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Tattoos and Immune System


gougetheeyes
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Always wonder about this and I feel a little silly, but for you heavily tattooed folks out there, any thoughts on the relation of number of tattoos to a weaker immune system? Could be that I'm just getting older, or back behind the bar, or just not taking care of myself like I should be, but it seems in the last year or two I'm getting sick a lot more than usual. Not always knocked on my ass sick, but colds and that kind of thing.

Anyone?

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I have felt like that recently too, but put it down to my boy going to scholl and coming home with every cold under the sun!! Got young kids?

Have also noticed on my back piece that I'm feeling rough at the end of each 5-6 hour session.......could be the area, but could be age too!! Nearer to 40 now !

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I can only speculate but I would say that getting a bunch of tattoos in a short period of time makes me tired and seemingly more susceptible to catching any virus that goes around. On the flip side working at a tattoo for an extended period of time and being exposed to whatever anyone has that walks in the door, I think helps my immune system. It's not that I never get sick, but I can't remember the last time I wasn't able to get out of bed and go to work and run errands with a cold. Obviously there are far more variables in this equation most pertaining to lifestyle and heredity but that is just my observation.

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I have felt like that recently too, but put it down to my boy going to scholl and coming home with every cold under the sun!! Got young kids?

Have also noticed on my back piece that I'm feeling rough at the end of each 5-6 hour session.......could be the area, but could be age too!! Nearer to 40 now !

Kids are the worst for getting sick. They touch everyone and everything and they aren't as concerned with washing hands. I love my little guy and don't care if he get's me sick (the rest of those booger eaters is another story) , but it's pretty gross.

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I'm sure it has a slight affect because essentially your body's reacting to skin injury, but in the same sense I wonder if it'd be similar to hormesis with radiation. A little radiation (whether from natural earth sources or a simple chest/extremity X-ray where the dose is minimal) is actually therapeutic because it causes cells to repair damages and become more active.

So I wonder if it could actually be beneficial since its not a hugely traumatic thing for the skin.

That's just speculation and I have no idea how tattooing actually affects the body.

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I've thought about this too and im sure its just you not taking care of yourself. Im also behind a bar 6 days a week for at least 13 hours and doing weekly sessions. For the most part I feel fine, but when I start feeling weak its always after not taking care of myself.... drinking to much, eating junk, and smoking to much. My body fights off colds pretty good, so I dont feel down for to long.

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I've thought about this too and im sure its just you not taking care of yourself. Im also behind a bar 6 days a week for at least 13 hours and doing weekly sessions. For the most part I feel fine, but when I start feeling weak its always after not taking care of myself.... drinking to much, eating junk, and smoking to much. My body fights off colds pretty good, so I dont feel down for to long.

Tend to agree, though I still think about whoever posted something on here about a biopsy where a "tattooed person's" lympnodes had turned blue from the ink. Nobody's dying from tattoos obviously, I just wondered if there was anyone else who'd had a similar thought.

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Tend to agree, though I still think about whoever posted something on here about a biopsy where a "tattooed person's" lympnodes had turned blue from the ink. Nobody's dying from tattoos obviously, I just wondered if there was anyone else who'd had a similar thought.

Yeah we talked about this before,ill see if i can find it whrn i get home

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You're kinda right. We cover some of this kind of thing with EMT training. Basically your body is reacting as if you have an infection. White blood cells primarily try to kill infections in the lymph nodes due to the amount of proteins, antigens, and other things that come in handy. It's just like if you have a sinus infection and the glands in your throat swell. Some people it will be the lymph nodes closest to the tattooed area, other's it can be random. Most people don't have this reaction. Most bodies will just kick in with the reaction to try and blocking your pain receptors mostly by burning up your sugar supply. When this happens of course your blood sugar level goes down, and if you've been around a shop long enough or a convention, you see people pass out. Signs of your sugar being too low can include feeling shakey, sweaty, feeling hot, nausea or vomiting, "knot in your throat", dry mouth, and vision problems. I always take a big coke and a bag of candy when I get work done.

Here is what JoKno had to say about it. It was about lymph nodes swelling after getting a tattoo.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A friend of mine has had major amounts of laser removal as well as almost a whole body of tattooing; and her doctor discovered pigment around her lymph nodes during a mammogram. But thats probably more from the laser removal.

Oh. And I'm sick right now. I manage a bar. Have you noticed that all of us who complain about being under the weather more often work at bars?

