Tattoo Infos

Tattoo History


The history of tattoos goes back to pre-Christian times. As early as 12,000 years BC, people were etching symbols onto their skin. They smeared ashes into purposely inflicted wounds in order to create a pattern.


Around 8000 BC, tattoos were being made by introducing small holes into the skin using thorns or other sharp objects or tools. Instead of ashes, insoluble pigments were rubbed into the small punctures.

The oldest evidence of people tattooing their skin comes from the figure known as Ötzi, the approximately 5,500 year-old “ice man” discovered in the ice of the Ötztal Alps. His tattoos appear to have had a medically-related purpose as they were all located on areas of the body associated with medical ailments, such as the lower back, the knee and the ankle. Tattoos may have been used like a kind acupuncture, perhaps to alleviate pain.
In the year 1765, Captain James Cook reported on his travels in Polynesia, and described natives with colored bodies. A seaman and explorer, he introduced the term “tattoo” to the English language and is responsible for popularizing tattoos throughout Europe.
In the 18th century, tattooed Polynesians were brought to Europe and put on display.
A subsequent fashion trend helped tattoos to become popular in the upper classes of society.
Tattoos were long associated with social outcasts. They were seen on sailors and ex-prisoners, and the elaborate patterns displayed by artists and circus artists were a source of income.
Since the 1960’s, tattoos are viewed as an exercise of freedom and a form of personal expression. What was earlier the domain of hippies, punks and rockers has become a world-wide phenomenon transgressing social classes and is more popular than ever before.


9 tips for successful tattoo selection

You want to get a tattoo but you can’t decide on a motif? No problem. With the following tips, you’ll find your motif.

1. Flash

The first step in the search for your motif is a visit to one of our shops; every artist has numerous folders, each full of tattoo patterns. A large variety of styles and forms are available – tribals, classics like astrological signs, but also flowers, animals, Vikings or biker designs, Japanese tattoos, and many, many more. These are called flash motifs and are particularly well suited to serve as tattoo patterns; they’re easily recognizable motifs and uncomplicated to apply.

2. Custom Tattoos

Do you have an idea of what you want but can’t find a suitable motif? Or are you looking for something really special that nobody else has? Then you should contact one of our specialists for custom tattoos. They can design a tattoo motif for you according to your particular ideas and wishes. It doesn’t matter if you are considering a tribal over most of your arm, an Indian scene covering your back, or just a butterfly on your butt that nobody else has. Our artist will design the motif with your body dimensions in mind and according to your thoughts and wishes.

3. Portrait

Are you considering a tattoo portrait of a family member or a pet? Our experienced artists can make the tattoo nearly as clear as the picture. All we need is a good quality picture as a template. A passport-sized picture is insufficient. It should be at least the size of the desired tattoo. It should also be of high quality, with all facial features clearly visible, in sharp focus and with sufficient contrast.

4. Books

Book shops can be a good place to find your tattoo pattern. High-quality books on an infinite number of topics can be found in second-hand book shops or department stores, sometimes at reduced prices. Regardless of whether you are looking for a bear or a tiger, or a painting from Dali or Rembrandt, or an archaic Celtic pattern, you might find it in a book shop. Even children’s books can be a good source of possible tattoo patters; illustrations depicting Indian scenes, Vikings or other cultural aspects can be perfectly suited for tattooing. The same applies to the pictures of animals found in children’s books about animals.

5. Record/CD covers

Record covers can be genuine pieces of art, and for some hardcore fans, the inspiration for a tattoo. And it’s not surprising; successful bands sometimes work with renowned artists, such as H.R. Giger on their covers. Various motifs from bands like Motörhead, Iron Maiden or Slayer have become tattoo classics.

6. Comics

Clear outlines, dynamic and bright; characteristics that describe both tattoos and comics. Mickey Mouse and Co. have long served as popular tattoo motifs, and with the rise in popularity of Manga, comic shops are overflowing with possible tattoo motifs. And there’s something for every taste; hard, weapon-toting action heroes, bare-breasted, tight-butted beauties, or fantasy creatures. Have a look in your neighborhood comic shop – you’ll be surprised how many good tattoo motifs you find.

