When you get a new piece of art on your body, you want to show it off to your friends and fellows. But be careful! Before you roll up your sleeves on a sunny day, you need to take some measures to protect your tattoos from sun damage. It is always essential to protect the skin from harmful UV rays, but it becomes even more necessary when you have a tattoo on your body. Because you love taking a sunbath, but your tattoo does not.
New tattoos are more susceptible to UV rays because they are in their healing process. Therefore, when you expose your tattoo to the sun without any protection, it causes scars, cracks, skin burns, fading of the ink, and color spreading. This damage leads to blurry tattoos, expensive recovery treatments, and frustration.
Moreover, if you expose your tattoo to the sun without any protection for an extended period and do not notice any change in tattoo color, that does not mean the damage is not there. The damaging effects are not visible overnight; it takes months and years to become noticeable. With each unprotected exposure to the sun, you are accelerating the fading process of your tattoo.
How The Sun Damage the Tattoo
Unprotected tattoos and sunlight are a bad combo. When you expose your tattoo to sun rays, they affect the tattoos in several ways:
When sunlight reaches the tattoo ink, the UV rays break up the ink’s pigment molecules, significantly those in lighter colors. After that, the liver processed out that pigment out of the body. In this way, the tattoo ink begins to fade and blur.
Change in color
The tattoo ink is inserted under two layers of skin, the dermis layer. The dermis contains a special kind of cells called melanocytes. These cells are responsible for the release of melanin pigment when exposed to the sun. The melanin causes the darkening of the skin. Therefore, when you move out in the sunlight without covering your tattoo, the melanin pigment changes the tattoo’s color and darkens the skin.
Delay healing process
Fresh tattoos are more vulnerable to the damage caused by UV rays. Because the new tattoo is like an open wound, and it burns when exposed to the sun. As a result, your tattoo could peel, crack or fade.
The UV rays cause blisters, pimples, and acne around the tattoos, along with fading and change in color. The tattooed skin is sensitive to sunlight. Therefore, when you do not take proper care of it, blisters appear on the tattoo. In addition, the acne and pimples around the tattoo could damage the ink.
Tips To Protect the Tattoo from Sun Damage
When the weather is pleasant and the sun is shining, all folks love to spend time outdoors. However, when soaking up some vitamin D on a beach or tanning bed, you have to take some measures to protect your inked skin from the disastrous effects of UV rays.
We have shared some crucial tips and tricks to educate you about how you can protect your tattoo from harmful sun rays. So, let’s jump in!
Wear tattoo sunscreen
Sunscreen is the finest way to protect your tattoo from sun damage. Instead of hiding indoors from the fear of getting your tattoo fade, it is better to wear quality sunscreen. In addition, sunscreen protects the tattoos and saves them from skin cancer, wrinkles, premature aging, and sunburn.
Be aware! Not all sunscreens are suitable for tattoos. It will be best if you go for sunscreens made especially for inked skin. The tattoo sunscreen must be free of any fragrance and harmful chemicals with an SPF of at least 30. Moreover, quality SPF and broad-spectrum sunscreens protect against UVA and UVB rays. These rays are damaging to the cell’s DNA and burn the skin cells.
So, keep your sunblock always with you when you go outside and reapply it after every two hours to ensure continuous protection. But remember, sunscreens provide excellent protection to old tattoos, but they are not effective for fresh tattoos. If your tattoo is in the healing process, try other preventive measures to protect it from sun damage.
Stay out of the sunlight
Sunscreen is essential but avoiding direct sunlight is still has its importance. If your tattoo is fresh, it’s like an open wound, and sunblock is not an option to protect it from sun damage. In that case, you have to limit your sun exposure.
No doubt, it isn’t easy to do that, especially during summers. But try to be indoor during peak time from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m; because the sun rays are extreme at that time. It can help you to keep your tattoo intact.
Avoid tanning beds
We all love the glow we get through tanning beds, but the combo of sunlight and fresh tattoos could be disastrous. Direct exposure to concentrated light is as harmful as direct UV rays. It not only damages the tattoo but also causes skin cancer.
So, we encourage you to avoid tanning beds and sunlamps to save your tattoo from the painful reactions caused by the intense light. Instead, go for spray tan machines to get a summer glow similar to tanning beds.
Cover up your tattoo
Uncovered exposure to sunlight can cause scars, and it burns your tattooed skin. So, if you want to avoid the hassle of applying sunscreen, the other best way to keep your tattoo protected from UV rays is by covering it with a loose and lightweight cotton cloth.
Cover up your tattoo with at least a layer of cloth, especially if you have a new tattoo. However, if you forget to apply sunscreen and cover the tattoo with a piece of cloth, find a shade like a tree or an umbrella, as it could also protect you from UV rays to a certain extent.
Keep your skin hydrated
The natural moisture of the skin protects from sun damage. So, it is crucial to drink a lot of water and moisturize the skin regularly. In addition, it prevents the tattoo from dryness and keeps your skin hydrated.
But don’t over-moisturize if your tattoo is in the healing process as it leads to further damage.
The bottom line
None of us want our tattoos to look blurred or faded before they should because we have invested our time and money. But it can only be possible through proper aftercare. The better you care for them, the better they look.
Therefore, the proper protection and quality SPF sunscreen can protect your tattoo from fading, burns, wrinkles, and other damages. Moreover, we suggest getting a tattoo in winters as it’s the easiest way to avoid harmful UV rays efficiently.