Temporary tattoo ink

17,507
7,082
I have a friend who is interested in getting a tattoo but of course isn't sure she wants it for life. I tried researching "temporary tattoo ink", like something that last 6 months or so, but I couldn't really find anything. Does anyone have knowledge of a temporary ink? Does it exist? I have to imagine it does. Something that can be used with a needle.
 

Evo

Mentor
22,863
2,340
I have a friend who is interested in getting a tattoo but of course isn't sure she wants it for life. I tried researching "temporary tattoo ink", like something that last 6 months or so, but I couldn't really find anything. Does anyone have knowledge of a temporary ink? Does it exist? I have to imagine it does. Something that can be used with a needle.
There are temporary tattoos that are rub ons from transfer paper to henna art as seen in India.
 
17,507
7,082
There are temporary tattoos that are rub ons from transfer paper to henna art as seen in India.
We are looking for a solution that can be applied with an ink gun and lasts several months :)
 
1,028
2
My advice, don't get a tattoo with the color black. Get light skin-tone pastels and white. That way, it will fade (a ton, trust me) in the sun, and it's easy to get removed later should you choose. How do I know? My old roommate owns a tattoo shop in our city, plus, I have some light colored tattoos that are almost invisible from my constant beach-going.

Generally, tattoos fade faster if the ink doesn't make it to the right layer of skin. Too deep and it's funny looking, too shallow and it bleeds out and fades fast. The problem with having an artist actually tattoo one with the intent for it to fade when the skin layers die is that it will look like crapola.
 
1,028
2
I should add that I am no professional tattoo artist or dermatologist, so take my advice with a grain of salt. Obviously do your research first, and any needle+skin tattoo that you get you should plan for it to be permanent just in case!
 

cristo

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
8,056
72
One of my friends had a 'temporary' tattoo done that was supposed to last a year or so. 10 years later it's still there!
 
17,507
7,082
One of my friends had a 'temporary' tattoo done that was supposed to last a year or so. 10 years later it's still there!
What is the difficultly in producing a temporary ink? You'd think it would be a gold mine if someone would develop one.
 
848
4
You might have better luck calling tattoo shops or even finding a tattoo forum. I have a hunch that this crowd might not be the most knowledgeable on tattoos.
 
17,507
7,082
You might have better luck calling tattoo shops or even finding a tattoo forum. I have a hunch that this crowd might not be the most knowledgeable on tattoos.
I thinking maybe there is a chemical side or biological side ya'll an help with on why this is difficult to create :)
 

wukunlin

Gold Member
396
44
I thought tattoos being permanent is more to do with the process than the ink
 

Evo

Mentor
22,863
2,340
So maybe the question is how long a tattoo would last one skin layer up from the Dermis?
Hard to say, skin varies so widely from person to person. Some scar easliy, some don't. Some get permanent discoloration from sun exposure, some don't.

Maybe she should try a tiny tatto in an obscure place and see what happens. Of course this may mean waiting a year, by which time she may decide she doesn't really want a tattoo.
 
6,171
1,274
What is the difficultly in producing a temporary ink? You'd think it would be a gold mine if someone would develop one.
There might be a market for tattoos that fade away but R&D in pigments generally looks for the opposite: pigments that will last forever. There are paintings from the renaissance, for example, where some of the colors have changed into ugly, strange shades. Everyone wants to avoid that, so people who engineer new pigments are always shooting for permanence.

In the case of tattoos there would be the additional problem of everything having to be non-toxic.
So maybe the question is how long a tattoo would last one skin layer up from the Dermis?
This kind of precision depth control is probably beyond the skills of a tattoo artist with a hand held gun.

Wiki says all gun made "temporary" tattoos are not:

Some practitioners offer tattoos that they claim to be temporary, but will last for a period of years rather than days. These are applied using a tattoo gun, and are therefore the closest substitute for the permanent tattoo experience, including the discomfort. These tattoos are supposed to gradually fade away over time, leaving no trace. Some tattoo artists claim that the inks are inserted closer to the surface, allowing them to gradually slough off, while others claim to use special inks that naturally disperse over time.
There is some discrepancy as to whether these semi-permanent tattoos are in fact "temporary tattoos" at all. In practice, semi-permanent tattoos have had mixed results, and caution would say that any tattoo performed by inserting pigment under the skin should be considered permanent.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporary_tattoo

I have heard of sharpie artists who can draw a credible tattoo on the surface that will slowly wash away over time.

