When the weather is nice and the sun is shining, it’s the perfect time to show off your tattoos. However, exposing your tattoo to too much sunlight without protection can cause it to fade and become blurry, which leads to frustration and expensive touch-ups. To avoid this problem, proper tattoo aftercare states that you need tattoo protection when they are exposed to the sun.
How the Sun Affects Tattoos
Exposure to sunlight will affect your tattoo in a couple of different ways. Tattoo ink is inserted into the dermis layer of your skin, which also contains melanocytes, which are cells that release melanin when exposed to the sun. If you expose this part of your body to the sun, these cells will release substantial amounts of melanin, which will change the color of your tattoo. In addition, some of the sun’s rays will reach the ink molecules that compose your tattoo and begin breaking them down, allowing them to be processed out of the body by your liver. This causes the tattoo to appear faded and blurry.
Can You Put Sunscreen on a Tattoo?
You should be able to put sunscreen on your tattoo without damaging it in any way. In fact, one of the most important things you will learn when studying how to take care of a new tattoo is that sunscreen is highly recommended anytime you are exposing your tattoo to direct sunlight. The best sunscreen for tattoos has a high SPF rating. Make sure you can find and apply it every few hours while you are in the sun. You should also reapply sunscreen for tattoos after sweating a lot or after swimming.
Sun Protection for New Tattoos
If your tattoo is very new, it is best to keep it completely covered for the first few months if you are going to be out in the sun during the Spring or Summer. New tattoos fade very quickly when exposed to sunlight. In addition, if your tattoo has not completely healed yet, exposing the area to sunlight could result in blistering. In general, you should keep a new tattoo completely protected from the sun for at least three to four weeks.
How to Put Lotion on Back Tattoo
If you have a tattoo on your back, applying sunscreen can be more challenging. However, it is still important to protect your back tattoo from the sun’s rays if you want to keep it looking fresh and crisp. In general, the easiest way to apply lotion to a back tattoo you cannot reach is to ask a friend or family member to apply the lotion for you.
Is Baby Lotion Good for Tattoos?
Baby lotion can help to keep a tattoo moisturized, especially in the first few weeks after application. However, it is important to note that baby lotion will not protect your tattoo from the sun unless it comes with an SPF. If your tattoo will be covered, baby lotion is a fine choice for providing moisture, but you need to select a lotion that includes sunscreen if you are going to expose the tattoo for the sun. Specialized lotions designed specifically for tattoos may be available from the tattoo parlor or other retailers.
Key Sun Exposure Tips
- Too much sun exposure can cause fading and discoloration of tattoos when the skin is unprotected.
- To protect tattoos from sun damage, always apply sunscreen when the tattoo is exposed.
- New tattoos should be completely covered while in the sun for at least four weeks.