The tattoo industry has many different branches, each separating off into their own little genres.
One of these smaller factions are ultraviolet tattoos, which are becoming more and more popular.
We explain everything you need to know about UV tattoos or “Black light” tattoos as they are known incorrectly by Americans.
WHAT ARE ULTRAVIOLET TATTOOS?
UV tattoos are just like normal tattoos, except the ink used can only be seen under ultraviolet light.
Depending on the size of the tattoo, some UV tattoos are almost invisible to the naked eye, making the perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to draw attention to their tattoo.
However, it must be said that UV tattoos do NOT glow in the dark.
They can only be seen with the use of a UV bulb, which is why they’re so popular with clubbers, ravers and the vampires from Blade 2.
ARE THEY SAFE?
At present, there is no reason to think UV tattoos are in any way more or less harmful than regular tattoos. Of course, the usual caveats apply; always use a legitimate and respected tattoo artist, don’t get drunk beforehand, look after your tattoo in the weeks after.
Also just like regular tattoos, UV tattoos will still leave scarring, so the bigger the tattoo, the more noticeable it will be, even in daylight.
HOW LONG DO THEY LAST?
Here’s the thing, the phosphorous compounds in the ink don’t last forever.
UV tattoos are relatively new, so more research is needed, but it looks like they tend to stop glowing after around 5 years.
You can always top them up, but as long as you know what you’re in for you can’t complain. Many people add the UV ink to a normal tattoo, so it’s more of a highlight rather than the main feature.
UV tattoos cost more and take longer to ink on than traditional tattoos, with the ink itself thinner and notoriously harder to work with, so if you do decide to go for one, make sure you do your research and pick a respectable and professional tattoo studio. Like us!