The main trouble with the idea of a temporary tattoo, it seems to me, is that for the bulk of its life it will be in "fade" mode. You'd be walking around with a faded tattoo for a much longer time than it was rich and colorful.
 
17,507
7,082
The main trouble with the idea of a temporary tattoo, it seems to me, is that for the bulk of its life it will be in "fade" mode. You'd be walking around with a faded tattoo for a much longer time than it was rich and colorful.
This is a very interesting point!
 
453
0
I have a friend who is interested in getting a tattoo but of course isn't sure she wants it for life. I tried researching "temporary tattoo ink", like something that last 6 months or so, but I couldn't really find anything. Does anyone have knowledge of a temporary ink? Does it exist? I have to imagine it does. Something that can be used with a needle.
If she's not sure she wants it for life, then, imho, she shouldn't get it. There are much more interesting and important things to worry over (again, only imho).
 

I like Serena

Homework Helper
6,553
176
It would be nice if they could invent an ink that is permanent, but which dissolves using some chemical.
Say you drink a potion and gone is the tattoo!

Isn't it already possible to remove existing tattoos with chemicals up to some extent?
 
453
0
It would be nice if they could invent an ink that is permanent, but which dissolves using some chemical.
Say you drink a potion and gone is the tattoo!

Isn't it already possible to remove existing tattoos with chemicals up to some extent?
Why would anyone get a tattoo if they weren't entirely and irrevocably commited to the content/message of the tattoo?
 

I like Serena

Homework Helper
6,553
176
Why would anyone get a tattoo if they weren't entirely and irrevocably commited to the content/message of the tattoo?
Erm... because it looks pretty and is considered cool by some?
 
453
0
I've known lots of people with tattoos. Based on that experience, my humble (and maybe wrong, I don't know) opinion is that these people have some sort of internal insecurity or dissatisfaction with themselves. But of course, I don't know what they're thinking. I don't know what motivates them.

I ask myself: why do people allow themselves to be tattooed? Why do they want to be tattooed? I have some ideas, but nothing that I would consider definitive.

Personally, imho, I think it's stupid/silly/immature -- not well thought out. And, come to think of it, all of the people who I know who have tattoos are, imo, stupid/silly/immature wrt the tattoos and also wrt their general behavior --which is not to say that they aren't also lovable and good friends and trustworthy.
 
453
0
Erm... because it looks pretty and is considered cool by some?
I guess it depends on what one thinks looks pretty and whose opinions one is compelled by.
 
453
0
Just to be clear. I don't have any tattoos, and will never get a tattoo. In my very humble, and perhaps wrong, opinion, tattoos are just silly considerations that I, personally, am not at all troubled with.
 
17,507
7,082
Why would anyone get a tattoo if they weren't entirely and irrevocably commited to the content/message of the tattoo?
I don't see why permanence of the tattoo is some sort of inherent requirement. If I dye my hair blond, that doesn't mean I want my hair blond for life. If I wear a t-shirt with a funny saying, I want to be able to take it off at the end of the day.
 
453
0
I don't see why permanence of the tattoo is some sort of inherent requirement. If I dye my hair blond, that doesn't mean I want my hair blond for life. If I wear a t-shirt with a funny saying, I want to be able to take it off at the end of the day.
Yeah, but you're asking about nonpermanent tattoos (administered subcutaneously). I don't think there is such a thing. So, getting an ink tattoo administered by needle is sort of a big consideration. That is, if one decides that one doesn't want it at some point, then the only option is to have it cut out. Ouch! And a nasty scar.

The option is surface tattoos that wash off -- but you seemed to dismiss those.
 
6,171
1,274
That is, if one decides that one doesn't want it at some point, then the only option is to have it cut out. Ouch! And a nasty scar.
No, they remove them with lasers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRgLUoJdcOU
 
453
0
No, they remove them with lasers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRgLUoJdcOU
Ok then ... get the tattoo. :smile: By the way, I forgot about, wasn't thinking about, the artistic aspect of it. If getting tattooed is the avenue of artistic (or whatever) expression that one feels one must take, then ... there's no arguing with that I guess.
 

Related Threads for: Temporary tattoo ink

  • Posted
4 5 6
Replies
148
Views
17K
  • Posted
Replies
9
Views
2K
  • Posted
Replies
16
Views
3K
  • Posted
Replies
11
Views
3K
  • Posted
2
Replies
44
Views
6K
  • Posted
2
Replies
27
Views
11K
  • Posted
Replies
2
Views
3K
  • Posted
Replies
9
Views
5K

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving

Hot Threads

Top