UA study shows possible health benefits to getting a tattoo

Man gets a tattoo in American Samoa
Man gets a tattoo in American Samoa
Updated: Dec. 20, 2019 at 7:37 PM CST
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - A study performed by researchers at the University of Alabama shows there may be health benefits to getting a tattoo.

The stress of getting a tattoo appears to prepare your body to be more vigilant, according to UA cultural medical anthropologist Dr. Christopher.

He combined his interest in tattoos and health outcomes to see if they make people healthier. Dr. Christopher traveled to American Samoa in 2017 to study the people there. Tattoos are part of their cultural identity. His research team tested the people’s saliva before and after getting tattoos. The results showed people with more tattoos have a better response to things that tested their immune system when their skin is attacked.

“I would compare it to something like exercise. You get those incremental benefits over your lifetime that build up to more stamina or a more robust immune system,” Dr. Lynn explained.

It’s not clear if tattoos make a clinical difference to a person’s health. They do demonstrate toughness and may make someone’s skin more resistant to future attacks.

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