(KFVS) - New research shows tattoos may actually make you tougher.
Researchers at the University of Alabama say that people with a lot of tattoos have been shown to have a higher tolerance to sicknesses like the common cold.
When a tattoo artist's needle makes contact with the skin, research infection-fighting chemicals rush to the fresh wound to begin the healing process.
As people make a habit of returning and adding to their body art, researchers say the body begins producing more of those chemicals to adapt.
"It actually makes a lot of sense from what I've seen," Marion tattoo artist Joseph Dunmire said. "I mean, if your body's rebuilding itself all the time, it can fight against infections and get stronger than it would if its not used to doing that."
Dunmire said he tries to only go into long tattooing sessions with experienced or returning clients because their bodies are already conditioned and prepared for the process.
"Some people want to do it anyway, which is fine," he said. "But the lack of preparation will normally leave their body a bit weaker until they recover."
Researchers at the University of Alabama published their research in a national biology journal in early March of 2016.