How Deep Do Tattoo Needles Go? (Tattoo Needle Depth)

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How Deep Do Tattoo Needles Go

There are different people living oaths on earth with different fears and hesitations. These fears and hesitation are usually based on our past experiences and memories. You can overcome these fears very smartly if you have the proper game plan to do so. For example, many people are afraid of needles but love tattoos simultaneously. This is a really interesting yet challenging subject for professionals as they have to comfort tattoo enthusiasts to understand that tattooing needles are not as dangerous as they seem. The most common question there is how deep tattoo needles go. It is a valid question to ask while getting a tattoo, and tattoo artists explain it very interestingly.

Firstly you have to understand that needles, especially tattoo needles, are not as dangerous or harmful as they seem to some people. They are designed in a way to decrease as much pain as they can for a tattooed person. Still, there’s no denying that there will be a slight pain, but the good news is you can further reduce it. Now, let’s focus on our question: what’s the depth of tattoo needles? The answer is simple; it only penetrates through 1/16th of an inch. That’s not too deep if the tattooed person becomes a bit more realistic and shows their love for the art of tattooing.

How Deep Do Tattoo Needles Go:

Professional tattoo artists are always very precise and careful about the depth of tattooing needles. It is a standard rule that the tattoo needles will go about 1/16th of an inch into your skin. This allows the tattoo needle to avoid any neural damage or skin cell ruptures. The further tattooing needles go into the skin, the more risk, pain, and medical complications are caused to the person. This is why keeping the accurate depth of the tattoo needle is very important during tattooing.

To understand better how deep tattoo needles go, let’s understand it on in layers level:

Epidermis Layer:

The main function of the uppermost layer of skin, the epidermis, is to protect the inner layers from any external damage and transmit necessary senses to the body. Once the tattoo needle enters the skin, the epidermal layer alerts the brain about the invasion. After the tattooing needle deposits ink via the tattoo machine, another function of the epidermis starts. It gathers immune cells to fight against the invader “tattoo ink.” The tattoo needle doesn’t only penetrate through the epidermis but deeper layers too.

Epidermal-Dermal Connection:

A natural connective layering between the epidermis and dermis of the skin keeps both layers separate. While the epidermis works upon immuning the body against tattooing ink, the connective layer between the epidermis and dermis starts healing the skin rupture caused by the tattoo needle. When the wound is completely healed, tattoo ink underneath the epidermal-dermal connective layer stays there.

Dermis Layer:

The tattoo needles are designed to stop penetration once they enter the dermis layer of the skin. This avoids any serious damage to the skin afterward and also maintains the long-lasting effect of tattoos. When the tattoo ink is deposited into the dermis, it is placed around the connective tissues in the skin. After some time, the ink pigment is captured into the skin’s connective tissue, and hence, the longevity of the tattoo increases.

Permanent Tattoos Using Tattoo Needles:

The process mentioned above is very precise and standard in the tattooing world. Most tattoo artists follow these simple and precise rules to maintain healthy tattooing practices. The moderate depth of the tattoo needle reduces pain and increases the permanence of your tattoo. When tattoo ink is trapped in the skin’s dermis layer, it stays there for many years; hence, permanent tattoos are created in the process.

How deep do tattoo needles go in millimeters?

The safest and advised depth of tattoo needles in millimeters is ranged from 1 millimeter to 2 millimeters. Most of the tattooing needles are designed in a way that they can penetrate to such an extent.

What is the preferred size of the tattoo needle for lining?

You can use a tattoo needle with a 0.35mm diameter for linings and outlining on tattoos. This type of tattooing needle is generally known as the 12 gauge needle. You can also use it for shading in the tattoos very easily.

When is a tattoo needle considered to be too deep in the skin?

If the tattoo ink starts distorting and blurring, you can easily determine that the tattoo needle is too deep in the skin. Going too deep into the skin while tattooing might cause blurred tattoos, commonly called “blowout” tattoos by general people.

What are the effects of the tattoo needle going too deep?

Blowout tattoos are the most common effect of too-deep tattooing. Thai happens when you push the tattoo needle too deep into the skin that it reaches a thin, fat layer between the skin. This is the real reason why blowout tattoos appear blurred and distorted. However, most medical experts agree that such blowout tattoos are usually not dangerous for health if done by a professional.

How much should you push the tattoo needle deep while tattooing?

The tattoo needles are designed not to reach too deep into the skin as they might cause various issues such as bleeding and pain. However, most people don’t push the tattoo needle enough, which causes the tattoo ink not to reach the dermis. This is why most amateur tattoo artists fail to create permanent tattoos successfully. Instead, you must push the tattoo needle with moderate pressure and keep it moving along the outline.


You might have understood by now how deep tattoo needles go. The simple answer is that it doesn’t go too deep into your skin and works in the upper layers of the skin. However, most professional tattoo artists conclude that it can go up to 1/16th of an inch, roughly between 1 and 2 millimeters. You can avoid extra pain during tattooing by following the standard methods of professional tattooing. Using good quality tattoo needles also helps reduce pain and increase the longevity of the tattoo designs on your skin. You can ask further queries from a medical expert or tattoo artist in detail. Thanks for reading.

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