How does Tattoos Affect the Immune System? Can the Ink “Injections” be Dangerous?

by Snezhana Besarabova
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Tattoos are an ancient human practice for many ages. However, there is still not enough knowledge about them and their examination is still in process. For instance, we are not aware of the exact way in which the injected ink penetrates through the body tissues and how it stops in just one place under the skin. In this regard, recent research has revealed some facts on how does tattoos affect the immune system. Today, we are going to tell you all about it, and the things you should take into consideration before making a tattoo.

How do tattoos affect the immune system?

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Contrary to what most people think, when making tattoos, the pigment doesn’t stay in your skin. It’s scientifically proven that the protective cells in your blood, macrophages, which destruct unwanted substances entering the body, help the tattoo to strengthen. When you have a cut with mud or tattoo ink, these cells come around and try to rupture the intruding particles, thus cleaning your body.

The interesting question, which has not yet been answered, is why and how macrophages keep the ink intact. They take in some ink and die, releasing this dye from themselves, but your body “thinks” it is new ink. As a result, another macrophages come to rupture the died protective cells, and the cycle repeats. The scientists think that after some time the macrophages end, and as there are no new ones to replace them and finally, the ink is soaked in the body.

How to care for your tattoo?

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There are some things to be taken into consideration, if you want to keep your tattoo for longer. The first rule when making an ink “injection” is taking some measures to support your immune system. Knowing that the tattoo ink comes in close contact with your protective cells in the blood, you should go to a tattoo artist, who works with nontoxic ink. Make sure that the tattoo dye you’ll use has no heavy metals in its chemical formula. The second thing is that, you should use a greasy ointment to heal the tattoo, just like you need for any other skin wounds. You can use a petroleum jelly for the purpose. Then, it’s recommended also to wash the skin, where the tattoo is, with a fragrance-free soap every day and then cover the area with sunscreen.

Can tattoos cause health problems?

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When the hygiene conditions are not at the desired level, tattoos can cause, sometimes, serious health problems. If you have a soreness, or even pus on the place, see a doctor. They may give you an antibiotic, in case the infection is heavy.

What is a hand poked tattoo?

can tattoos cause an immune response

Using hand poke ink now is trendy. But people often do not know that this is the original old method of tattooing, that was practiced centuries ago. In this approach, instead of an electric-powered tattoo gun, the needle is moved by hand. The artist fills the needle with ink, then punctures the skin area with the liquid, until the “dot-work” drawing is ready. Though, the tattoo drawings with this method are quite different from those with the conventional approach – they are not so complicated and more minimalistic.

How does tattoos affect the immune system when hand poking?

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Hand poke is an easy method, though rather slow. Many people like it, for its simplicity and that it’s similar to the old and original approach of getting a tattoo. Even though it’s more painful! The most attractive fact for all people is that in this way you have a unique drawing, that is one-of-a-kind. But the important question for the hand poke approach is: “Are people with tattoos healthier, or do they instead have health problems after the procedure?”. Observations were made, indicating that this method can be dangerous, and, unfortunately, very often it is.

The problem is that many tattoo artists are not enough prepared for this skin drawing craft. In most cases, they’ve learned the skills from videos, and do not properly comply with hygienic rules. The consequences may be very bad, leading to frequent fungus and bacteria infections. This alerts the immune system reaction and the tattoo is “overcrowded” with macrophages defenders from your blood. These wounds and infections may be cured with antibiotics only.

How to choose a hand poke artist?

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Dermatologists advise choosing the tattoo artist carefully, in the same way you decide who will be your doctor. The hand poke artist should be a professional, who cares for your safety with the greatest responsibility.

How does tattoos affect the immune system: Do hand poking safely!

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Tattoos are a beautiful expression of your personality. But they should be used safely. That means, firstly, finding a well-trained hand tattoo artist, who is licensed. Secondly, the ink should be clean, one perfect option is a vegan ink. Then, check what kind of tools the tattoo artist uses, and make sure the hygienic conditions are at a high level. You’d better use some contacts that your friends, relatives or people you know well, have with tattoo studios, and ask them about their opinion.

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