Tattoos have been found to be deadly – here's why it's best to avoid them

People have been using tattoos for thousands of years for a variety of purposes – they communicated a person's social status, were used as protection against evil spirits, etc. Currently, tattoos have become simply an element of decoration and a way of personal identification. They are applied to the body by local trauma to the skin and injection of a coloring pigment into the dermis. But how safe is this manipulation for health? Unfortunately, understanding of the long-term effects of tattoos on the body is very limited, as there is very little research. A Swedish team from Lund University decided to rectify the situation and came to the conclusion that it is better to abandon body decoration in this way.

A deadly danger from tattoos has been discovered - here's why it's better to give them up. Tattoos may be more dangerous to health than previously thought. Photo.

Tattoos may be more dangerous to health than previously thought

Tattoos increase the risk of cancer

Almost 12 thousand people took part in a recent study. Of these, 2,938 people aged 20 to 60 years fell ill with lymphoma (a malignant tumor disease of the lymphatic system). Of these people, 1,398 people filled out questionnaires in which they answered several questions, including whether or not they had tattoos.

As it turned out, of those who filled out the questionnaire, 289 people with lymphoma had tattoos, which amounted to 21%. In the control group of 4193 people who did not have cancer, only 18% of participants (735 people) had tattoos.

Scientists took into account other factors that increase the risk of cancer, such as smoking, age, lifestyle, etc., before drawing conclusions. As a result, they concluded that the risk of lymphoma in people with tattoos is 21% higher than in those who do not have such decoration on their body. The authors of the work report this in the publication eClinicalMedicine.

Tattoos increase the risk of cancer. Tattoos cause a 21% risk of lymphoma. Photo.

Tattoos cause a 21% risk of lymphoma

Why tattoos increase the risk of cancer< /h2>

The scientists' study does not say anything about the causes of the disease, but only indicates the presence of a risk. However, according to scientists, the reason is that a tattoo, regardless of size, leads to skin damage and the occurrence of low-grade inflammation. The latter, in turn, can provoke the development of cancer. Therefore, the picture may be more complex than previously thought.

Why does inflammation occur? When ink is under the skin, the body perceives it as something foreign that should not be in the body. Accordingly, the immune system is activated. As we already talked about in the article about the benefits of sleep, in the lymph nodes immune cells “investigate” all foreign particles, viruses and bacteria in the lymph nodes. Therefore, ink particles from the skin are transported and accumulate in the lymph nodes.

Since most people get tattoos at a young age, they are subject to low-grade inflammation throughout their lives. Accordingly, the risk of developing cancer increases even more. But the age at which you get a tattoo is likely not the only factor in the development of cancer. It is possible that the number of tattoos influences this. It can be assumed that the more there are, the more the lymphatic system suffers. However, as mentioned above, inflammation occurs in any case, even if the tattoo is very small.

Why do tattoos increase the risk of cancer. Lymphoma after tattooing can occur due to low-grade inflammation. Photo.

Lymphoma after tattooing can occur due to low-grade inflammation

The research team intends to continue working in this area to obtain more complete information. It is possible that tattoos increase the risk not only of lymphoma, but also of other cancers. Therefore, additional research will be conducted in the near future.

As the authors themselves say, the popularity of tattoos will remain high. Therefore, it is important to know exactly how safe they are, so that everyone can assess the risk when deciding to inject ink under the skin. In addition, people who have already applied such jewelry to their body may need to monitor their health more closely and seek medical help when the first symptoms of the disease appear.

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Finally, let us recall that several years ago scientists developed ink for tattoos, which themselves serve as indicators of human health. These inks are based on acid-base indicators. You can find out more about what they are and how they work by following the link.