Did You Know That Our Defense Cells Attack Tattoo Ink?
The immune system serves as our body's defence mechanism and is composed of different types of cells.
Those that attack the "intruders", such as viruses and bacteria, are called macrophages. Their main function is to swallow and digest invading substances.
When we get a tattoo, macrophages recognize the ink, even though it is a liquid, as it is made of solid microscopic particles, like those of intruders. So, although the pigment is not a threat, it ends up being interpreted as such.
That is when the macrophages, unaware that the ink is harmless, try to devour its particles.
However, these particles, even though microscopic, are too large for the defence cells and they are unable to break them.
What happens is that these fragments end up being housed inside the macrophage and because its body is transparent, the appearance of the drawings on our skin does not change.
The pigment ingestion process is carried out thousands of times by these cells, so depending on how long you have had the tattoo, it probably is only made of macrophages and not ink.
Incredible, isn't it? I bet you will never look at that old drawing the same way again!
Source: Super Interessante
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