Jump to content
gougetheeyes

Tattoos and Immune System

Recommended Posts

I remembered this thread and thought about it recently. I've been doing back-to-back tattoo sessions the past month or so, and I can say it really wacks your immune system hard. That or I have really weird timing. I ended up getting the flu one day after a big back-to-back tattoo weekend, a few weeks ago. I just had a pretty brutal tattoo weekend this weekend, and I ended up getting a pretty bad cold all week. I can't say for sure they are related but the obvious thing is, if you are sick and trying to heal a big tattoo, it can slow down the process drastically.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's also something to think about that quite often you can have a virus in your body, without getting sick. This is how people have come to associate getting cold with getting a cold, i.e It can trigger the virus in your body. Equally, with a tattoo. A tattoo is a strain on your body, and it can lead you to get sick easier because you're more vulnerable. I can't imagine it causing serious damage to your immune system, but temporarily, yes. So if you're having a lot of sessions back to back without ever allowing your body to heal properly, you shouldn't be too surprised if you end up sick! :) (not a medical professional!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I remembered this thread and thought about it recently. I've been doing back-to-back tattoo sessions the past month or so, and I can say it really wacks your immune system hard. That or I have really weird timing. I ended up getting the flu one day after a big back-to-back tattoo weekend, a few weeks ago. I just had a pretty brutal tattoo weekend this weekend, and I ended up getting a pretty bad cold all week. I can't say for sure they are related but the obvious thing is, if you are sick and trying to heal a big tattoo, it can slow down the process drastically.

I have a 3-hour session coming up in less than a week. And now with winter on the way with everyone sick everywhere I go, I'll have to watch myself. I always tended to get as sick as a dog within 2 weeks before Xmas.

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It makes sense that the body would be tired, and more vulnerable, after getting tattooed. I heard something that the body is sort of fighting the ink all the time like its any other foreign body and thats why tattoos fade. If thats true then maybe tattoos take up more immune system resources and leave less for illness? Just a bullshit guess.

I've never had this problem. Getting tattooed has been lollipops and rainbows for me thus far. I've been told the chest is a bitch though, so I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried about that one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It makes sense that the body would be tired, and more vulnerable, after getting tattooed. I heard something that the body is sort of fighting the ink all the time like its any other foreign body and thats why tattoos fade. If thats true then maybe tattoos take up more immune system resources and leave less for illness? Just a bullshit guess.

I've never had this problem. Getting tattooed has been lollipops and rainbows for me thus far. I've been told the chest is a bitch though, so I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried about that one.

Tattoos fade because your cells divide and regenerate as you age. Pigment is encapsulated in scar tissue, which also divides and regenerates with age. Thus spreading out the pigment over time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With long sessions, and back to back days in particular, I can say that (anecdotally) I have felt run down afterwards. Sometimes a few days later I get a mild cold or sore throat. I'm prepared to believe heavy tattooing puts your immune system under pressure.

Incidentally I also feel like if you have a really heavy session on something like your back or front you can have a little touch of shock afterwards. This year when I got the first day of work done on my front I had the shivers big time that night, and I felt really cold. I think your body can react to it as a trauma even if in your head you know it's OK.

Overall nothing to be too worried about though- nothing to be done about it, and I don't believe it really impacts on the end result. Being forewarned might help someone though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been drinking Emergen-C Immune Defense for a couple of days before and after my (short) sessions the past few weeks. Has helped a lot energy wise, both during and after getting tattooed. I try to take extra good care of myself/body the days leading up to and after as well - no colds, sore throats, or the like yet. I'm one of those who is allergic to some random stuff, and haven't had a problem getting tattooed in terms of immune system/ink rejection. @slayer9019 - I can see how getting back to back sessions, with your body recovering from getting tattooed near-constantly, being related to getting whacked with a cold/flu. It makes sense to me since your body's immune system is basically split between fending off the outside pathogen/cold/flu and being tattooed and rallying to keep the body safe from outside harm/infections.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's been discussed in other threads by some people, but I always get the chills (like the flu) the first few days. And I always feel super low-energy the first day. But the chills are the absolute worst, and it makes sense that I get them with the body being compensated from the tattoo "trauma".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This time around when I had the back to back sessions on my front coming up I stopped drinking alcohol about 7-10 days out, with a view to being well rested and hydrated.

Probably a bit OTT, I felt no major difference. I think steering clear of booze for the preceding 2 days or so is probably 90% of the benefit with less painful self denial involved. For a shorter session or one shot tattoo I wouldn't even bother.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think it's been discussed in other threads by some people, but I always get the chills (like the flu) the first few days. And I always feel super low-energy the first day. But the chills are the absolute worst, and it makes sense that I get them with the body being compensated from the tattoo "trauma".

From what I understand that's not uncommon. I haven't experienced it personally, but when I was working on my arm there were a couple of occasions where Thomas said that I would possibly have a fever the next day. We finished my arm with a long session and he recommended taking Aleve to fight the onset of a fever and to help a bit with the pain and soreness. I'm actually kind of surprised that I haven't reacted like that since I tend to get fevers kind of randomly a couple of times per year. And yeah, I think it makes total sense given that your body is dealing with trauma and is healing a fairly decent sized wound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've gotten sick after my last three sessions, but I have a toddler in daycare so we've been dealing with colds in my household a lot in the last year so obviously that could just be coincidence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This time around when I had the back to back sessions on my front coming up I stopped drinking alcohol about 7-10 days out, with a view to being well rested and hydrated.

Probably a bit OTT, I felt no major difference. I think steering clear of booze for the preceding 2 days or so is probably 90% of the benefit with less painful self denial involved. For a shorter session or one shot tattoo I wouldn't even bother.

^^^ THIS! If I drink at all a few days before I get tattooed, my nerves get fried quick and generally am shittier throughout the process. My tattooer and I talked about this and he did bring up that alcohol is a poison, so kinda "duh" logic. I try to get as healthy as possibly (with good sleep) before sessions now. Makes a 100% different, so much so that he even mentioned that I sat like a damn rock for 3.5 hours straight on my knee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
^^^ THIS! If I drink at all a few days before I get tattooed, my nerves get fried quick and generally am shittier throughout the process. My tattooer and I talked about this and he did bring up that alcohol is a poison, so kinda "duh" logic. I try to get as healthy as possibly (with good sleep) before sessions now. Makes a 100% different, so much so that he even mentioned that I sat like a damn rock for 3.5 hours straight on my knee.

I stopped drinking for 3 days before my appointment last week. I also drank lots of water. My session was 4 hours and my artist said I didn't flinch once. Total breaks taken added up to less than 10 minutes.

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...