A tattoo is a type of body alteration that involves putting ink, dyes, and/or pigments into the dermis layer of the skin to create a design. Tattooing is the art of applying tattoos. All art practice has some underlying ideology, and this is especially true in tattoo art. Skin creations represent fundamental beliefs to the individual wearer or group. Tattooing is practiced by cultures from east to west, by both men and women, and by nearly all ages. The attraction is obvious: To decorate one's body with permanent art is a powerful statement, not easily erased or altered, so the act itself is almost as intriguing as the image itself might be.
Tattoos are divided into three categories: purely decorative (with no specific meaning), symbolic (with a specific meaning relevant to the wearer), and pictorial (with a specific meaning important to the wearer) (a depiction of a specific person or item). In addition, tattoos can be used for identification, such as branding cattle using ear tattoos.