Whether you’re looking for another reason to help convince your folks to finally let you get a tattoo, or you don’t need a reason for tattoo #15, you’ll be pleased to know that tattoos are good for you. Specifically, getting tattoos done has been proven to come with health benefits.
For decades, tattoos have been under fire for the potential health risks that may come with them, and the image they’ve been associated with. All you tattoo enthusiasts will be glad to know that your ink is finally getting the appreciation it deserves. Well, sorta.
A recent study published in the American Journal of Human Biology discovered that the more ink you have, the stronger your immune system! In other words, not only do tattoos make you look tough on the outside, they’re toughening you up on the inside as well. If you’re a tattooed soul sista’, you’re probably sitting there all smug at the moment – we don’t blame you!
While the study was small, involving less than 30 participants, it revolved around the production of 2 substances – secretory immunoglobulin A and cortisol. These substances are related to the body’s immune system activity and how the body reacts when under stress respectively.
The results of the study showed that in the short term, the body’s immune system is suppressed, and there’s an increased release of cortisol to counter that stress – meaning you’d be at higher risk of infection. In the long term, however, – and this is where it gets interesting – this is reversed, and the body produces less cortisol and more secretory immunoglobulin A. In simple English, that means the body is under less stress as there is increased immune system activity.
In other words, getting tattooed (and often) helps build your immune system.
A great analogy would be exercise. Your body may feel sore after you work out for the first time, but as you hit the gym more and more, your body gets used to it and you end up stronger. Your body is getting used to the stress you’re putting it under, so that it’s able to take more than it could before.
I gotta admit, this is a pretty nifty discovery. It’s nice to know that every time you add some ink to your body, you’re helping your immune system toughen up just a little bit more.
It all makes sense now, why we always relate tattooed folk with fierceness and toughness. All along, they were working their immune systems at the body art equivalent of a gym.