I have heard that the more tattoos you get the stronger your immune system becomes. The idea is that your immune system is trying to protect the body from the ink that is now implanted into your body and it works to make the wound heal, so overtime the more tattoos you get the more your body starts to work on fighting off the ink which is almost like a “foreign invader” in your body. Is this actually true?
This idea bottles down to the correlation between Immunoglobulin A and tattoos. Immunoglobulin is an antibody that has an important role in the immune system by protecting and responding to specific bacteria and viruses that try to invade the body. Researchers from the University of Alabama discovered that getting multiple tattoos would be equivalent to the immunoglobulin in your body. It seems odd that having many tattoos would lead to your body being able to fight off more common infections than if you were to have just one tattoo. The research team discovered that people who just got one tattoo would actually have a huge drop in their resistance to fighting off infections due to their rise in cortisol levels.
I shared this information with my friend and she said it was totally true. She even shared her story with me about how when she got her first tattoo, which was a key on her wrist, that a week after she had to go to the doctor since she felt really sick and ended up with bronchitis. Her doctor had told her that her immune resistance was low since it had been working on healing her tattoo rather than her illness.
But after she got her second tattoo on her back, it actually healed faster and she did not get sick. She explained to me that with her first tattoo it scabbed over and with her second one there was no scabbing. The scabbing was a mechanism for healing, so since the second healed way faster it did not scab, since the body was already used to this foreign ink exposed on her body.
This concept of the more tattoos the more strong your immune system is, is quite interesting. Although the Alabama team’s research only consisted of 24 women and 5 men, which is too small of a sample size to conclude anything, it seems believable, especially after hearing what my friend had to say. I would like there to be more research done on this topic!
Key – Amanda Bancalari Freshman at PSU