7. Internet

These days, there is a virtually endless number of images that can be found on the internet. Search machines like Google enable direct viewing of motifs relating to specific topics of interest. The possibilities are almost as endless as the World Wide Web itself, and almost anything can be found. The main problem is navigating the jungle of the web.

8. Tattoo magazines

The latest tattoo motifs in all styles can be seen in tattoo magazines; you can always find first-class tattoos in `Tätowier Magazin` and `Tattoo Style`. From biomechanic motifs to Hot Road Designs or fantasy scenes, that’s where the latest creations from the most renowned artists are published.

9. Everything is possible

These days, with tattoos, almost anything is possible. With the exception of a hologram or the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in original size, there’s practically no motif that can’t be transformed into a tattoo. Almost anything from daily life could serve as a tattoo motif, from a skateboard logo, or a post card image, to a bar code or graffiti on a wall; from pictures in a tool catalog, or the label of your favorite whiskey, to ornaments on the dresser of your grandmother. Almost anything can be a tattoo motif – let your fantasy and creativity run free.


Tattoo problems? 2nd Skin has solutions

1. Sun bathing:

Tanned skin exerts its negative effects on tattoos in two main ways. In the immediate period, when the skin is tanned, the contrast between the tattoo and the surrounding skin is lowered; shadows lose their sharpness, and the colors appear less vibrant. In the long-term, intense exposure to the sun can lead to fading of a tattoo. When the tan is gone, you may notice that the tattoo isn’t as vibrant as it was prior to the vacation at the beach.

The solution:
Apply high-UV protection sun block before going in to the sun.
Those who can’t go without their tan should opt for tattoos with high contrast, for example a tribal; finely shaded realistic tattoos and tattoos with bright colors are more sensitive to the sun’s UV radiation.

2. Sport:

Athletes don’t have it easy when it comes to getting tattoos. During the healing phase, strong perspiration, exaggerated movements and/or physical contact with other athletes should be avoided. If the wound crust that forms within a few days of getting a tattoo becomes soft from perspiration or scraped off via a wound or other contact, the quality of the tattoo can be adversely affected.

strong>The solution:The tattoo should be applied shortly before a long pause in the training plan in order to give the tattoo time to heal properly. For those who need to continue training, the only possibility is to protect the tattoo as well as possible and to avoid showering too long after training to prevent extended soaking of the tattoo crust. If a tattoo becomes damaged during the healing phase, it may be necessary to touch up the affected areas.

3. Health:

There are various medical issues that can complicate getting a tattoo. Individuals with severe skin problems, such as acne, neurodermitis, or extremely dry patches of skin, are particular affected. Individuals taking blood thinning medications, for example to treat a heart condition, and people with reduced blood clotting are also restricted from get tattoos. In addition, individuals with conditions that affect wound healing, such as diabetes, or with an immune deficiency, due to hepatitis or HIV for example, must carefully consider getting a tattoo in light of the elevated risk of poor healing or infection.

strong>The solution:
It isn’t possible to provide guidance regarding medical issues because each case varies in severity and according to individual constitution. Anyone with a medical issue should consult their treating physician to get an informed assessment of the risks before getting a tattoo.

4. Liver spots:

What do you do if there is a liver spot on the area of skin planned for a tattoo? Do not tattoo over it!! Liver spots have the potential to transform into malignant melanoma (i.e. skin cancer), whereby the form, coloring, and borders of a liver spot serve as indicators of this process. However, if covered by a tattoo, it’s not possible to evaluate these characteristics.

The solution:

As pointed out, a liver spot should never be covered with a tattoo. Ideally, a space of approximately 1 mm should be left between a liver spot and a tattoo in order to facilitate observation of the liver spot. Depending on the motif, the template can be drawn such that liver spots are outside of the tattoo. Another possibility is to have a physician remove liver spots prior to getting a tattoo. With a rounded scalpel, disturbing pigment spots can be removed in a short, outpatient procedure. This should take place several months prior to getting a tattoo to ensure sufficient healing time for the affected area.

5. Body hair:

Thick body hair can also be problematic for a tattoo. Individuals with thick body hair should avoid getting tattoos with fine detail or realistic shading in the respective areas. The hair will constantly grow back and, depending on how thick the growth, impede visualization of the tattoo. And it isn’t at all attractive when a beautiful pin-up starts growing hair on her breast or legs!

