With the summer months finally here, we will all be spending more time outside, and exposing more skin. If you are considering getting a tattoo, having a tattoo removed or a piercing you need to take steps to protect your skin.
Sunburn is caused by over exposure to the invisible UBV rays from the sun or sunbed, which have penetrated your skin’s layers and caused damage your skins cells. The redness associated with sunburn is caused by extra blood in the capillaries, because your immune system has had to spring into action by increasing the blood flow to the affected areas to aid healing. By opening up the capillary walls to allow the white blood cells to come in and remove the damaged cells. It is this increased blood flow makes your skin feel warm and look red.The peeling that you experience after sunburn is your body’s way of removing those damaged cells. Sunburn should actually be considered an injury to the skin, and as a burn will therefore be painful which will make any treatment sensitive.
Remember that UV rays from the sun aren’t warm so you cannot feel them, which is the reason that you can get sunburn on a cool or cloudy day. Sunburn is very different from burning yourself on a hot object, which does not cause any DNA or long-term damage to your cells.
Differing to what some people believe tanning beds are just as detrimental to your tattoos as the sun. Arguably more so because the ultraviolet rays are more concentrated.
Tattooing sunburnt skin is therefore not advisable because of the amount of blood that is in the capillaries; tattooing the sun damaged area will mean that you are more likely to bleed whilst being tattooed. The effect would be similar if you were to tattoo the same area the following day. But could result in scarring.
Overexposure to the sun is harmful to your skin, which also obviously means that it is not good news for your tattoo either. The ultraviolet light will quickly dull the vibrancy of the inks colours. Meaning that the more you exposure your tattoo to the sun, the more they are going to fade.
Summertime is by far the most popular time for people to get tattoos because they can show them off more which means there are a lot of fresh and healing tattoos being overexposed to the sun every year. Avoid using sunblock on a new tattoo, but do continue with the tattoo aftercare instructions that were given to you, and wherever possible avoid exposing it to the sun. Once it’s completely healed, which means that it has gone through the entire scabbing and flaking process, apply sunscreen to your tattoo thoroughly for the rest of your life.
During Tattoo removal the laser can ablate or destroy the top layers of your skin. The newly healed skin can also be photosensitive, meaning it can easily be damaged by sun exposure.
The sun intensifies the body’s tendency to darken (hyperpigment) any part of the skin that is healing. Which means that the darker your skins natural skin tone, the more likely this is to happen. The best solution is to ideally keep the freshly lasered area covered for several weeks or to use a high factor sunscreen (50+).
Hyperpigmentation after laser treatment is unfortunately not always avoidable but it is fortunately temporary and will fade away with time for the majority.
Sunburn is an injury that your body has to heal around your piercing, which could result in scarring or other damage to your skin surrounding your new or healing piercing. It is advisable to avoid sun screen, after sun or moisturizer around the piercing site while it is healing.
Even if your piercing is healed, sunburn will not do your piercing any good.
If your piercing isn’t healed, public water should be avoided altogether as
Swimming pools, hot tubs etc. can carry many different types of germs and bacteria. Moisture, especially in warm temperatures, becomes a prime breeding ground for bacteria, and thus infection. It goes without saying that this is the same advice for a fresh or healing tattoo, or after laser removal.
If you do have sunburn, you will need any burned skin to have peeled off and for the new skin growth to be at least three weeks old before getting your new tattoo, piercing or tattoo removed from that area.