Tattoos And Psoriasis: What Is The Link Between Them
Psoriasis is a skin disease whose main symptom is the presence of big spots that cover the skin with white-silver flakes. The most commonly affected areas are elbows, knees, the scalp and the area near the tailbone. When the spots appear in traumatized areas, this is called Koebners phenomenon. It affects almost 25% of the patients with psoriasis.
Different factors may cause this phenomenon. If you have psoriasis, getting a tattoo may provoke Koebners phenomenon and make the spots appear right on the drawing.
The Koebner Phenomenon And Other Concerns
In the late 1870s, Heinrich Koebner first detailed the phenomenon that would come to bear his name. He was describing the appearance of psoriasis plaques on skin that had experienced trauma and was previously unaffected by psoriasis. You may also hear this referred to as isomorphic psoriasis. It simply means that the plaques resulting from trauma are similar in presentation to the plaques on skin that was previously affected. The Koebner phenomenon impacts approximately 25 percent of people with psoriasis after traumatic injuries.
Beautiful and meaningful as tattoos can be, it is undeniable that they require trauma to the skin. During the tattooing process, a specialized type of needle with tattoo ink goes rapidly in and out of the top layers of skin to outline, shade and color the skin. If someone with psoriasis gets a tattoo, there is a significant chance of inviting the psoriasis plaques to the tattooed area. You might go into the tattoo parlor with scalp psoriasis, for example, and after getting a sleeve, you could start to see psoriasis plaques on the arm.
If a tattoo is important enough to you to proceed despite the risks associated with the Koebner phenomenon, there are a few other things to consider before hopping into the artistâs chair.
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3. To help safeguard the skin, the immune system release chemicals that can cause nerves to itch and blood vessels to dilate to prepare the skin for a sudden rush of immune cells
4. When the immune cells arrive at the scene, most work to kill off the pathogens causing the distress, but a few capture some of the invaders and take them back to the heart of the immune system, where other soldier cells are produced in a way to recognize and attack the invading cells on contact
5. Inflammation is the bodys way of opening blood vessels to allow more soldier cells to rush to the battlefield.
While this entire process is completely normal, people with psoriasis tend to overproduce these soldier cells when the body feels threatened. This overabundance of killer immune cells can actually be dangerous to the skin since they begin to attack good cells along with the bad ones.
While it is great to finally understand the impact an improperly working immune system can have on your skin and cause psoriasis more research is needed to pinpoint the exact cause for the over-firing of the cell messages. Can a Tattoo Cause Psoriasis
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Tattoos The Immune System And Lupus
Are tattoos safe for people with lupus. Lets turn to the research.
A 2019 study on tattoos in people with lupus found no increase in SDI scores or lupus symptoms.
In total, 147 people participated in the study. 65 of the 147 had a tattoo. No participants experienced acute complications. The median time between the tattoo and the flare-up was 9 months.
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Working With The Artist
Both Williams and Monroe talked to their tattoo artists to find out about the risks and even the laws concerning tattooing people with psoriasis.
Tattoo artists in Oregon, Wisconsin and Louisiana, for example, arenât permitted to work on any area of the skin where there are lesions. Louisiana even has a clause that specifically mentions psoriasis. South Carolina also prohibits tattooing on skin with any type of irregularity, such as a rash, sunburn, lesion or pimple.
âIf I go to a new artist, I make sure they know exactly what is going on, and I doublecheck theyâre happy to tattoo me,â says Williams. âI have certain tattoo artists that I go to and that are well aware of my skin condition and are amazing.â
Monroe says she also consults with her tattoo artist before each session and ensures that he or she is OK with tattooing her.
Rhode Island-based tattoo artist Nicole Coogan has found that if clients have a good understanding of their experiences with psoriasis as well as the condition of their skin at the time of the appointment, it helps in making the best decisions for safely executing tattoo placement and artwork. She says she has had a lot of success with her clients who have psoriasis.
âTrauma to the skin may cause plaques to build on the area, so tattooing is definitely a higher risk in an individual with psoriasis,â Coogan says. âBut depending on the person, it is not completely impossible.â
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Can You Get A Tattoo With Psoriasis
- Written By Dan Hunter on November 5, 2020Last Updated: December 16, 2020
More people have tattoos today than ever before. Even those who dont currently have any ink often have desires for getting one or more in the future. However, many different medical conditions can affect the way your skin responds to a new tattoo. One of these skin problems is psoriasis.
Having psoriasis doesnt necessarily mean that you cant get a tattoo. However, the condition can make the tattooing process more complicated, and it can even affect how your tattoo looks after the procedure. In this guide, well walk you through everything you should know before mixing tattoos and psoriasis.
