Benefits of Tattoos: 3 Science-Backed Positive Effects

Benefits of Tattoos: 3 Science-Backed Positive Effects

Oct 18, 2021 | brookline agency

There are so many reasons to get a tattoo. If you’re an ink fan, we don’t need to tell you that tattoos let you express yourself, and are truly a passion for those who love them. But did you know that there are actual health benefits of tattoos? We’ll cover some of the interesting research into the health benefits of tattoos.

Mental Health

Tattooed father and daughter happily spend quality time together

The reasons for getting a tattoo cover an incredibly wide range. Some get tattoos to celebrate the most important parts of their lives, like a union with a partner or the birth of a child. Other tattoos are focused on grieving the loss of a loved one, or celebrating their life. There are tattoos that celebrate the lighter sides of life, like cartoons. Yet others give us ties to our history like tribal tattoos or family marks. But what are the health benefits of tattoos? Tattoos can increase feelings of confidence and improve self-image. Some feel that their tattoos allow them to look more like who they feel on the inside, which can be an essential component of identity. Some tattoos help us feel as though we belong to a community that’s important to us, and others help us express the ways in which we are individuals. Both the feeling of belonging and the ability to feel comfortable with our individuality bring critical mental health benefits.Instead of assuming that mental and physical health are completely separate topics, remember that studies have often shown the connection between how we feel mentally, and how we feel physically. Mental health - for better or worse - manifests itself in physical ways. So any steps that are taken to improve our mental health have the potential to improve all aspects of our wellbeing.


Portrait of old tattooed woman to show the health benefits of tattoos

Interestingly, getting a tattoo may have immune-boosting health benefits. How? When you get a tattoo, your body believes you’ve been wounded. Your immune response kicks into gear, and your body acts to defend you from ‘invaders’, heal your wound, and protect you. This short burst of immune response is believed to be able to strengthen your immune system. Think of it as going to the gym - the short bursts of exercise work to build up your muscles, so they’re even stronger. It’s believed that the immune system works in the same way. Instead of thinking of a tattoo as a burden on the immune system, think of it as a strength-building exercise for your immune response. This benefit is more pronounced after your first inking experience, so it’s an extra health benefit of tattoos for those with multiple works of art. An important note is that the health benefits of tattoos are only positive if you don’t have a negative side effect, like an infection. Having an infection is not a health benefit from any standpoint, so it’s important to take steps to support your natural immune response as much as possible. The best action you can take to avoid infection is to wash your new tattoo well, and often, with a product made specifically for healing tattoos. CBD foaming soap is best for this because it is formulated to wash away the dirt and dried blood that can lead to infection.

Reduction in Cortisol

Higher cortisol levels are linked with several things we want to avoid like excess weight, high blood pressure, and headaches. And although cortisol levels generally rise with stress - like when a needle is puncturing your skin - research indicates that the body can adapt. Those who got their first tattoo had higher cortisol levels in response to the tattooing. Those on their second, third, or later tattoo, had a lessening increase in cortisol. This could indicate that getting tattooed helps the body adapt to stressful situations and potentially encourages the body to release less cortisol under future stress. Most people who get inked have no idea of the health benefits of tattoos. They know they love to express themselves in the way that tattoos allow. But when you find out that tattoos in fact do bring you health benefits, that’s even better! If you’re planning your first tattoo, or you’re a tattoo pro, consider your options for having a more comfortable tattoo experience. HUSH Anesthetic has products that can numb your skin and allow you to relax while you get your next tattoo. You can learn more about HUSH’s products here.

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