According to a new study published in the American Journal of Human Biology, people with more tattoos have better immune systems. According to the study, “Tattooing may stimulate the immune system in a manner similar to a vaccination to be less susceptible to future pathogenic inﬁltration.”
The study conducted in Alabama University says that people have low immunity when getting their first tattoo but as they get more tattoos, it gets stronger and prevents them from getting sick. Just like doing hard exercises exhaust the body first and then makes it stronger, getting tattoo may lower the immunity but the subsequent tattoos will make it stronger.
“We can consider our data in two ways. First, participants with greater tattoo experience may be more excited than anxious about a tattooing session, resulting in reduced immunosuppression. Another explanation, which is not mutually exclusive, is that people with higher tattoo experience might also display reduced IgA suppression after tattooing, similar to elite athletes who habituate to moderate and high intensity exercise stress over time.” said the researchers.
To conduct the study, the researchers took saliva samples of 29 people. The researchers analysed and measured the levels of immunoglobulin A and cortisol. They found out that people who got their first tattoo recently have lower levels of immunoglobulin A and cortisol as compared to people with multiple tattoos.
While the study says that getting inked improves our immunity, it can’t b generalized. As the study was conducted on a very small group of people, the results cannot be deemed conclusive.
“I would not encourage anyone to get a tattoo for the sake of immune system benefit,” said a researcher. “Getting a tattoo carries significant risks — including infection, scarring, and potential adverse psychological effects. It’s very unlikely that these risks are outweighed by any boost in immune system response.”