Tattoos desensitise skin, according to reports in ScienceShots and New Scientist, 21 Oct 2006. Todd Allen of the University of Northern Colorado compared the touch sensitivity of tattooed and non-tattooed skin using a two-point discrimination test. The tests used a device that touches the skin with two points. The experimenter initially holds the points far apart so that the subject can feel two points are touching the skin. The points are then moved closer together until the subject can no longer tell if one or two points are touching the skin. The ability to do this varies between different parts of the body so Allen’s team tested tattooed skin and non-tattooed skin of corresponding body parts on 30 people, e.g. if the tattoo was on the arm they tested the same place on the other arm. They also did the same tests on corresponding body parts on people with no tattoos. They found the tattooed skin had less touch sensitivity.

Allen’s team is not sure of the reason for the lack of sensitivity. They suggested the nerves in the skin could be damaged by the needles used during the application of the tattoo, or it may be the injected ink interferes with touch receptors or changes the plasticity of the skin. The study results were presented to the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, 15 October 2006.

Editorial Comment: In the Law of Moses, the creator God told the people of Israel to not deliberately cut themselves or put tattoo marks on their bodies (Leviticus 19:28). Such practices involve painful, blood spilling injury, can cause disease, permanently scar the skin, and as this study shows, impair the normal function of skin. These are reasons enough not to do it, but we need to remember God is not just trying the preserve us from pain, disfigurement and loss of function. It is a reminder that we are made in the image of God and that deliberately causing permanent scarring, distortion or tattooing the body surface is to vandalise the image of God.

As the apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17: “You are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man defile the temple of God, God shall destroy him; for the temple of God is holy. Also in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” The current trend to pierce and colour the human body any and everywhere, has reappeared in the west as modern westerners, deluged by evolutionism, have abandoned the Christian conviction that the body is God’s holy creation, and have returned to the habits of their pagan ancestors (Ref. nerves, dermis, receptors)

Evidence News 5 December 2006