Tattooed skin produces less sweat than normal—study

/ 07:25 PM April 19, 2017
27043496 - beautiful young lady with back tattoo. dark hair girl with tattoo on black background

Female with a tattooed back.  File photo

Tattoos have become one of the most common mediums to commemorate a special memory or person, while others choose to get inked simply to stand out.

But according to a recent study, the seemingly harmless “art form” may affect sweat glands, making tattooed areas perspire less.


A study published in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise Journal by Alma college professor Dr. Maurie Luetkemeie suggested that sweat glands may become damaged by tattooing and subject individuals to increased risk of heat-related illnesses.

The findings from the study of 10 healthy young adult males with at least one tattoo that covered a circular area of 5.2 centimeters also showed that sweat from inked skin also had a higher sodium concentration.


“We are not sure whether it is the ink or the trauma or a combination of both that is responsible for the results that we saw,” the author shared in a report carried by TIME.

Although more tests are needed to further cement his claims, Luetkemeier warned military personnel who could face potential problems in this area.

“You look at someone in the military, where tattoos are very prevalent, and if they’re exposed to high heat and a heavy workload, there could be thermoregulatory problems,” he said.  Khristian Ibarrola /ra

TOPICS: Dr. Maurie Luetkemeie, health risks, heat-related illness, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise Journal, sweat glands, tattoo
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