Tattooed woman working

August 9, 2018

The Unexpected Health Benefits of Tattoos

There are many reasons people choose to get a tattoo. Some people get inked to memorialize a loved one, or to demonstrate their affection for someone or something, or they just like how they look. However, it is unlikely that they expect to receive any health benefits from getting a tattoo. But it’s true, tattoos have an actual positive effect on health. Tattoo health benefits include both physical and psychological effects, improving both mind and body. Plus, it’s another reason to get that new ink you wanted.

Tattoos Help Reduce Stress Levels and Improve Recovery

The health benefits of tattoos actually involves reducing stress levels by causing your body to produce less cortisol. Cortisol is one of the stress hormones, and high levels of it actually causes physical and mental problems, such as migraines or headaches, increased weight gain, inhibited memory & learning, and elevated blood pressure. Getting multiple tattoos reduces cortisol levels, and helps relieve some of those symptoms!

Tattoos Reduce Recovery Time

Lower cortisol levels also improves your body’s ability to recover. This is especially important for athletes and people who are very active, because faster recovery means faster improvement. Specifically, reduced cortisol levels means your muscles can repair faster after training, making it easier to get more muscle and requiring less time off from the gym! That is a pretty great reason for athletes to get tattoos.

Tattoos Improve Your Immune System

Tattoos help improve the immune system in two specific ways. One way is that tattooed people have more (or less reduction of) antibody immunoglobulin A. This antibody helps ward off pathogens and illnesses in multiple systems throughout the body. Thus, it can help keep you from getting sick as often, or at least reduce the severity of the illness.

Tattoos also stimulate and strengthen the immune response, since the ink is seen as an “invader” it needs to fight off. Over this time the immune system becomes stronger through its efforts to combat the ink. Tattoo lovers can rejoice: this effect is more powerful after getting multiple tattoos. This is due to the immune system having to fight the ink, whereas with later tattoos, it only improves.

Tattoos Make You Feel Good

Literally. Getting a tattoo does hurt (needles are involved after all), but your body’s response to the pain evokes good feelings. This happens because endorphins and adrenaline are released to combat the pain. These feelings help explain why tattoos are said to be somewhat addictive as people end up in the tattoo artist’s chair again and again.

Tattoos can also make people feel good mentally. There seems to be a positive correlation between tattoos and self-esteem, and with more tattoos comes more confidence, as those with four or more had higher self-esteem than those with fewer. Even people with a reported history of depression had significantly higher self-esteem. This seems to be because tattoos are a way to take control of your body and self, doing something on your terms and for yourself.

Tattoos Can Improve Job Prospects

Yes, this seems counter-intuitive. However, in certain industries and job types, it is actually preferred to hire people who are visibly inked. Companies that are targeting a younger, edgier demographic seem to be the ones to hire tattooed professionals. Industries such as fashion and design are most accepting of ink. As progressive as these industries are, they still shy away from hiring tattoos that feature offensive, sexual, or drug-related designs in visible areas.

So if you have been hesitating over whether to get that first tattoo or not, or if you are contemplating expanding your collection, it’s nice to know that your ink can have some actual health benefits. Of course, you can refer to our Guide for Getting Your First Tattoo if you have questions about how to choose a safe, healthy tattoo shop and how to have a good experience. And make sure you always take care of your new (and old) ink with all natural, organic products, like our Tattoo Aftercare Kit.