Worldsfeed Health Desk- If you are considering getting a tattoo, there are some things you might want to keep in mind. While tattoos have been previously linked to diseases like hepatitis C, there is no definitive evidence that this disease can be transmitted when sterile materials are used in tattoo parlors. Furthermore, a study published in 2016 indicated that tattoos can prime the immune system for dermal stress in the future, and a 2019 study found similar results. In fact, the research suggests that tattoos might be beneficial to the immune system.
According to Dr. Sharon Nachman, MD, the chief of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, the skin is the body’s largest organ and the number one main immunological defense and barrier. When the immune system reacts to a tattoo, it considers it an invader, and macrophage cells rush to the tattoo site. The ink gets stuck in macrophage cells and then to the dermis, where it remains, helping the tattoo become a permanent fixture on your body. This process is one of the ways tattoos act as a stressor.
The research also draws comparisons between tattoos and vaccinations, as both introduce a challenge and stimulate the immune system to have a more robust reaction. Dr. Lynn says that stress can benefit us, such as the stress we place on our bodies during physical activity, and in a way, you can think of tattoos as “training” the immune system. However, it is important to note that tattoos cannot replace vaccinations.
Interestingly, scientists have seen promising results for delivering vaccines via tattoos, which means you can use a little bit of the vaccine and get the same benefit as if you got a vaccine that went into your muscle. Dr. Nachman says that medicine is cognizant of the idea that your skin is an immune-functioning tool.
Overall, if you want to get a tattoo, keep in mind that it might have a beneficial effect on your immune system. However, it is important to do your research and find a reputable tattoo artist who uses sterile materials.