PLANNING a tattoo any time soon? Better stock up on the tissues and hot lemon drinks, according to The Sun. A new study has shown that you’re more likely to catch a cold after getting an inking. No, it’s not because infected needles or germs in the tattoo parlour – it’s all down to stress.
The study, published in the American Journal of Human Biology, found that your first tattoo causes stress on the body and mind. This weakens the immune system and makes you more susceptible to the sniffles. The good news is that having more tattoos makes it less likely.
Scientists tested the saliva of 29 people before and after a body art session, to find the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, and the bug-battling antibodies. They found that a few tattoos made the antibodies drop, weakening immunity, and a higher stress level. The heavily tattooed subjects, whose bodies were used to the stress, showed a less significant drop, meaning they were better equipped to fight colds.
The study’s author explained: ‘Tattoos don’t just hurt while you get the tattoo, but they can exhaust you. “It’s easier to get sick. You can catch a cold because your defences are lowered from the stress of getting a tattoo.
“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.”