Sunscreen, tattoos and sun. What do we need to know to protect them?

Posted by Ahsan on November 15th, 2020

To begin, let's remember what a tattoo is: It is a wound, in the deepest layer of the skin, the dermis, which is filled with ink. It is done by penetrating the skin with a needle and generating some type of design, what makes tattoos last so long is that they are deep, the ink is not injected into the most superficial layer of the skin, the epidermis, but into the dermis, whose cells are much more stable, so the tattoo is practically permanent.

Taking into account what a tattoo is, we are going to differentiate two stages in the prevention of solar radiation in tattoos:

  1. Immediately after the tattoo has been done.
  2. Conservation of the tattoo, once the healing period is over.

The  TATTOO SUNSCREEN  has been more regulated lately; there are some hygienic-sanitary measures that we must take into account during the first days after deciding to make a tattoo:

  • Perform daily hygiene with physiological saline.
  • Apply dry cold the first days.
  • Keep the area dry.
  • Do not attack the tattooed area: avoid scratching and rubbing.
  • Avoid non-specific cosmetics.
  • Moisturize the area with specificcreams without preservatives, perfumes or parables.
  • Avoid swimming pools, healthy and beaches.
  • Avoid exposure to UV rays and the Sun.

We are going to expand a little more on this last point, which is what this post is about, During the first 15 days, what we have to try is to recover that area of ​​the skin, which has been damaged by the tattoo, yes what We want our tattoo to have a long life, care during the first 15 days is essential.

We have to prevent the area from becoming infected and ensure that it heals well, taking into account our objectives, and that this area of ​​the skin is extremely sensitive because it has been attacked, sun protection is essential, a burn in that area can cause an infection and let the tattoo turn into a nightmare.

Within solar radiation, we have to distinguish between UV radiation and IR radiation, or infrared, for a long time it was believed that IR radiation was the cause of the thermal sensation on the skin, but today Today we know that the effects of  Infrared A (IR-A)  are harmful to the skin, and what interests us most in our case, the penetration of IR-A rays, is very deep, reaching the Hypodermis, the third layer of the skin, after the Epidermis, and the Dermis.

We remember that the tattoo is done in the dermis, so if these rays have the ability to penetrate to the dermis, it is important to find a specificsunscreen for them, when we talk about tattoos.

We also need to protect ourselves from UV radiation, especially UV-A, which penetrates to the Dermis and UV-B. Sunscreens, following the recommendations of the European Union, use the COLIPA method, the acronym SPF, IPF or SPF; they indicate the sun protection factor, which is the time that the skin is protected against solar radiation.

So the increase in protection factor does not mean that the power increases, but that what increases is the duration of time that we will be protected against solar radiation.

Immediately after getting a tattoo, and until 15 days have passed, we must avoid exposure to the Sun, in the case of not being able to avoid it, it is necessary to cover the area with a physical sun protection, such as a non-occlusive bandage.

The ink with which the tattoos are made can have different pigmentations, the quality of that ink depends a lot on the conservation of the tattoo, it is difficult to find approved pigments, so the conservation and good condition of the tattoo that has been made with an aesthetic purpose, depends on the care we take ourselves.

 Recommendations, if we want to avoid discoloration of our tattoo:

  • It is important to repeat the application in the tattooed area every 2-3 hours, the protection time is less than in an area of ​​the skin not attacked.
  • We must apply sun protection on the tattoo 20 min before sun exposure.
  • Tattooed skin is much more sensitive and there are colored pigments such as yellow or red, which frequently cause more solar reactions, if we detect that there is intolerance to the Sun, we must cover the tattooed area with physical protection.
  • Keeping the tattoo area permanently hydrated will guarantee that it does not fade and that it is better preserved.
  • Over time, our tattoo will lose color and the drawing will lose precision as the pigments in the dermis fade over time, as exposure of the skin to the sun, water and different abrasions is inevitable. . These tips to protect our tattoo from the Sun are essential if we want to increase the time that our tattoo can remain as close to the original design and coloring.

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