SUN, SKIN and TATTOOS: FRIENDS OR ENEMIES ?

Vorsorge Untersuchung von Hautarzt Von M.Dörr M.Frommherz AdobeStock für Tattoo Panel 2021

I would like to address the topic of skin and tattoos in the context of the Tattoo Panel. The overlaps of tattoo artists and dermatologists are numerous. By working together, both groups can learn and benefit from each other.

Sunlight is essential to human life.

The light of the sun activates the vitamin D production in the Skin and influences the immune system. Medicine also makes use of the positive properties of UV light. Various diseases, for example psoriasis and neurodermatitis, can be treated with light. Last but not least, it is also successfully used to treat depression.

But Sunlight depends on the dose.

Too much of a good thing not only causes sunburn, ages the skin prematurely, and causes tattoos to fade faster. No, excessive UV radiation is now considered the main risk factor for the development of skin cancer.

Since the 1970s, the incidence of the disease in Central Europe has increased almost sixfold. The most common skin tumor, basal cell carcinoma (Fig. 1) is considered to be the most common human tumor of all.

Fig. 1: Inconspicuous but not harmless. A so-called
solid-cystic basal cell carcinoma

The most dangerous form of skin cancer, however, is malignant melanoma, the so-called “black skin cancer”.

Melanoma, that is not detected in time, remains incurable despite all the advances in medicine.

Here already a first interface between physician and tattooist shows up. Since melanoma can be difficult to detect in its early stages (Figure 2), it makes absolute sense to have the skin examined by a dermatologist before tattooing.

Fig. 2: Especially early forms of black skin cancer, the so-called melanoma, can be difficult to detect.

By the way, a good tattoo artist will never over-stitch moles, but always leave them free.

The individual can contribute to the prevention and early detection of skin cancer through a “self-check”. Here the important and in the meantime also quite well-known A-B-C-D-E rule comes to use. It is simple and effective. Only one should be also clear, the self check does not replace a preventive medical examination by a dermatologist.

Surgical removal is the mainstay of Treatment for Melanoma. But with the so-called white skin cancers one can heal preliminary stages or even special forms, e.g. early invasive forms by means of modern treatment methods also without “the scalpel”.

Now nobody wants to forbid the stay outdoors or the enjoyment of sun. However, a responsible handling of UV radiation makes all the more sense. Not only do the tattoo colors remain vibrant longer and fade less, the development of skin tumors can also be avoided.

Of course, I am always happy to receive inquiries, but otherwise, as I said, I would like to deal with a few of the topics touched on above here in the near future.

Best regards, Hans Bayer

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  1. Dear Hans, thank you so much for your great contribution on the topic of skin cancer, sun and tattoos here in the Tattoo Panel-MAGAZINE “Medicine”.

    The topic is really big and everyone will find himself here and there. Thank you for the two super pictures as examples. I hope we will go deeper into the topic of skin screening and possible skin diseases in the future.

    And as you already wrote: “The overlaps of tattoo artists and dermatologists are numerous. By working together, both groups can learn and benefit from each other.” – A definite yes❣️

    Even better, if the dermatologist is also tattooed and knows what he’s talking about…

    Welcome to the Tattoo Panel Hans 👍🏼

    1. Thanks Thomas….my pleasure to be here…to all those reading this, following this, please contact me any time if you have any topics that you would like me to discuss or have questions to ….Lets do this together!

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