Having more than one tattoo may boost your immunity, according to new research from the University of Alabama. Multiple tattoos can strengthen immunological responses and potentially help a person fight off common infections.
According to Dr. Christopher Lynn, UA associate professor of anthropology, getting a single tattoo can temporarily lower one’s resistance to infection. “It’s easier to get sick. You can catch a cold because your defenses are lowered from the stress of getting a tattoo,” he explained.
However, the more tattoos you get, the better off you may be because the body gets stronger. Lynn compared it to going to the gym when you’re out of shape. At first, your body is sore. But the more you work out, the less sore you feel.
He added: “After the stress response, your body returns to an equilibrium. However, if you continue to stress your body over and over again, instead of returning to the same set point, it adjusts its internal set points and moves higher.”
The research suggests that repeated tattooing may have the same result.
According to Lynn, the body mobilizes immunological agents to fight possible infections at the site of the new tattoo. A body with multiple tattoos increases the threshold that would necessitate an immunological response.
Lynn, former UA graduate student Johnna Dominguez and Dr. Jason DeCaro, UA associate professor of anthropology, published the research online March 4 in the American Journal of Human Biology.