small details in a tattoo are lost first, with thicker lines being less affected.
"Although finely detailed tattoos might look good when they are first done, they tend to lose their definition after 15 years," he added.
Life & Style blogs
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
The 10 Best Scotch Whiskies
Scottish salmon sales leap as Asia develops a taste
Grim second life of the 'breastaurant': The oft-loathed sector is booming in the States thanks to Hooters, Twin Peaks and Tilted Kilt
Health: When masturbation can be fatal: The practice of auto-erotic asphyxia is often concealed by a coroner's verdict. Monique Roffey looks at a lethal taboo
- 1 The political parties aren't all the same – which means 2015 will be a 'big-choice' election
- 2 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Naomi Wolf reacts to Isis 'conspiracy theories' critism after she questions whether beheading videos are real
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...