Can Your New Tattoo Trigger Psoriasis?

Woman with a fresh tattoo on her back

There are a lot of considerations you must consider before committing to getting a tattoo. What part of the body do you want it on? Do you want it to be seen? Does it have an important meaning to you? One thing you might not have asked yourself while flipping through books of ink designs is whether getting a tattoo is going to trigger a negative response in your skin.

Your skin has a very important job to do: protect you from invaders. When something breaks or injures your skin, like a tattoo needle, it begins to heal. This process isn’t always comfortable. The area that is healing may itch or show some redness and swelling. These are all normal body responses to rupturing of the skin. There are, however, times when you should be concerned about your skin after getting a tattoo.


Allergic Reactions to Tattoos

Believe it or not, some people can be allergic to tattoos. It could be the type of ink or color that causes reactions like itching, redness, blistering, or clear fluid seeping out. In particular, red pigments may contain toxic metals which can trigger contact dermatitis.

Tattoos Can Cause Sun Allergy

Just a few hours after getting a tattoo, some people report having an allergic reaction to sun exposure. This might include blisters, hives, redness, swelling, and itchy bumps. Those who get a tattoo should avoid sunlight and keep their healing skin covered. The tattoo artists can provide guidance as to when it’s ok to start applying sunscreen.

Eczema Flare-Ups from Tattoos

People with a history of eczema can experience a flare-up in the area of the skin with a tattoo. Redness, itchiness, and cracked skin can be a result of certain inks and the products used for skincare after getting a tattoo. Before getting a tattoo, ask if the artist uses inks for sensitive skin, and be sure to find aftercare products that are fragrance and alcohol-free.

Psoriasis Triggered by a Tattoo

If you suffer from psoriasis, getting a tattoo isn’t the best idea if you want to avoid a flare-up. It may even cause a first-time reaction. As we know, anything that punctures or scrapes the skin can trigger this autoimmune disease to go into overdrive. The pinpricks of the tattoo needle can cause skin cells to renew too quickly, resulting in scaly, itchy patches on the skin.

Infection After Getting a Tattoo

Though not as common, it is certainly possible to get an infection from non-sterile tattoo instruments or ink. These can introduce bacteria into the skin, which can cause an infection. That means pain, red bumps, redness that gets worse, and even fever and chills. Make sure you use a tattoo artist who takes this seriously.

Before you commit to getting permanent skin art, talk to your dermatologist if you have preexisting skin concerns like psoriasis, and make sure you are using a reputable, well-reviewed tattoo artist who can ensure a sterile environment. You can schedule an appointment at The Derm Group online or by calling 973.571.2121.