Can People With Psoriasis Get Tattoos
A person with psoriasis can get tattoos, but the best bet is to stick to places where they dont usually get flare-ups.
Note that in some states, laws may prohibit artists from giving a tattoo to anyone with an active psoriasis flare. Tattoo artists may also refuse to tattoo while an active flare is occurring.
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Does Psoriasis Develop In Tattooed Areas
Since psoriasis develops with trauma to the skin, the initial and continuous needle prick would definitely qualify as trauma to an area where the tattoo is being done. With this said, wherever a tattoo is on your body, psoriasis can develop. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’tthere are no published studies in this area.
On the other hand, sometimes no new areas of psoriasis breakout occur regardless of the tattoo placement. There are doctors that leave the decision of getting a tattoo entirely up to the patient themselves, as long as the patient understands that there is a chance of psoriasis developing in the tattooed area.
After Getting A Tattoo
Chances are you will receive an instruction sheet after getting your tattoo that will explain how to care for your tattoo until it is healed. You should ask all your questions before leaving the shop and call them if you think of anything later.
Your tattoo site will be itchy and swollen, which is generally normal. Tattoos typically take at least two weeks to heal.
The tattoo will scab, and the scab will eventually fall off. It is important not to scratch the tattoo site, as this may slow down the healing and increase your risk for infection.
If you notice redness and excessive swelling, you should call your doctor right away, as these might be signs of an infection. Any new psoriasis plaques at or near the tattoo site should also be reported to your doctor immediately, as these may be related to the Koebner phenomenon.
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Preparing For The Healing Process
While any number of complications can make the tattoo healing process longer, especially common issues like infections, anyone with psoriasis should be ready to deal with a longer-than-normal healing process. This, of course, applies if you develop a flare-up in the area where you got your new tattoo, but it applies in other ways, too.
For example, after receiving a new tattoo, you should be disinfecting and washing it at least twice per day for the first two weeks once in the morning and once in the evening. Since those with psoriasis tend to have more sensitive skin, you should find a gentle disinfectant that wont irritate or break out other areas of your skin before your first session.
If youre used to dealing with psoriasis plaques, it may be tempting to pick at or itch your new tattoo as it heals. However, youll need to commit to leaving it alone, as picking at your tattoo can slow down your healing or even lead to infection. Using a good tattoo healing lotion can help to prevent itching and irritation if this is something youre likely to suffer with.
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What You Need To Know About Psoriasis Humira Tattoo
Is Your Stomach to Blame?
Who would have thought that a severe psoriasis outbreak could start because of something going wrong inside of your stomach and intestines? Yet, new research developed by psoriasis expert Edgard Cayce shows a distinct link between a leaky gut and a scaly psoriatic episode. According to Cayce, the primary source of psoriasis can be found in the intestinal tract, where toxins are leached into the body. This causes the immune system to react by thickening the skin. At the same time, the skin tries to purge the toxins through its layers, which can cause scabs and sores to form.
Could Arthritis Be the Cuplrit?
The intestines arent the only link to psoriasis found by researchers arthritis seems to also contribute to it. As many as one-third of all psoriasis patients eventually develop some form of psoriatic arthritis. Unlike normal forms of arthritis, those with psoriatic arthritis do not exhibit a rheumatoid factor when their blood is tested. This indicates that the arthritic condition comes solely from either the psoriasis itself or the underlying cause of the skin affliction.
Could a Virus Be the Cause?
Arthritis has been linked to certain virus and so have other auto-immune disorders. This leads some researchers to think that psoriasis too may start with a virus, which is what kicks the immune system into overdrive.
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Safe Tattoo Practice With Psoriasis
Consider the fact that psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. This means that the plaques on your skin are caused because your body perceives itself to be foreign and is attacking itself.
Any time you introduce something that is foreign to your body, you risk infection if your body is in a current attack phase, it may be unable to fight the infection.
Knowing that Koebner phenomenon can happen to one in four people with psoriasis, you also must assess whether you want to take the risk of worsening your psoriasis. If the risk is worth it to you, there are steps you should consider when selecting a tattoo parlor.
Following these guidelines will minimize your risk of infection, although they will not reduce your risk of the Koebner phenomenon:
Not All Tattoo Shops Are the Same
Once you have decided you would like to get a tattoo, you should do your research before going in for a tattoo. After all, not all tattoo shops are the same and not all follow guidelines established by OSHA and state law.
