“Tattoos are designs
made by multiple
small puncture wounds
, made through the
skin with needles or
similar penetrating tools
dipped in colouring agents
The word tattoo comes from the
Polynesian “tatu” which means “to
Originally called “painting” or
Believed that the first known
tattoo dates back to 4,000 B.C.
(body of man, skin bears cross
behind one knee and a series of
lines above the kidneys)
Egyptian and Nubian mummies
(practiced around 2000 B.C.)
Ancient Greeks used Tattooing for
TYPES OF TATTOOS
TRAUMATIC TATTOOS (NATUARAL)
Coal miners get tattoo characteristics when
any wound gets exposed to coal dust or
When a substance such as asphalt is rubbed
into a wound caused by accident .
--Difficult to remove as they spread across
several different layers of skin
AMATEUR & PROFESSIONAL TATTOOS
These tattoos serve as
marks of status and rank, symbols of religion &
spiritual devotion , decoration of bravery,
pledges of love , punishment
Marks of outcasts, slaves & convicts.
To symbolize their identification to particular
ethnic groups , including criminal gangs.
Often single colour is
used. – INDIA INK.
Can be applied by
someone , at home ,
using needle & India
Depth of penetration
Tattoo contain several
Created by trained
practitioner at a tattoo
beneath the skin.
o Also called as PERMANENT MAKEUP .
o It includes hiding or neutralizing skin
o Use of tattoo to enhance eyebrows, lips , eyeliner
, even moles which resembles natural makeup.
“a tattoo used for indiCating a
medically relevant condition & body
Used to ensure instruments are properly located
for repeated application of radiotherapy and for
the areola in some forms of breast reconstruction.
MEDICAL TATTOOS →CONTD.
Convey medical information about the wearer .
e.g., blood group , medical condition , etc..
Used in skin tones to cover VITILIGO , a skin
Members of military family have their vital
information tattooed to them , usually on the
rib cage below the axilla -------MEAT TAGS
COMMONLY USED DYES.
Cobalt & Indigo
Cinnabar ( mercuric sulfide )
Optimum depth of penetration:
Superficial layers of dermis.
Permanency of tattoo marks: Depends on
o Type of dye used : Vermilion & Ultramarine fades after 10 yrs.
o Depth of penetration :
As the depth is more permanency is more & viceversa
o Part of body tattooed.
LATENT TATTOO MARKS
Faded Tattoo mark becomes visible by
The use UV lamp.
rubbing the part, by examining with
magnifying glass in strong light.
Infrared photography makes old
In decomposed bodies , when epidermis
is removed by wiping the area with
moist paper towel or a piece of cloth
NATURAL DISAPPEARANCE OF TATTOO MARKS:
Vermillion, cinnabar – disappear after min of
Black pigments ( Indian ink ) – permanent
ARTIFICIAL REMOVAL OF TATTOO
1 .SURGICAL METHODS :
Complete excision & Skin Grafting .
Production of burn by means of Red Hot Iron .
CO2 snow .
2 . ELECTROLYSIS
3 . CAUSTIC SUBSTANCES :
Removes pigments by Inflammatory reaction .
e.g ,Zn chloride & Tannic acid.
4. LASER BEAM :
By exposure to laser beams , particles of dye
gets vapourised & expelled in gaseous form.
5. Confluent smallpox obliterates tattoo marks in
FORENSIC IMPORTANCE OF TATTOO MARKS
Race, religion, occupation,name of
person or his beloved ones, date of
birth / marriage, etc.
Religion , God of Worship
Indicates Culture & Lifestyle
Distribution of tattooing,
nature of designs may indicate
particular country or religion.
Mental make up / desire: obscene
FORENSIC IMPORTANCE OF TATTOO
Gang members wear a tattoo of
allegiance & symbolism to their
Drug addicts (concealing site)
Homosexuals (tattoo on back or
web of thumb)
A member of MEXICAN
MAFIA has the
tattooed on his
SYDNEY SHARK CASE
James smith disappeared on April 8 , 1935.
14 days later a shark caught alive , which vomited a human arm.
Arm was severed from dead body by a sharp weapon.
Arm had tattoo of two men boxing on the arm.
Smith’s wife & brother identified as Smith’s hand. Fingerprint also
Later , criminal caught by Sydney police.