There are a ton of different reasons to get tattooed. Some of our favorites are to show your deep love of art or to commemorate a special time in your life. Never in a million years did we think that getting a tattoo could be medicinal, but it turns out that a new study suggests that being tattooed may boost your immune system.
The study performed by members of the school of Anthropology at the University of Alabama relied on analyzing the saliva of people before and after they got a tattoo. Those that were tattooed for the first time showed a lower level of immunoglobulin A than those that were previously tattooed, a sign that their immune system was given much more of a shock by the act of being inked.
"Immunoglobulin A is a front line of defense against some of the common infections we encounter, like colds,” Dr. Christopher Lynn explained in a press release.
The study was done on a relatively small sample of people, and Dr. Lynn certainly doesn't recommend getting a full body suit and declaring yourself invincible to all ailments. But, the results do show that people who have been tattooed multiple times appear to have stronger immune systems as their body barely reacts to the stress of being tattooed compared to first timers. Whether or not these results correlate beyond tattoos has yet to be seen, but it has other researchers intrigued.
"Such a finding is provocative and future studies are required that assess other arms of the immune system, reproduce the results, and gauge the real-world effects in terms of vaccine responses as well as frequency of infections in tattoo recipients," Dr. Amesh Adalia from the University of Pittsburgh told the Huffington Post.
Much like Dr. Adalia, we are very excited to see if tattoos really do boost our immune systems. But, even though the results are preliminary, we still recommend using this argument to convince your significant other to let you get inked. Don't worry, it's science.