MARCH 23, 2023

All the tattoo trends you need to know this week

This week tattoos are in the news for a variety of different reasons. And it seems like one of the 2023 tattoo trends is giving, whether that’s to Christians or cats. If you’ve had an idea for a tattoo design that relates to either of those two, this is your week.

In slightly more serious news, French scientists are beginning to understand how our immune system reacts to tattoo ink. It’s a complicated process that turns out to be much more dynamic than we’d ever imagined.

Read on for cats, tatts, and the strange lifecycle of macrophages.

A Catholic centre gives out free tattoos

Free ink for His flock?

At a Catholic centre in Vienna followers are this week being offered tattoos for free. Don’t book your flights to the Baroque Austrian capital too soon though, as they are recommending that your tattoo design is Christian in subject matter. Great then if you want a crucifix, lamb, or the Trinity.

Blessed needles and ink may well help the faithful to express their belief. At the group’s venue Quo Vadis - Latin for “where are you going?” – the answer, presumably, is straight to the pharmacy for some sun cream.

Macrophages are in the news, and it’s about time.

When a tattoo artist uses a needle, what they are doing is depositing ink pigment into your dermis. That’s the middle layer of skin, between the epidermis and hypodermis. Your body, as we might expect, triggers an immune response. Macrophages, the body’s heavies, flood in and engulf the ink pigment in a process called phagocytosis.

What the French immunologists discovered is that this process is a lot more dynamic than we previously thought. As soon as a macrophage finishes its short life, it releases the ink pigment. Immediately another macrophage engulfs it.

If your tattoo has become indistinct around its edges over time, this may well be a result of the above process, or not.

Tattoos might be 1000s of years old, nevertheless, how they actually work remains to be fully understood.


French immunologists study exactly how macrophages engulf tattoo ink

Brooklyn tattoo shop to save the cats

Have no fear we’ve fought off the urge to drop a cat pun here.

Gristle Tattoo in Brooklyn is dedicating 29 March to cat tattoos – yes, an entire day to depictions of our feline friends. Some of the money raised will go to the Brooklyn Cat Café, where they look after the city’s unwanted moggies.

Tattoos of cats will cost a reduced rate of $100, so if you’ve been planning a cat tatt for a while now, or just want to help a good cause and find yourself in New York, you know where to go.