Back in the day, tattoos were seen as something only unsavory people got. Over time, they’ve become standard fare, with everything from gorgeous flower tattoos to amazing minimalist tattoos becoming more common on just about everyone. And while some of us do opt for singular or small masterpieces, others like a more bold tattoo look, but the all-over, large scale tattoos might actually be pretty bad for your health.
According to Time Magazine, a recently published study found that heavily tattooed people can actually have what is called a “thermoregulatory” problem, meaning that the tattoos could potentially interfere with how your body makes and secretes sweat.
The study’s co-author, Maurie Luetkemeier, says that the body secretes sodium when sweating, which is then reabsorbed by the body in order to help regulate electrolytes. Tattoo ink can interfere with the reabsorption, which can be dangerous for people in high-heat areas, such as military operations in the desert or sporting events. While the authors admit that the study is mostly speculative at this point, they do point out that there might be some indication that tattoo ink can cause a number of issues, such as an increased risk of melanoma, although that too is questionable.
So while there is no right answer on whether or not you should get a tattoo, it’s definitely something to think about before you head out and cover your body from top to bottom.
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(h/t Teen Vogue; Photo via Frazer Harrison/Getty)