Tattoos: From treating arthritis to marking criminals

Tattoo History

Many would believe that the trend for cosmetic tattoo to enhance ones facials features is a modern development of tattooing methods, however, the acclaimed Cleopatra had her eyeliner tattooed over 2000 years ago!

Forms of tattooing have been seen in history dating as far back as 3300BC. These ancient tattoos were simple lines and crosses found on different areas of the body and were believed to be of medical origin. Interestingly the Tyrolean iceman had these markings over his joints and back, and when an x-ray was performed it showed that the man had suffered arthritis in these exact areas! Since this time tattoos have represented ones life status, mark slaves and criminals, express creativity and honour beliefs and ancestors. Tattoo 'pigment' has been derived from plant extracts and the coals from fire and have been implanted in the skin using sticks, horns and spikes. Today the traditions for tattoos continue and are seen in the wider community. Modern day pigments allow for elaborate designs and infection control measure have developed the single use needle.

Marnina Diprose holds a Bachelor Health Science in Dermal Therapies, a Diploma of Beauty Therapy and a Vocational Certificate of Laser and Light. Marnina has a strong passion in scar revision and holistic approaches to patient care. For media inquiries or if you have an interest in blog contribution please email 

Sailor Jerry. (2018). [image] Available at: [Accessed 13 Mar. 2018].