If you decide you want to go a specific tattoo parlor, make sure you verify the following about the tattoo parlor:
- If it is reputable
- The shop and artists are properly licensed
- The shop is clean
- Artists wear gloves during tattooing
- Artists understand proper sterilization of all tools
- Ink cups are only used for the one person getting the tattoo and thrown out afterward
- Fresh needles are used each time
Drinking Frequently Or In Excess
If you drink daily or have more than 2 drinks in a day frequently, your treatment for psoriasis may have little or no effect. Even treatment that could be effective for you may not work and youll continue to have flare-ups.
Reduce the risk of flare-ups from drinking
If you continue to drink, limit how much you drink in a day. Women should stop after 1 drink. Men should limit themselves to 2 drinks per day.
Be sure to tell your dermatologist if you drink alcohol. Drinking can make it risky to take some psoriasis medications like methotrexate.
Drinking frequently or in excess
If you drink daily or have more than 2 drinks in a day frequently, your treatment for psoriasis may have little or no effect.
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Moisturize And Protect From The Sun Forever
Fortunately, tattoo ink has evolved a lot, nowadays pretty much every good tattoo artist only uses the best ink.
It is undoubtedly teamwork between you and the tattooer. If you have an incredible tattoo, but you dont follow the safety recommendations, the result will not be the desired one.
Hydration and protection from the sun are still two of the essential care to be taken into consideration this will both benefit your tattoo and your psoriasis.
You really need to follow this so that the result in the medium and long term is the best possible.
State Rules And Laws Regarding Tattoos For People With Psoriasis
State laws vary regarding tattooing people with psoriasis.
For example, tattoo artists in Oregon, Wisconsin, and Louisiana arent permitted to work on any area of the skin where there are lesions. Louisiana even has a clause that specifically mentions psoriasis.
South Carolina also prohibits tattooing on skin with any type of irregularity, such as a rash, sunburn, lesion, or pimple.
Finding out your states tattoo laws will be an important part of your preparation process.
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If You Are Someone That Suffers From Eczema Or Psoriasis You Know How Painful And Annoying It Can Get But Laser Tattoo Removal Should Not Be
Skin conditions, no matter how small or big the problem may be, affect millions of people every year. This includes eczema and psoriasis.
In fact, it is estimated that 17% of Canadians will suffer from eczema in their lifetime, and a whopping 1 million Canadians suffer from psoriasis .
Many times, we have clients that come into our clinic with various skin conditions, including these, and it is important to know some information about laser tattoo removal and these specific skin issues.
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Psoriasis And Tattoos: Considerations And Questions To Ask
You should consider several things before committing to getting a tattoo, even if you dont have psoriasis or a similar condition. After all, the decision to get a tattoo is a large one, and it shouldnt be taken lightly or rushed.
Firstly, youll have to check whether your area allows you to get a tattoo if you have psoriasis. In some states, its actually illegal to tattoo a person with psoriasis or eczema. Even in places where it is legal, your prospective tattoo artist may refuse to tattoo you if they dont feel comfortable.
Secondly, consider whether you have a clear area on your body that is ready to receive a tattoo. Even if you have a place in mind right now, if that area flares up between now and your tattoo appointment, you may have to reschedule. This can limit you to areas of your body that dont usually flare.
Finally, you should ask your doctor whether they think its safe for you to get a tattoo. For example, many people living with psoriasis choose to take medications that suppress the immune system as a treatment for the condition. If youre immunosuppressed, you may be more vulnerable to infections, making a tattoo a bad choice for you.
These are not all of the things you need to consider before getting a tattoo with psoriasis. Well go over a few more of these considerations below.
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The Link Between Psoriasis And The Immune System
No one ever really considered that the immune system had any real role in psoriasis, or its painful outbreaks. Not until a new drug Cyclosporine was offered to arthritis patients. What happened next was both surprising and unexpected. Patients who were prescribed the immune suppressing drug for their arthritis symptoms , began to report a decrease in their skin attacks. Without warning, researchers were faced with the theory that the immune system could be causing psoriasis.
It didnt take long before researchers began to figure out the mystery of psoriasis in regards to how the immune system can impact it.
The Role of the Immune System on the Skin
The immune system is responsible for standing guard and attacking any invaders which penetrate the body. Since the skins main job is to act as the bodys first defense mechanism against invasion, it is no wonder that the immune system works in close connection with each layer of the skin. Heres how it all works:
1. Immune cells patrol the entire body for dangers. Can a Tattoo Cause Psoriasis
2. When an invader is detected, these immune send out chemical and nervous system messages to the immune system to ready itself for an attack
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