Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) get tattoos. Often it’s a way to deliver a statement about MS to the world, or perhaps it’s a personal message to the person sporting it. But a new report cautions that too much ink might create a health issue for some folks.
Our bodies are cooled when we sweat. Sweat is produced by eccrine sweat glands, found all over the body. Researchers discovered that tattooed skin sweats less than normal skin. Why?
Getting a tattoo entails as many as 3,000 skin punctures per minute, and researchers suspect the tattooing process might damage those sweat glands. If the glands are damaged, the risk of overheating likely increases.
Small tattoos are less likely to interfere with overall body temperature regulation, the study reports. But if tattoos cover a lot of the body, the reduced sweating “could impact heat dissipation.”
MS and sweat
I’ve always wondered how sweating is related to my MS. I rarely sweat. I can exercise or bake in the heat and humidity and hardly a drop is produced. So, I wonder if my MS caused the dryness. Or, has my lack of sweat been a cause of my MS? Do I have damaged sweat glands, even though I don’t have any tattoos, and could that have a connection to my MS?
I took a small sweat survey last year and asked if others with MS had the same anatomical abnormality as me. Many said they do. Some said it began after they were diagnosed with MS, but others couldn’t remember ever sweating.
On the other hand, an equal number of people said they do perspire. Some said sweating had increased after their MS diagnosis, and some of those said they sweat profusely.
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