The impact of tattoos on the immune system


Christopher Lin has traveled to Samoa to study the culture of tattoos, and their impact on the immune system.

More than 30% of Americans are tattooed today, but few studies have focused on the biological impact they have, other than the risk of cancer and infections.

The body responds to the tattoo as it would to a wound, causing the immune system to send white blood cells, macrophages, to eat invaders by sacrificing themselves, thereby protecting the body from infections.

Proteins in the blood will try to fight the invasive substances they see as problems. Antibodies, or immunoglobulins, will continue to circulate in the blood to be on alert if other invading cells are introduced.

Adaptive ability of the immune system means that salivary immunoglobulins can be seen as values ​​caused by tattoos.

Lin made numerous measurements of saliva of tattooed persons, and by comparing the levels of biological markers concluded that immuniglobulin A remained high in the blood even after the tattoo wounds had healed.

People who spend more time under the tattoo syringe produce more immunoglobulin A in saliva, indicating that their immune system was better than those without tattoos. These improvements can help people with skin damage and overall health.