Enjoy the Fireworks without Getting Burned – How to Avoid a Tattoo Sunburn
Well it’s that time of year. The weather is nice and warm, the sun is out and perhaps you are firing up your grill or filling up a picnic basket in anticipation of a sunny 4th of July weekend. But hold on a minute! Didn’t you just get a new tattoo last week? (or last month or even last year). What are your plans for avoiding the dreaded tattoo sunburn?
Getting a tattoo sunburn sucks. Before you head out to the beach, the ball field or the park make sure you have a summer time plan for your ink – especially if it is new ink.
Tattoo Sunburn – Need to Know!
1. Tattoos HATE the sun! Even old tattoos that are completely healed hate the sun. Why? Well the big factor is sun exposure. Sunlight will fade and weather your tattoo – radically. Here is a brief article giving a clear explanation.
2. If you have a healing tattoo you Can Not use sunscreen on it! You can’t even let it see sunlight – at all! Suncreens are not approved ointments for tattoo healing – they conatin the wrong stuff (for lack of a more scientific explanation). A tattoo that is not done healing is highly susceptible to tattoo sunburn and sun exposure. At this critical juncture sunlight can not only fade the ink it can change the colors (white to a dirty yellow). Not to mention if you get a whopper of a tattoo sunburn with peeling and blistering that is really going to screw up your tattoo.
3. The best way to be outdoors with a healing tattoo is to keep it completely covered. I know I know. You want to show off your guns or your buns or whatever body part you just got inked but if you want your tattoo to heal clean and bright wear loose cotton clothing that covers the entire tattooed area the entire time.
4. If your tattoo is still healing don’t get all dirty or wet! That means no diving in the ocean, dunking in a hot tub, swimming in a pool, rolling in the sand (OR the hay) or playing contact sports. Pretend you were in a semi-serious accident and got a bad burn or road rash… cause you did. That is how your body “reads” a new tattoo – as a wound.
5. Even when your tattoo is healed the less sun it gets the better. Seriously. Heavy tanning and repeated sun exposure hammer tattoos causing them to fade, feather, thicken and basically look like crap over time. Now I actually dig the weathered look of a tattoo on a Salty Dog – we don’t have to be all prissy here.
But if you have ink you love treat it like the investment it is and cover it with sunscreen (minimum 30 SPF) and/or clothing 100% of the time you are outdoors! Your tattoo artist will thank you!