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Turns out there’s more to worry about than pain, potential infection and skin aging when getting a tattoo: Scientists say the inks can actually migrate to the lymph nodes.

Researchers in Europe examined four cadavers with tattoos and two without, and found that the tattooed bodies’ lymph nodes contained multiple colored pigments. Taking it a step further, the researchers then tattooed corpses with synchrotron X-ray fluorescence, which allowed them to not only confirm that tattoo ink can migrate through the lymphatic system, but cause the lymph nodes to become inflamed as well. The findings were published in Scientific Reports in 2017.

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