Tattoos are everywhere. And there isn't a place on the body that a tattoo has not been. For those who don't believe that, trust me they've even been applied in those places that some would be afraid to ask about or would cringe at the thought of having them there. If there is skin, you can ink it.
So how exactly does a tattoo work? Well, it's very easy to understand and it's quite simple. You have several layers to your top skin and the fleshy part below it. You have the skin we see, under it is a renewable skin that keeps rising to the top, renewing old skin and under that is the area where hair folicles and sweat glands are rooted. Just below that layer is where the ideal tattoo ink sits.
The ink stays because it is below the layer that is continually renewing itself, thus making it permanent. I've actually heard some people say they tried to give themselves a tattoo when they were younger and it faded and grew away. Usually this is because they didn't go down far enough and thank heavens for that because who knows what they were using for ink.
The tattoo guns used to day seem to vibrate and dart at the ideal distance and plant ink perfectly for skin art.
Why don't tattoos itch? Well, in some cases they do but for the most part the inks used are very well accepted by our bodies. The only inks I would urge you to stay away from until more research is done on them is the glow in the dark inks. In some cases they have caused skin irritations and it probably was hell trying to get them corrected and treated. Many tattoo artists will not give you a tattoo with these inks because the side effects are too common and not well known to date, and liability consequences are too high for an artist.
Tattoos have been around forever and a day. They've found mummies with tattoos. Some cultures actually carve the design of the tattoo into the skin as they apply the ink. The pattern is actually a valley grooved into the skin. Very tribal and very traditional for those who get them.
Japanese tattoos also known as "Irezumi" whish translates roughly to "putting ink into the skin" is a very well admired art. Their dragons, koi fish and kanji tattoos are so beautiful that they've spread all over the world. They are also known for the traditional method of tattooing where the tattoo artist takes a long bone or wood, dips it in ink and then drives into the skin one-poke-at-a-time (Ouch!).
You can imagine how sometimes in ancient history a lower guy on the totem pole of a hierarchy would get an elaborate tattoo design to show his loyalty to his boss or leader. It is the pain of hours, days, weeks or months that they would go through that proved this loyalty to the person being honored.
Irezumi is best done by an experienced Japanese tattoo artist or by someone like the owner of Miami Ink who has studied and practiced well enough to hold his own in the studio and against other artists.
All the new tattoo guns being designed are great. All the new inks that are even more accepted by our bodies are wonderful but all the cool new stuff doesn't mean jack with out great artists like Kat Von D of Miami Ink as well. There are many great resources and education sites on the net.