It’s all the rage! News reports say more than 1/3 of Americans are tattooed these days. However, there are too few studies on the physical impact beyond the very real risks of skin cancer and infections.
Tattooing creates a permanent image by inserting ink into tiny punctures under the top layer of skin. Your body interprets a new tattoo as a wound and responds accordingly, in two general ways. Immune responses involve general reactions to foreign material. Getting a new tattoo triggers your immune system to send white blood cells called macrophages to eat invaders and sacrifice themselves to protect against infection.
Of course, the other impact is that as tattooed people age, their skin eventually looks like the crumbling the wall of a public outhouse.