We saw in the latest Slow Mo Guys video how tattoo guns do not inject ink, but rather create tunnels in the skin that the ink automatically fills by capillary action. That same technique is a way to diagnose scabies. Scabies is a skin parasite that burrows under the top layer of skin and causes severe itching and overall misery.
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The New England Journal of Medicine published a case study in which a man who had been itching for months was diagnosed by putting a “purple skin marker” (which sounds like something what we would call a Sharpie) on an itchy patch and then wiping the ink off with alcohol. The ink remained in a burrow under the skin, indicating that scabies had tunneled through. It’s not the most pleasant way to get a tattoo, but the man was diagnosed and was able to get proper treatment for the skin mite. -via TYWKIWDBI