How deep do tattoos go into the skin
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The Right Needle Depth
Proper needle depth is critical to the tattooing process. Firstly you will want to ensure that the design will be as vibrant as the day the client got it. Going too deep you have a higher risk of the ink being rejected with the access blood, this can be prevented by taking measures to make sure you are using the right needle depth.
Most apprentices will have the question of what the right needle depth is. The tattoo is visualized through the outer layer of skin (the epidermis), while the ink actually rests in the second layer of skin (the dermis). This depth allows the tattoo to resists harsher fading, and dispersion so that the person can bear the tattoo for the remainder of their life. Remember, the layers of epidermis will wear over time, as the skin constantly rejuvenate itself. However, keep in mind you do not want to place the ink in the hypodermis, as it will result in excruciating pain for the client, and cause the ink to spread in an unsightly mess.
Generally an artist can tell they have the right needle depth if the color is vibrant, and stable. If your ink is oozing back out you have the wrong depth. The right depth may vary from one client to the next, because no one client is the same. However, as a general rule of thumb the right depth should be about one mm or between one sixteenth, and one thirty second of an inch. Watch yourself carefully, and again practice makes perfect. If you have concerns about your needle depth, ask your mentor if they are unable to answer your questions, you are in the wrong place. Try to familiarize yourself by using practice skin, as this will not cause harm to a client, and will not end with the need to remove the tattoo.
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