Tattoos and Psoriasis

Psoriasis plaques
Psoriasis plaques on back

For people who face skin conditions, life can be tough. Make sure you really do the proper research before stepping into the tattoo parlour.

Can You Get a Tattoo?

wrist ink

Just because you have been diagnosed with psoriasis, it does not mean that you can't get some ink done! There has been a lot of research done into the areas of tattoos and psoriasis, and both doctors and tattoo artists have been conducting studies on how psoriatic skin reacts to the tattoo gun. However, if you have psoriasis, getting a tattoo can be a challenge.

Avoid Ink Over Plaques

Tattoo artists cannot ink over plaques because this skin is constantly changing and is not your true skin. If your body is covered in plaques and the silver-white skin known as scales, a tattoo shop will probably turn your business away. You will not get the best tattoo results by tattooing over any skin that is abnormal.

The Koebner Effect

Along with the fact that getting tattooed over psoriasis plaques is a no-no, another issue with tattoos and psoriasis is the Koebner effect. This states that any injury to your skin can cause additional psoriasis plaques to show up where your skin was injured. This can happen from something as simple as nicking yourself with a razor, and since tattoos are much larger and more invasive than this - the chance is great that you may end up with a huge plaque in place of your tattoo. Not all psoriasis sufferers have this effect, however, so it is very difficult to predict.

Predicting Reactions

Not everyone with psoriasis will have a reaction when getting inked. However, there is no way to predict what will happen. Consider the following before you head to the tattoo shop:

  • Family History: Has any relative had psoriasis and also tried a tattoo? Their experience may give you some hints of what yours could be.
  • Current Skin Reactions: What causes psoriasis to flare up? If you cut yourself with a razor while shaving, does your skin react? If so, it is likely to do the same with the tattoo gun.
  • Severity of Your Condition: The more severe your condition, the more likely your skin will negatively react to a tattoo.

Professional Advice

If you have psoriasis, be sure to consult your doctor or other medical professional before getting inked. They will know your history and provide a more personalized guide to the potential for a negative reaction. Tattoo artists are not medically trained, and while they do have some intimate knowledge of the skin, cannot predict how your body will react. Psoriasis can be serious, so it is important to get medical clearance before getting that tattoo.

Tattoos and Psoriasis