You may remember a few months back when Destin Sandlin from Smarter Every Day showed us how exactly tattoo machines work. Throughout the fascinating slow motion video you can see how the needles deliver ink into the skin. It's an amazing piece of video and you can see it here.
Seeing how the ink goes into the skin made Sandlin curious about the process needed to remove the ink; in this video we learn how lasers are able to remove tattoos. Even if you flunked out of biology the science involved in the process can still be very interesting. In the video Sandlin explains exactly how the body reacts to the ink being in the body in the first place, as well as explaining why it is so difficult to get it out. By showing how blood interacts with ink under a microscope you see how some of the ink is removed from the body (thus explaining why tattoo fade) and how some of it is too large for the white blood cells to do anything with (which is why tattoos are permanent).
Essentially what the laser does is it attacks the particles of ink that are too large for the white blood cells to remove and smashes them into tiny bits. Once the ink particle has been broken into smaller pieces it can be removed from the body through the liver. It's interesting how the laser doesn't actually to the work of removing the tattoo, instead it just makes it so the body can do the work that it's been trying to do since the second the ink entered the body.
While we certainly don't enjoy this process as much as getting tattooed, it is still enthralling to learn the science behind how tattoos and laser tattoo removal work. Heck, you might just learn something. And if you've already had a tough day and learning science doesn't sound like fun, there is plenty of other content on Inkedmag.com to check out, like this NSFW Hotel Sessions gallery.