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A tattoo machine surrounded by abstract plaques and traditional-style tattoo question marks.

5 Tips for Getting Tattoos When You Have Psoriasis

As with most things to do with personal choice, tattoos, in general, can be a touchy subject. We all have our own school of thought and mine is, that as long as you are not harming others, you do what you feel is best for you. 

Getting tattoos with psoriasis

This is my thought and approach for those who choose to get tattoos. That the decision is 100% your choice, and I will not judge you either way. I love tattoos. I enjoy looking at them and thinking through potential new ones, it's a creative process. Though, having psoriasis can complicate this artistic journey.

So if you're looking to get a tattoo with plaques or risking a potential flare, I invite you to take into consideration the tips I've provided below.

Checking in with your skin

Over the years I have had to find ways to make tattoos and getting tattoos to work for me. Personally, I have some big pieces and they take time. For about 8 months of the year, there is no way that I am able to get a tattoo. My skin flares seasonally and it takes time to subside. 

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That said, I am thoughtful and strategic when it comes to scheduling appointments. I only really have 2-4 months of the year where I can get my tattoos done. In that time, I was able to get anything from a 45-minute piece to a 6-hour piece without too many negative effects and only minor flares.

Finding the right studio

This is the first and most important step. Make sure you have a good artist and I do not just mean someone that can create and tattoo good quality work. They need to understand you and your skin and have a sterile studio with a good reputation.

It is equally important that you have an open line of communication, to discuss your skin and its response and when your skin is ready.

Patience is a virtue

You need to have patience. Some of the bigger pieces will take more time and they are a commitment to finish. One of the biggest pieces I have took 2 years to finish. This was due to massive breaks in between - my arms were not handling it very well.

At the first sign of distress, my artist will put our session on hold. He understands how my skin reacts and I respect and trust his opinion.

Post tattoo care

This is something that is underrated and under-prioritized, even for folks who did not live with a skin condition. It should be of utmost importance if you recently got a tattoo with psoriasis.

I have my own routine to keep the site clean and make sure to follow my artist’s instructions for care. This can vary from person to person. I add in ice packs over the second skin and I make sure to take some anti-inflammatory tablets for a few days after. These make a big difference in controlling the trauma reaction of my skin.

The golden rule

Never ever tattoo over or close to the skin that is open, inflamed, or in an active flare. This is never okay. This poses a severe risk for infection and will like make your skin much worse. Don't prioritize the tattoo over your skincare and risk additional flares. Don't let the artist guilt you or allow you to feel bad about it either. Stand your ground.

While getting a tattoo is a work of art and a form of expression, your health and skin health comes first.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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