Study: tattoos can help your immune system

Posted at 6:46 PM, Mar 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-14 23:21:31-04

Can covering your body with tattoos keep you from getting the common cold? New research suggests, yes.

According to the American Journal of Human Biology, researchers at the University of Alabama found getting multiple tattoos can actually boost your immune response.

“At first I thought it was funny, but it kind of makes sense. Like building muscles,” said tattoo artist and co-owner of Denver’s Decorated Temple, Robert Martinez.

That is actually a good way to explain it. Researchers found if you continue to stress your body over and over like exercising, at first, you will feel sore. But eventually the body will adjust and you will get stronger.

“So looking at a little bit of a boost response is not uncommon. Tattooing, the whole premise behind it is the immune response, you have to have it to get those dyes to stay in place,” said Dr. Sheryl Zajodowicz, a biology professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Zajodowicz says it has to do with Immunoglobulin A. That is the body's first defense against common infections and the stress hormone Cortisol. The first time you get ink your Immunoglobulin A levels drop much lower than those who have experienced multiple tats.

So will this information help your parents accept your tattoos?

“No. But the more information and facts I have about the positivity of having tattoos, the more people start to accept them,” said tattoo enthusiast, Molly Siemann.