Ink Under Pressure: How Stress Affects Your Tattoos (Part 2)

What do stress, skin health, and tattoos have in common?

Our skin is more than just our appearance, it is our protective barrier that separates our internal fluids and body parts from the outside world.

It’s literally our first defense between life and death. Talk about a silver lining!

Besides, it gives us the outer appearance of our body which humans have taken the liberty to decorate with beautiful tattoos.

It is also our protective barrier and health regulator, oftentimes helping to regulate our body temperature but also a health indicator of your overall health.

So, what does that have to do with the effect of stress on tattoos? Can being stressed affect your ink? Do tattoos cause you stress, or do they actually have the power to help lower your stress levels.

To get to the bottom of that question, let’s start by talking about stress.

What’s the Stress?

Stress is a very natural part of human physiology.

The term stress-free is a very oversimplified quote to promote a life of happiness and joy.

However, it isn’t realistic to live an absolutely ‘stress-free life’ as our body physically and chemically needs it to live and thrive.

It’s more about stress management that gives a fruitful life.

When we are in a state of stress, our body produces the chemical cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone. This hormone is neither good nor bad as it is a necessary chemical to maintain our health.

Above or below regular levels can both cause health issues.

In “The Diary of a CEO,” Dr. Tara Swart, a neuroscientist, mentions that having high levels of stress can result in an overproduction of cortisol.

This extra stress hormone will find its way into different parts of the body in the form of ‘inflammation’ around areas like the organs & skin and even leak out of the skin.

Have you ever noticed that some stressful events can even make your skin break out in the form of pimples, acne, and maybe even eczema?

It’s literally your skin telling you to cool off on the stress!

Dr. Swart goes as far as to say that the stress leaked out through the skin in the form of sweat is even contagious.

You know the saying goes, misery loves company! Stressful people can literally pour their stress onto you (no pun intended).

Don’t Stress Out My Tattoo!

When we get a tattoo, it’s more than just a permanent sticker on our skin.

This means that when we have stressful events in our lives, it could potentially stress out our tattoos as well.

It is even common for very old tattoos to react and flare up randomly because of stress, causing symptoms such as:

  • Itching

  • Redness

  • Swelling

  • Inflammation

  • Breakouts

Stress is normally a reaction to help communicate to the body to be on the alert for a threat.

However, if your body is always in a fight or flight mode, the overproduction of cortisol can cause issues in your body, and guess what is on your body, your tattoos!

For the love of your tattoos, don’t stress!

What Can We Do?

Now we’re not here to judge and be a shrink, everyone faces different levels and situations of stress.

The only thing we can do is manage stress better through healthy methods such as exercise, meditation, and journaling.

Whatever it is, we’re all for it, as long as it’s healthy and constructive!

But while we can prevent stress, can we prevent our stress from affecting our tattoos?

Unfortunately, not really. It’s not like stress targets your tattoos when you’re going through a bad time.

But it is good to know and be aware of it happening when your tattoo has an unusual reaction!

It can even be helpful to use a natural skin care product such as shea butter and various natural oils that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which could help alleviate the symptoms.

Inking Away Tension, One Design at a Time

So, if you’re looking to kick stress to the curb and cherish your ink even more, why not consider getting an awesome tattoo?

Many of our clients turn to our tattoo artists for tattoos because our studio provides a safe and calming space during the session.

And many clients say that the tattooing process feels good!

The pain, believe it or not, can become such a small part of the process. It’s amazing how people can tune in, zone out, and turn that discomfort into something positive and relaxing.

If you’re thinking about getting a beautiful and stunning tattoo, reach out to our North York Ink to book your consultation. We’ll help you design your dream tattoo in a stress-free environment!

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Welcome to North York Ink! A local tattoo & piercing studio providing the community of North York with quality tattoos and piercings close to home. When hard work and devotion merge with passion and creativity, the possibilities are endless.