Psoriasis, Scars & Tattoos
A few important things before we begin:
1. At no point has any of my information come from a Dermatologist, Doctor, or any other healthcare professional. Everything written in this post is based on my own experience and are my own opinions.
2. I am not sponsored by any of the companies mentioned within this post and am not receiving any form of payment from them.
3. I do not condone people under the age of 18 getting tattoos - yes, I did, but that was my own choice. I feel it is important to wait, especially if you don't know what you want or are doing it to "fit in"...it's not worth it, trust me.
4. This post is something I am passionate about and want to write about, I am not suggesting that you should or should not get tattoos. If you are simply not interested or do not agree with me writing about this topic then please stop reading now!
5. TW - There will be parts in this which focus on scars, self-harm and images of fresh tattoos/scarring. If any of this may affect you in any way, then please do not continue reading.
6. I'm not sharing full photos of my newest tattoo because I will be writing a separate blog about it in a few days.
Tattoos. We either love them or hate them, or sometimes just don't really have an opinion. but despite how you may feel about them, tattoos have made a huge come back in our society and are very popular amongst all generations. We decide to get them for a variety of reasons, be it for fun, on a drunk holiday which is later filled with regret, as a tradition, or
as a keepsake. I personally started getting tattoos as a way of collecting memories. It's sounds cliché, but I see my body as a canvas and feel the need to decorate myself with happy, and meaningful memories. I'm also quite addicted to the sensation and enjoy being in that chair and hearing that buzzing noise of the tattoo gun. It's a sensation and pain you can't really explain until you've had one done yourself.
When I was younger I had a whole list of tattoos I wanted.
Band names, band logos, random gothic images, none of which I have ended up getting. I got my first tattoo when I was 17 (yes, underage, I know) and I thought it was the most amazing thing ever – It’s now covered with a completely different design. I've since had a lot more tattoos done, but these days it's become harder and harder for me to get them. Why? Because of my Psoriasis.
I see the same question pop up time and time again...should I get a tattoo if I have Psoriasis? Well, that really is entirely up to you, but from someone with severe Psoriasis here is some personal advice if you do choose to put ink to skin when living with P.
You know your body best...but the tattooist is a professional and can decide not to work on you.
If you have had a tattoo before then I am sure you'll recognise the consent form you fill in before any work can start. if you haven't had one before here's an example.
(Example taken from releaseforms.org)
All forms vary but they must be filled in to ensure yours and the artist's safety, as well as keeping everything legally kosher.
When I had a new tattoo done last year, in a tattoo studio I'd not been to before, there was a question asking if I had any skin conditions (e.g Psoriasis) to which I answered 'yes' – it's not really something I could hide anyway, but if your Psoriasis isn't so obvious or in a different place to where you're having a tattoo then don't lie about it, BE HONEST!
Once I sat in the chair and the tattooist saw my arms, he asked, "I noticed you said you have Psoriasis and from seeing your skin are you sure this okay for me to do?" As I've had tattoos before when my skin has been bad, I knew that the result could be bad, but at the same time, I didn’t want to deprive myself, so I was happy to continue.
Take my word for it...IF YOU'RE HAVING A FLARE, NO MATTER HOW SMALL, DO NOT HAVE A TATTOO UNLESS YOU'RE PREPARED TO WORK HARD TO LOOK AFTER IT!
After care! After Care! After Care!
After care for tattoos is crucial and your tattooist will not stress this enough, mainly because they don't want to see their beautiful work become a mess. When you have Psoriasis and your skin gets damaged the flares are worse, because, Psoriasis happens when the cells produce too quickly, and when your body realises it's damaged, it works even harder. Because of this your tattoo will fade faster, which no one wants as it's best to keep it looking fresh and lovely for as long as possible.
Pre-Psoriasis, I would use nappy rash cream on my new tattoos (something many artists were using), however since my diagnosis I have realised how much more effort I need to put in to looking after new ink. These days I use products by a company called Tattoo Goo.
I got their aftercare kit for around £15 on Amazon, which is pretty damn good considering how long it lasts.
These are the 4 products you get. Though they be little, they are fierce - to paraphrase Shakespeare. Here's a closer look at each one.
Active Ingredient: Chloroxylenol 0.5%
Use: Helps eliminate germs on skin
3 to 4 times daily for tattoos. 1 to 2 times daily for piercings.
Squeeze in to palm of hand (be gentle, it comes out very quickly)
Work up lather in hands
Gently rub lather on tattoo or piercing
Cold water rinse, pat, then air dry.
I LOVE this product as I am VERY aware of how much dirt you pick up on your skin throughout the day, and as I like to keep my new tattoos very clean I will use this before applying the salve or lotion. I use it when I shower, then each time before I go to reapply new lotion. Love the very hygienic smell of it and it's always been great on my super sensitive skin.
ULTRA moisturising formula with Healix Gold +Panthenol.
95% natural olive oil formula. Enhances colour of new and old tattoos. Dermatologist tested. Not tested on animals.
For new tattoos: apply a thin layer to tattoo 3 to 4 a day. Do not over apply.
For older tattoos: apply a thin layer as needed on a frequent basis to rejuvenate colour.
Seriously. Smells great, feels great. Super soothing on new tattoos and does not irritate my skin at all. In fact, because of it's size, it's a handy little moisturiser to carry round.