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Study Links Tattoos with Increasing Risk of Heat-related Injury

Jan, 2021 - By WMR

Study Links Tattoos with Increasing Risk of Heat-related Injury

According to a new research study suggests that area of the tattooed skin does not sweat much in comparison to the non-inked areas of the body, which further can cause heat-related injury among individuals with extensive tattooing.

Moreover, it is evident that normal sweating plays an important role in controlling body temperature. The sweat glands are known as Eccrine, which are found throughout the body and generate water-based sweat to cool the body. However, if there is impairment in the eccrine glands, it might hinder sweating response, which further augments the risk of overheating. Furthermore, researchers informed that in the previous studies they found have higher concentration of sodium in sweat of the tattooed skin indicating abridged function of the eccrine sweat ducts, as tattoo procedure requires around 3,000 skin punctures per minute, resulting in sweat gland damage.

In the study. Researchers included study participants with tattoos and non-tattooed areas on their upper or lower arms. Researchers instructed the participants to wear a perfusion suit that distributed hot water upwards of 120 degrees F for 30 minutes or more, in order to stimulate a whole-body sweating response. Moreover, researchers evaluated the participants' internal body temperature, sweat rate, and skin temperature on both tattooed areas and non-tattooed areas. Furthermore, researchers also utilized laser techniques to evaluate blood flow in the skin.

Later, research team observed that both the tattooed and non-tattooed areas began to sweat moreover at the same time indicating that the nerve signals the sweat glands function normally in tattooed skin. However, researchers observed reduced sweat generation on tattooed skin indicating glandular damage caused due to continuous puncturing of the skin during tattoo procedure.

Researchers stated, “The primary new finding in the current study is that peripheral skin of the arm containing tattoos has reduced sweat rates, and thus potential heat loss capacity, during [whole-body heating] compared to adjacent skin without tattoos. These data indicate that the collateral effects of the tattooing process negatively impact eccrine sweat gland function and could be considered a potential long-term complication or side effect of this cosmetic procedure.”

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