Wellness Safety

Skin care for tattoos

Photo: Igor Alecsander/iStockphoto

If you have a tattoo, you’ll want to keep it looking its best. Bruce H. Thiers, MD, FAAD, president of the American Academy of Dermatology Association, has tips for keeping tattooed skin healthy and vibrant.

  • If your tattooed skin feels dry, apply a water-based lotion or cream to it. Petroleum-based products can cause the ink to fade.
  • Ultraviolet light can fade some tattoo inks. When you’re in the sun, apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Stay out of tanning beds and away from sunlamps. These devices can also fade the ink in your tattoo.
  • If you’re considering getting a new tattoo, pick a place on your skin that is free of moles. A tattoo can make it more difficult to spot the earliest signs of skin cancer. When caught early, skin cancer – including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer – is highly treatable.
  • See a board-certified dermatologist if your tattooed skin changes.

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