Tattoos and Sun Expose - How to protect your tattoos from the sun

It's well know that most of the people love sunbathing. Some people can even sleep on the beach during the day. In the summer, people with tattoos need extra protection from UV rays so their skin doesn’t burn or camouflage skin cancer. The sun can cause tattoos to fade and, worse yet, the colors can be a hindrance to screening for cancer.


- Should I put some lotion on my fresh tattoo as protection?
Yup, no matter what kind of tattoo you have you MUST put some lotion on the tattooed area.

- My tattoo is healed, do I need an extra protection?
No matter what tattoo you’ve had or how long you’ve had it, you definitely need to put lotion on it or it will fade and look old.

- What kind of lotion should I buy?
It depends of your skin tan but, no matter what the most recommended is a high SPF lotion for any type of skin. You can contact your artist or your dermatologist and get the best advice.

- Any risks?
If you don't take the proper care for your tattoo, it will easily fade for a short time. Not only fading, but there are some serious risks as skin cancer, diseases, bumps etc. Exposed to the sun, a healing tattoo can react badly. "It can scar and rip out scabs right in the first two weeks. If a tattoo has faded without damaging the skin, it is possible to touch up the lines and colors. Most commonly, the lighter colors tend to fade a lot faster than black, but that can turn blue or green.

- My tattoo fades anyway? What to do?
Over time tattoos fade in part because the pigment is broken up into smaller pieces and the immune system takes these pigments away through the lymph nodes. With lotions, potions, soaps, cleansers, sprays, scrubs, UV [rays], shampoo and your body’s natural ability to flush anything foreign out, [the tattoo] is going to fade. But if the tattoo is done with professional inks at pro tattoo studio and if you take the proper care it won't fade so much.

Tanning Beds
Indoor tanners are just as damaging as the sun, if not more so. The ultraviolet rays are much more concentrated and people tend to over-expose themselves in tanning beds, not realizing their own limits. Burning the skin damages a tattoo even more than slowly tanning. Again, if you must do it, protect your ink!

If you don't like laying out in the burning sun or getting a tan, does that mean you're not at risk? Maybe not. Most of us spend more time exposed to the sun than we realize. Ever get home and find your left arm sunburned from resting your arm on your car window while driving? Or find yourself getting tan lines just from running errands or working outside? Any time that your tattoo is going to be exposed to the sun, cover it! You can cover it with clothing or sunscreen, or stay in the shade.

Tanning Lotions?
If you use tanning lotions for a tanned effect, this is as safe to your tattoo as applying any other type of lotion. As long as the tattoo is completely healed, nothing can hurt the tattoo that doesn't hurt the rest of your skin. However, depending on the shade and color of the particular sunless tanning lotion you use, it may create an odd effect to your tattoo's appearance. It would make more sense just to avoid putting the lotion directly over the tattoo.

The more you tan, the more your tattoo fade. Although protecting the skin for health reasons is most important, the fact that tattoos aren't cheap is a reason to cover up, too. After all, it's protection of a lifelong investment.

Keep in mind that sun exposure doesn't just happen at the beach or summer festival. A lot of people accidentally overexpose their skin, and their tattoos, on their left arm or shoulder while driving. Keeping a bottle of sunscreen in the car is a good idea to avoid this sun-related oversight.

Never put sunblock on a new tattoo. Instead, follow the artist's aftercare instructions, and then it's best to keep it covered with clothing or by standing in the shade. Once it's completely healed, meaning it has gone through the entire scabbing / flaking process, apply sunscreen religiously for the rest of your life. Simply stay out of the sun as much as possible, if not completely.

You might not be able to stay out of the sun altogether, but spend as little time as possible in it. Staying out of the sun completely is the best thing you can do for your tattoos.