How come tattoos don't come off when you shed skin? Are tattoos drawn on the skin or the flesh?
Tattoo pigments are placed in the papillary region of the dermis. This region is below the epidermis and does not peel away like the cells of the epidermis.
When tattoo pigments are injected into the skin this pigments are placed in the papillary region of the dermis. This tissue layer forms the contours of the skin including fingerprints and taste buds as well as most of the creases, crevices and wrinkles of the skin. This region is a permanent region where the cells do not peel away.
The epidermis lies on top of the papillary region and is composed of the germinative layer which produces new cells by mitosis. These cells push upward to the layer of dying cells where cells lose their moisture and hard hardened keratin. Finally these cells reach the surface of the skin which is the cornified layer where these dead cells peel away. Henna tattoos are placed in the epidermis and that is why over time this for of tattoo fades and disappears.