tatoos

quimica das coisas

 

Some like them, some hate them, but few ignore them. Tattoos are a form of individual statement and their popularity has grown in recent years.

Known for over 5000 years, tattoos have evolved over time and are now beginning to take a decisive step towards change, thanks to the development of chemistry: with new removable inks, tattoos lose their most distinctive feature – they will no longer be a commitment for life.

Tattoo inks are usually obtained suspending a dye in a suitable liquid: water, alcohol, glycerin, or a mixture of these. The dyes vary greatly in their composition and the most used ones are relatively harmless. Black inks are usually carbon oxides, while blue inks are obtained with copper salts or cobalt oxides. White may be titanium dioxide, zinc oxide or lead carbonate. These compounds are stable under the skin and the tattoo is permanent.

Removable inks follow a completely different philosophy: they are based on dyes that can be absorbed and degraded by the body. The absorbable dye is wrapped in a transparent capsule that ensures it remains in the skin for as long as the owner of the tattoo so wishes. But the protective capsule is made of a light-sensitive material, which decomposes when irradiated with an appropriate laser.

This way, when the happy owner of this tattoo decides to remove it, he or she simply needs to use a suitable laser to degrade the protective capsule, releasing the dye molecules. These are then absorbed and metabolized by the body and within hours the tattoo disappears without a trace!

An important development for those who prefer what is temporary and volatile …

To know more about the chemistry of tattoos, visit our website quimicadascoisas.org or look for us on Facebook

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