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Can Tattoos and Eczema Co-Exist?

Tattoos and Eczema Co-Exist?

Yes, tattoos and eczema can co-exist. However, those with eczema-prone skin run the risk of inciting a flare-up by getting a tattoo, as well as aggravating symptoms such as itchiness and redness. Using tattoo ink designed for sensitive skin and getting a tattoo in an area where you rarely or never have flare-ups are two ways to limit your risk.

If you are prone to eczema flare-ups, it is recommended that you consult first with your dermatologist before getting a tattoo.

Potential Side-Effects of Getting a Tattoo When You Have Eczema

Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition, meaning it heightens the skin’s immune response to irritants. From the colored ink that gets injected into the skin to the needle, cleaning agents, and even the tattoo artist’s gloves, getting a tattoo is one big irritant party. That’s why the biggest potential side-effect of getting a tattoo with eczema is inciting a flare-up.

There is also an increased risk of infection and the possibility that a current or future flare-up could change how the tattoo looks. There are other, less-common side-effects such as:

  • Scarring
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Increased itchiness
  • Firm, rubbery scars called keloids

Remember, everyone’s skin is a bit different. Some people that get tattoos with eczema might experience all of these side-effects, while others might experience none at all. It’s best to consult with your doctor to assess your personal risk factors.

How to Safely Get a Tattoo with Eczema

It is possible to safely get a tattoo with eczema with proper research and preparation. Here are some tips:

  • Find a Trustworthy Shop and Artist – It’s imperative to go to a reputable, professional, and clean tattoo shop and artist. The best option is an artist that has experience tattooing those with eczema. Do your research and read reviews.
  • Look for Sensitive-Skin Tattoo Ink – There are many different kinds of tattoo ink, all with varying ingredients. Research which type would be best for sensitive skin. Once you find a good option, do a patch test to assess your risk of an allergic reaction.
  • Avoid Frequent Flare-Up Spots – It’s best to get your tattoo in an area of your body that doesn’t get any or many flare-ups.
  • Reschedule to Avoid Flare-Ups – You do not want to get your tattoo during a flare-up, so reschedule your appointment if necessary.

Care for Your Eczema-Prone, Tattooed Skin

The work isn’t over once you get the tattoo. You also have to properly care for your eczema-prone, tattooed skin to avoid infection, irritation, scarring, and other side-effects by:

  • Not Scratching – Scratching your tattooed skin will not only irritate your eczema but can also ruin your tattoo.
  • Keep the Area Clean – You should avoid submerging a new tattoo in water for about two weeks, but that does not mean you shouldn’t keep it clean! Cleanse your tattoo with a shampoo and body wash for eczema-prone skin like Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Daily Shampoo and Body Wash. This gentle, non-soap cleanser is free from harsh ingredients that can irritate your skin. It’s also made with soothing ingredients to help reduce inflammation.
  • Moisturize Twice a Day – Dry skin is irritated skin, especially when it’s been recently tattooed. Keep the area moisturized by applying an eczema friendly moisturizing cream like Happy Cappy Moisturizing Cream. Made with natural ingredients like Licorice Root Extract, Dr.Eddie’s Happy Cappy Moisturizing Cream soothes redness and creates a protective skin barrier.
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Dr. Eddie Valenzuela is an award winning pediatrician and the founder and CEO of Pediatric Solutions, LLC.

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