To Ink or Not to Ink? Tattoos and Eczema

A few months ago, I got 2 tattoos. One is on the upper part of my left forearm and the other one is near the back of my neck. You may be thinking that’s great and all, but how does that relate to eczema? Well, a month before I got them, I started breaking out and getting rashes on my arms. It wasn’t very noticeable and honestly it looked like tiny patches of acne, but nope, all eczema. I began to panic. I wondered if I should really get them? What if I break out in the areas I want to put them? What if I get the tattoos and then it breaks out on the tattoo? It plagued my thoughts for weeks. I absolutely love tattoos and the thought of not getting these two, brought tears to my eyes.

Can tattoo artists refuse service?

After doing a little research I discovered that a tattoo artist may refuse to place a tattoo on an affected area of skin. Heat from the needle which is created when it penetrates the skin could trigger a flare-up. There was also the possibility of the ink causing a flare. I eventually told myself if I flared up, I’d just deal with the consequences. I felt that if I didn’t go through with it, I would be allowing eczema to control my life.

Vegan tattoo ink

I later found out that the ink my tattoo artist uses was Fusion Tattoo Ink. It is a vegan ink that doesn’t contain metal or any other toxic elements such as artificial coloring that would for sure trigger my eczema. This was important for another reason outside of eczema as I am highly allergic to artificial coloring, mainly anything with a red base. This thrilled me, and I was once again excited for my tattoos.

Tattoo healing

Luckily, I didn’t flare up before receiving my tattoos, nor did they cause a flare. I made sure to follow the care instruction my artist gave me and did everything I possibly could to prevent a flare. I also used a CBD balm throughout the healing process. It kept the skin moist and relieved pain. It has been several months since I received my tattoos and I have yet to experience a breakout in those areas.

Eczema doesn't control me

One thing this experience made me realize is that I shouldn’t let eczema get in the way of doing something I want. I almost did, but in the end, I got two awesome tattoos and no breakouts. I plan to get more at some point and who knows, I may flare up the next time I get one, but I’m not going to let that stop me. My current tattoos are mostly line work and are not fully filled in. I am not sure if that makes a difference, but I will most likely continue to get these types of tattoos.

Do you have tattoos? If so, are they mostly line work or fully filled in and did you experience a reaction from your eczema?

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