Zinc Your Ink: Why tattoos should always be protected from the sun

If you have a tattoo, make sure you either cover it with clothing or protect it with SPF 50+ sunscreen. And I will tell you why.

Are you aware that the tattooing process moves a solid needle up and down into the skin, puncturing it between 50 and 3000 times per minute? In theory, any process that breaks the skin’s integrity would make that area more susceptible to Ultraviolet Radiation.

(Ultraviolet Radiation – known as UVR – is emitted from the sun or artificial sources such as solariums. UVR is what causes sun burn, skin and eye damage, premature aging and in some cases, leads to skin cancer.)

Additionally, the tattoo ink also is broken down with exposure to UVR. This can lead to premature fading of your tattoo!

Always ink around the moles

If you have any moles tattooed I want to make sure you are aware of this. Did you know, that fifty per cent of all skin cancers and melanomas develop in pre-existing moles? If you do have moles tattooed, it might make it difficult to see if your mole has had any changes. A good tattoo artist will always ink around the moles, enabling changes to be visible.

In the unfortunate event of which a melanoma is diagnosed, another issue can arise from tattoos. The melanoma and surrounding lymph nodes needs to be examined to see if the melanoma cells may have spread. It has been noted that pigment from the tattoo ink, which sits around a millimetre below the skins surface, can find its way into the lymph glands. This poses a problem for the pathologist to distinguish the ink from any melanoma cells in the lymph node. This then can lead to incorrect diagnosis.

So please, if you have a tattoo (or several) zinc your ink before you head outdoors. It could save your life!

Author: Spotscreen
Spotscreen is Australia’s leading onsite skin cancer screening and corporate health provider, focussing on providing the highest quality of specialised onsite health programs for your workplace and local community.

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