Tattoos are becoming more and more prevalent in today’s society. An article on The Huffington Post declares that tattoos have become extremely mainstream and more widely acceptable. Let’s be honest, if you think tattoos are socially unacceptable, you need to be pop cultured. Tattoos in my opinion have become a way of expressing yourself. It is a way of art. Now according to author and phD, Christopher Lynn, it is a way to strengthen your immune system as well.
A study in the American Journal of Human Biology concluded that getting tattoos can actually build up your immune system, helping it to fight against sickness. Notice that tattoos is plural. Getting one tattoo is not sufficient enough to correlate with this data. In actuality, getting one tattoo can break down your immune system instead of building it up. This happens due to the amount of stress released when getting a tattoo. And we all know that stress takes a toll on our wellness. Being “tatted” more than once is what does the trick.
This study broken down on Epoch Times, was conducted by Christopher Lynn, Johnna Dominguez (former UA graduate student), and Dr. Jason DeCaro (professor at UA). The group of volunteers being studied were 24 women and 5 men ranging between the ages of 18 to 47. They were then asked questions like, how many tattoos have they gotten? A confounding variable was the timespan in which these volunteers got their tattoos. The researchers were looking for the level of immunoglobulin A in each volunteer. Immunoglobulin A is an antibody in our immune system. To receive these levels, they took a sample of each volunteers saliva. The results found that people who got their first tattoo had a large decrease in immunoglobulin A levels. The opposite was found for people who were getting their second tattoo. For them getting another tattoo still had a slight decrease in immunoglobulin A, but the drop was not as significant compared to people who just got their first tattoo.
Why is this? Well, it is like when your body isn’t used to a different time zone. The longer you are submersed in the time zone, the more adaptive you will become to the changes. The stress you cultivate from getting a tattoo eventually finds an equilibrium. This stress equilibrium is always adapting as you keep getting tattoos. So who knew getting more than one tattoo had other effects on your body other than just making it look cool.
I do admit that this study is not very large, so their findings may not be as accurate as a larger study. Also they studied a lot more women than men. The study could have been more diverse gender wise. Confounding variables could have played a part in this study as well. How strong were the contestants immune systems before the tattooing? Were they dealing with stressful situations in their life at the time? All of these outside variables could play a role.
Given the statistics of this study and the credibility of the researchers, I am convinced that getting more than one tattoo can strengthen your immune system. I suppose this gives me another reason to convince my parents in letting me get a tattoo. I am a tattoo virgin now, but hopefully not for long. And once you get one, they say you can’t stop. Ending on that note, any suggestions for a good tattoo parlor in State College?