One of the main drawbacks of tattoos, apart from the fact that they are almost irreversible, is that they are painful. But now, American scientists have taken a step that may be definitive to end the pain.

For it, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology They have based a new medical technology that would allow Painless self-application of tattoos.

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as collected Gizmodotattoos are permanent and painful for the same reason: needles are used to inject small drops of ink in the dermis layer of the skin, just below the surface.

Thus, no matter how many layers of skin are naturally shed over time, because the ink remains safely trapped under that outer layer that renews itself automatically.

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The researchers of Georgia Institute of Technology they decided to use microneedling technology as an alternative tattoo technique.

These microneedles are small enough to inject medication into the dermis layer of the skin without anyone feeling that they pierce the epidermis, and often are gathered in large numbers and are administered through patches that are simply applied to the skin.

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The microneedles Georgia Tech researchers have designed are smaller than grains of sand and are made from real tattoo ink contained in a “dissolvable matrix” adhered to a flexible patch.

Each of these microneedles works like a pixel in a larger image; when the patch is applied, it is pressed onto the skin and left for a few minutes.

Then, the ink dissolves and stays on the skin once the patch is removed, leaving a recognizable image, but without the swelling or bleeding associated with regular tattoo techniques.

The color of the ink used to create each microneedle can be customized, and even inks that are only visible under ultraviolet light could be used.

The drawback (or not) is that according to the researchers, the tattoos could last up to a year, but they also have shorter shelf life if temporary inks are used for tattoos, so the moment when they replace the traditional tattoo is still far away.