6 Unexpected Benefits Of Having Tattoos

Your tattoos are contributing to a healthier lifestyle!

woman gets a tattoo at a tattoo shop David Tadevosian / Shutterstock

Tattoos have evolved from mere body art to a deeper form of self-expression and identity. But beyond their aesthetics, tattoos offer a myriad of physical and emotional benefits.

Here are six unexpected benefits of tattoos that you may not have been aware of:

1. Tattoos can improve your immune system

Each time you get a tattoo, your body’s immune system essentially strengthens itself to fight off the unfamiliar substance. This process occurs not just in the tattooed area but throughout your whole body. 




According to a 2019 study published in the American Journal of Human Biology, researchers found that individuals with more tattoos displayed higher levels of immune cells, or antibodies, in their blood than those with fewer or no tattoos.


This means that the more tattoos you get, the stronger your immune system gets in response.

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2. Getting tattooed reduces stress levels

Aside from what many identify as the calming sensation of a needle piercing your skin (which can reduce stress itself), the process of getting tattooed is scientifically proven to lower your stress levels.

In the same immunology study discussed above, researchers also found that actually getting tattooed reduces the human body’s cortisol levels and can, in some cases, release endorphins, leaving the recipient feeling euphoric. 



Cortisol is the stress hormone that induces our flight or fight response. High cortisol levels weaken your body and can lead to frequent migraines, weight gain, inhibited memory, and high blood pressure, among other health concerns. 


3. Tattoos can treat physical ailments 

The tattooing process not only releases endorphins and adrenaline, which calm the nervous system but it’s also been used as a treatment for physical ailments. The sensation of getting a tattoo actually does offer a therapeutic effect compared to electro-acupuncture. 

According to Douglas Wingate, an acupuncturist and licensed tattoo artist, tattooing can stimulate the acupuncture point more than acupuncture itself. 

This form of tattooing has reportedly been found on ancient humans, dating back 5,300 years, for the sole purpose of physical therapy. 

Additionally, medical tattooing, a corrective and restorative procedure designed to "camouflage" an area of skin that has experienced changes such as scars, burns, and stretch marks, not only improves the appearance of your skin but can repair the skin beneath the scarring as well. 




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4. Body art can help people heal

Tattoos can facilitate emotional healing and closure, particularly after significant life events such as loss or trauma. Various cases have been reported of individuals seeking out tattoos as a means of healing from past experiences.

Because of the deep meanings choosing a certain tattoo can offer, people find peace and liberation in expressing their pain through this art form—which also stays on their body permanently.  


Some examples are memorial tattoos, which provide a tangible way to honor loved ones lost, and milestone tattoos, which symbolize overcoming hardships and serve as reminders of growth and resilience. 

On TikTok, tattoo artist Alina Balayants additionally shared how the process of getting a tattoo offers a form of healing through its "trauma release."



"Tattooing is one of the only places in times where we willingly sit with our pain with no resistance because we asked for it," she said. "It creates this safe container to sit with your pain, and that is the only way you let it go."


While it may not be for everyone, many people turn to tattoos as a way to cope with their grief or trauma and additionally mark shifts in their lives. People can transform their healing journeys by using their bodies as a canvas to display art pieces representing memorials and important events.

5. Tattoos offer a new approach to vaccines

According to a study by the German Cancer Research Center, scientists have found that tattooing can be a more effective approach to delivering vaccines than traditional injections. The process involves tattooing the components of a vaccine into the skin.

The researchers reported that this tattoo vaccination method offered an antibody response that was 16 times stronger than intramuscular injections. Three doses of DNA vaccine allow the vaccine to enter more cells when performed as a tattoo over a large area of skin.

While this tattooing process would cause much more pain than the injection, the DNA vaccine approach costs less to produce, which would make vaccinations more accessible.


6. They boost self-esteem

It comes as no surprise that adding artwork to your skin can boost your confidence, but this is one of the main benefits that drives so many to continue getting more tattoos.

According to a 2015 study published in the Social Science Journal, women with four or more tattoos reported a higher self-esteem level than those with fewer or no tattoos.

For many, getting tattoos is a transformative experience that instills a sense of empowerment and confidence. 


The act of choosing and wearing a tattoo can be empowering, as it signifies taking ownership of one’s body and decisions.  

Tattoos can offer far more than aesthetic enhancements.

Aside from the various health benefits people find through the process of tattooing, getting tattooed is a transformative experience that instills a sense of empowerment and confidence.

They represent a deeply personal and meaningful form of self-expression and can potentially enhance your physical health.

As attitudes towards tattoos continue to evolve, their positive impact on individuals’ lives is poised to endure and flourish.


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Francesca Duarte is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team based in Orlando, FL. She covers lifestyle, human interest, adventure, and spirituality topics.