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  • 4 weeks later...

People used to talk about "tattoo fever"...of course, that was back in the days before BBP precautions, so it could have been actual fevers and/or infections, but I would tend to go along with what Jokno says as quoted above.

I try to drink a sodapop or two during a session, and make sure I eat before and after-seems to help. Actually, my family has a little ritual when one of us gets tattooed. We stop at a Pho shop and scarf up a big bowl, then after the session is over, we stop and get some dogs. Might not do anything, but it's a good excuse to eat!

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I'm new to tattoos, but I'm working on a sleeve. My first sessions were 4 and 5 hours respectively and I was really tired after them, but my last session was 6 1/2 hours of pretty steady work and I was exhausted for two days. I don't know if it's related to my advanced years (54), but I just fell into bed when I got home.

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I'm new to tattoos, but I'm working on a sleeve. My first sessions were 4 and 5 hours respectively and I was really tired after them, but my last session was 6 1/2 hours of pretty steady work and I was exhausted for two days. I don't know if it's related to my advanced years (54), but I just fell into bed when I got home.

Would love to see pics. With Jesse, you really know you're being tattooed! But I am sure it's worth it!! Pics!

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Would love to see pics. With Jesse, you really know you're being tattooed! But I am sure it's worth it!! Pics!

With nothing to compare to I thought he had a light touch because I heal so fast. All three times I'm peeling by the fourth day. Here I am right after the 3rd session. probably four or five more to go.

IMG_0882.jpg

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I dig it!

Black and grey heals so much faster and cleaner by itself. It's when you have color on top of it when the scabby parts can happen. Color has always been tougher to heal for me. Lookin' good! Looks like you're getting ready for the fun part!

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Thanks. I think we probably have another session to finish some outlines and shading before we start the color. I love it, but to go from no tattoos to a sleeve in three months has been a hell of a shock to the system. Your octopus is outstanding. I'd love to get one, but we'll see. When I'm still healing from a session, I'm less inclined to think about anything beyond finishing the sleeve! I just let Jesse run with the sleeve. I told him I wanted Japanese and left everything up to him. I really think I made the right decision.

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Another fine place to get sick? The casino. You're breathing in the coughs, sneezes, farts and belches of thousands of drunk and desperate people, then fondling their every drip and disease by proxy with the casino chips. It'd be safer to walk down Main Street and French kiss 20 people at random. Likely more fun as well and almost certainly cheaper.

I am kind of worried about this because I'd like to get tattooed but I am very susceptible to high heat and humidity. I'll get prickly heat on my chest, arms and back once or twice a summer and I'm almost certain that would turn a nice, fresh tattoo into a blotchy mess.

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Honestly the best thing I can come up with for the feeling tired is the endorphin rush in your body, because its being stressed and injured you get that rush of energy that pushes you through it, hence being tired after wards.

But weakening your entire immune system is a stretch, the most I could think of is if while your ink was healing because its technically an open wound a virus could get into the cracks between the scab. But even then your "warrior" cells are in high flow trying to repair the damage done. May have to do some research on this.. Starting Pathophysiology, may be able to get a better answer from my teacher for you guys

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I was at the shop when my son was having his tattoo finished up last week. His artist advised him to take a multi-vitamin for at least a week to ward off colds and I guess promote his healing. Which makes sense, surprised I never heard of it before. When you think of it, a tattoo is basically an open wound, much like road rash from a motorcycle mishap without the dirt and gravel.

I did get sick after a tattoo once, the artist was sniffling and I didn't notice it until the tattoo was well underway. As far as colds and such, the more contact with people opens you up to it. My sister was always sick, she worked in retail and EVERYBODY comes in sick or near dead for Xmas shopping.

CG

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Keep your tattoo clean using dial and moisturize twice a day using a non-scented lotion an you will be fine. I use a light layer of A&D ointment once a day for the first three days. If you have a shitty immune system regarding to colds/sinus infections/pneumonias it won't effect the tattoo. Just don't be around people who have MRSA and shit.

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I had a customer ask about having blood tests done right after a tattoo. He wondered if it could mess with the test results. He was being really vague so I'm not sure what kind of tests he was having done, something the Army wanted.

Best I could tell him was "I don't think so." I was having regular blood sugar, electrolyte level testing a while back and the doctor never said anything about being tattooed affecting them.

Anyone have a solid answer on this one?

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