Tattoos and Eczema

Tattoos and Eczema

Tattoos and EczemaIt seems that tattoos are getting more and more popular by the day, giving us the incorrect impression that getting a tat is risk free. Having eczema doesn’t mean that you cannot get inked, just that you’ll have to take some extra precautions. You should wait to have work done if you’re having a flare-up. Also, you’ll want to check to see if you have an allergy to the ink that’s being used.

You will want to address any concerns you have about getting a tattoo with your dermatologist before heading out to the tattoo parlor. Many tattoo artists will offer to do a test tattoo to see if you react to the ink.

While eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic condition, the symptoms can lay dormant for months or years. A flare-up may be preceded by itchiness and redness. If you are experiencing these symptoms you will want to reschedule your tattoo appointment. You can reschedule once your flare-up has completely passed.

Tattoos and an Increased Risk with Eczema

Eczema is a condition of the autoimmune system. It often will flare-up when the immune system kicks into overdrive. Although Eczema may develop as a child, but sometimes in adults later. Additionally, there seems to be a genetic factor as eczema tends to run in families. Common triggers include:

  • acute illnesses
  • air pollution
  • chemical exposure
  • environmental allergies

There are some risks inherent with getting a tattoo. The risks of these side effects increase if you suffer from eczema or another preexisting skin condition. Your skin is already sensitive when you have skin conditions such as psoriasis. A tattoo can make this sensitivity even worse.

Tattoos and EczemaPossible Side Effects of Tattoos and Eczema

What can happen if I get a tattoo? Those that have eczema have a higher chance of experiencing skin reactions due to their hypersensitivity. These reactions may include:

  • an eczema flare-up (increased itching and redness)
  • an increase in itchiness during the healing process
  • scarring from improper healing
  • a rare allergic reaction to the ink used for the tattoo
  • development of an infection
  • hyper- or hypopigmentation (change to skin color)
  • appearance of keloids (large, raised scars)

Some people get tattoos to cover scars from a previous eczema flare-up. Having a tattoo done over a scar increases the risk of hyper- or hypopigmentation. It can also contribute to the development of keloids.