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Scientists invent pain-free permanent tattoos

As they are less intrusive than current tattoos, there is a lower risk of infection.

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(Photo by Kevin Bidwell by Pexels)

By Alice Clifford via SWNS

A new way of getting a permanent tattoo – without the pain of having to go under the needle – has been developed by scientists.

Instead of sitting for hours enduring painful punctures, the new technology could mean you can get a painless, bloodless and speedy tattoo.

Scientists have designed a skin patch that contains microscopic needles.

The microneedles are smaller than a grain of sand, making their impact on the skin painless.

When the patch is pressed onto the body, the microneedles dissolve, and after a few minutes the ink sinks into the skin.

“Because the microneedles are made of tattoo ink, they deposit the ink in the skin very efficiently," said study co-author Dr. Song Li, a senior research scientist at Micron Biomedical.

Each microneedle can be arranged in different ways to create the perfect design. Whether you want words, symbols or exotic flowers, the patch has got you covered.

“We’ve miniaturized the needle so that it’s painless, but still effectively deposits tattoo ink in the skin," said principal investigator Professor Mark Prausnitz.

The study, published in the journal iScience, showed that the tattoos are likely to be permanent.

Also, as they are less intrusive than current tattoos, there is a lower risk of infection.

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And they can even be self-administered, making them cheap and time effective.

“While some people are willing to accept the pain and time required for a tattoo, we thought others might prefer a tattoo that is simply pressed onto the skin and does not hurt," Prausnitz said.

The microneedles could also be loaded with temporary tattoo ink for indecisive people who don't want a tattoo forever.

This finding will not just help us get cool, pain free tattoos, it can help medically.

Tattoos are used to cover up scars, guide repeated cancer radiation treatments and as a way to communicate if someone has a serious medical condition such as diabetes, epilepsy, or allergies.

The tattoos can even be made to react to environmental factors such as light or temperature changes.

This means they can make tattoos that only appear with ultraviolet light or in higher temperatures, providing patients with privacy, as the tattoo can be hidden.

It is not just humans these tattoos can help. They can be used to put information on animal's skin to show if they have been spayed or neutered.

Instead of clipping their ears or applying ear tags, vets can painlessly tattoo the animal's skin

“The goal isn’t to replace all tattoos, which are often works of beauty created by tattoo artists," Prausnitz said.

“Our goal is to create new opportunities for patients, pets, and people who want a painless tattoo that can be easily administered.”

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