The solution:
Women know: razor, wax, epilator or hair removal cream can get rid of unwanted hair for a long period of time, and facilitate an unimpeded view of a tattoo. Anyone who doesn’t’ wish to do away with the hair or shave regularly is well advised to avoid tattoos with fine detail and delicate shading, but rather opt for motifs with clear dark lines, such as a tribal, which remain clearly visible under a thick layer of hair.

6. Scars:

Can you tattoo over scar tissue? This question is difficult to answer. It is possible to tattoo over and thereby conceal a scar. However, scar tissue has different qualities compared to normal tissue, depending on whether it’s primarily soft, hard or bulges out.

The solution:
It’s important to seek an artist who has experience tattooing over scars. Also important, is to consider a tattoo with the appropriate motif and colors for covering a tattoo. In any case, tattooing over scar tissue can be complicated because the tissue can be quite sensitive to the needle. An experienced artist can quickly evaluate a scar to determine whether it can be tattooed over, and if so, what kinds of motifs are best suited.

There are a number of various factors that need to be considered in the planning of a tattoo. It begins with the individual circumstances of a person’s life. It includes private aspects such as sun bathing and sports activities, professional aspects such as bodily exertion, health status, including diseases such as diabetes and blood clotting disorders that must be considered, and not least, characteristics of the skin, such as hair growth, and presence of liver spots.
If you go through these points prior to a tattoo appointment and decide for example that you want to spend half of the year with a dark tan surfing in Hawaii, then you should decide on a tattoo motif that will be able to take on a lot UV radiation – otherwise, your frustration following the end of the surf season pre-programmed. The same is true for the super fine, realistic tattoo that slowly disappears under a thick matt of hair. And anyone with medical issues is well advised to check with their doctor regarding the extent of risk and possible risk reduction measures. Basically, though, there is solution for almost every issue and a fitting tattoo that gives joy and satisfaction well into the future can be found for pretty much everyone!!



Toxic heavy metal-containing tattoo inks continued to be used by some tattoo artists well into the 1970’s.
For example, red ink containing mercury, cadmium or iron oxide; or green ink made with chromium oxide. Although highly resistant to fading, they can have adverse consequences for your health. Nowadays, high-quality synthetic dyes are available that are free of health concerns and still vibrant! Exceptions to this are the black and white inks; black is made up of pure carbon, a ubiquitous component in human physiology, and virtually free of health concerns. White ink is composed of titanium oxide, similarly free of health concerns. Most tattoo inks use alcohol or glycerol as the solvent, although water-based inks are becoming more and more common.

Is an allergic reaction to tattoo ink possible?
The human body can react allergically to a virtually endless number of substances, including grass pollens, peanuts, nickel and latex, just to name a few. Similarly, the possibility of an allergic reaction to tattoo ink cannot be completely ruled out; in this regard, tattoo inks containing red or yellow dye are associated with a slightly higher risk. In practice, however, such reactions are extremely rare.
Many of the high-quality tattoo inks available today are stringently tested, with the allergenicity, i.e. the potential to elicit an immune reaction, assessed using a wide range of allergens. Nevertheless, even with such thoroughly tested tattoo inks, a minimal level of risk can never be completely excluded.

2nd Skin tattoo inks
The tattoo inks that we use at 2nd Skin are tested using the most stringent methods and far surpass all government-stipulated requirements. Information on our inks and the results of testing are available at 2nd Skin.
We’re happy to answer all your questions at any of our locations.

Temporary tattoos

Body Time Tattoos, Temptoos or Bio Tattoos.
Are there tattoos that go away after a couple of years?
No. There aren’t! Temporary tattoos are often advertised by cosmetic studios. It’ s claimed that the tattoos fully disappear within 2-5 years; allegedly through the natural renewal process of the skin.

However, this claim is fiercely challenged by tattoo artists, since the normal regeneration of the skin would result in disappearance of the tattoo already within 4-6 weeks!

From the medical perspective …
.. it’s impossible for a tattoo to disappear in this way. We are not aware of any so-called Bio Tattoo or Temptoo that has actually completely gone away. The idea of a temporary tattoo that disappears after a certain period is a just a nice dream. You’ll do best to stay clear of dubious proprietors of Body Time Tattoos, Temptoos or Bio Tattoos.

Henna Tattoo


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