Tattoos might be unhealthy. So far, it was believed that if you were able to keep the area clean and avoid infection, there wasn’t any concern about your health. However, a new report by some researchers might prove something different. According to this studies, tattoos leave lasting impacts on your physiology, specifically on your lymph nodes, a piece of your immune and circulatory systems.
Scientists were able to analyze nanoparticles of ink from a tattoo that had been deposited in nearby lymph nodes. What they found is incredible: as it breaks down, the ink is transported and stored within the body.
If the tattoo artists are not using high-quality ink, it could be a very serious issue. “When someone wants to get a tattoo, they are often very careful in choosing a parlor where they use sterile needles that haven’t been used previously,” one of the study’s authors said. “No one checks the chemical composition of the colors, but our study shows that maybe they should.” Tattoo inks contain toxic materials such as chromium or nickel.
The issue is that all of these pigments eventually are either broken down or steadily move further into the body until they are deposited in the lymphatic tissue.
“We already knew that pigments from tattoos would travel to the lymph nodes because of visual evidence. The lymph nodes become tinted with the color of the tattoo,” said one of the researchers. “It is the response of the body to clean the site of entrance of the tattoo. What we didn’t know is that they do it in a nano form, which implies that they may not have the same behavior as the particles at a micro level. And that is the problem—we don’t know how nanoparticles react.”