Getting or Protecting a Tattoo? Ask Our Dermatologist

June 28, 2024

Tattoos have become increasingly popular, with nearly a third of all adults reporting having at least one, and many of those reporting having more than one, according to a study by the Pew Research Center. Our dermatologist at Dermatology for the Family has heard from many patients asking how to keep their tattoos looking good while protecting the health of their skin.

In response, here are some tips from the American Academy of Dermatology Association:

  • If you’re getting a new tattoo, choose skin that is free of moles. A tattoo can make it difficult to notice the early signs of skin cancer. When caught early, skin cancer is highly treatable.
  • If skin at or around the site of the tattoo becomes dry, rub a water-based lotion or cream into the affected area. Using petroleum-based products, such as petroleum jelly, can cause the ink to fade.
  • If your skin has a bad reaction to the ink in a tattoo, either immediately after getting tattooed or even years later, or if your tattooed skin is changing in any way, see our dermatologist to diagnose and treat the problem. 
  • When in the sun, protect your tattoo by applying a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more. Apply the sunscreen 15 minutes before you go outside and reapply at least every two hours. This can prevent ultraviolet (UV) rays from causing some tattoo inks from fading.
  • Tanning beds and sunlamps may fade the ink in tattoos and can increase the risk of skin cancer. The UV light may also react with the tattoo ink, causing a painful skin reaction in some people. 
  • Have an unwanted tattoo? Ask our dermatologist about the safest options for removing it. Beware of unregulated tattoo removal kits available online, some of which can cause permanent skin injuries.

If you have questions about tattoos or anything concerning how to attain and maintain healthy, vibrant skin, please contact our dermatologist at Dermatology for the Family for an appointment!