Today in ‘people doing silly things’ news, it appears that the sunburn tattoo trend is making a comeback.
For those not in the know, a sunburn tattoo is when someone applies a shape or design on their skin, goes out in the sun, and waits to burn. When they’re fully scorched, the design that was ‘blocked’ will appear on the skin as a whiter patch.
That design will then last as a semi-permanent ‘tattoo’ while your skin heals and peels.
Sunburn tattoos, also known as sun tattoos, are not a new concept.
People have been deliberately wrecking their skin for the sake of having a star on their wrist since 2015.
But according to Inked, growing older has not made all of us wiser, as the look continues to pop up on the internet. Over on Instagram, the majority of #sunburntattoos shared are accidental, but there a few posts describing the technique as an easy way to do a temporary tatt.
As you might expect, a sunburn tattoo is not a good idea. It’s a very bad idea, in fact, exposing yourself to a load of risks that make any cool design not worth the bother.
Consultant dermatologist Dr Sharon Wong tells Metro.co.uk that partaking in the sunburn tattoo trend is ‘incredibly dangeous and irresponsible.’
‘Intense UV exposure that results in sunburn causes significant DNA damage to the skin with very serious and potentially life-threatening consequences,’ Dr Wong warns.
‘Getting sunburn just once every two years is enough to triple your chances of developing melanoma (cancerous moles) in the future.
‘It is therefore not only dangerous, but highly irresponsible for anyone to be promoting sunburn tattoos as a fashionable trend.
‘Sunburn is dangerous and there is no such thing as a safe tan.’
Well that’s us told.
Sitting out in the sun for the purpose of creating a fake tattoo also puts you at risk of sun stroke, which is never fun, and alongside the skin cancer risk any burn is guaranteed to leave you with sore, peeling skin.
If the threat of skin cancer isn’t enough to scare you off, let the thought of sore skin put you off. Just putting on clothes is painful when you’ve got a bad burn, so there’d be no way to show off your tattoo without immediately wanting to bathe in aloe vera.
Oh, and there’s always the threat of public shaming. No one will applaud you for a rubbish design on your skin applied through serious skin damage. You’ll just look a bit silly.
Shamir Patel, pharmacist and founder of Chemist 4 U, hammers home all these concerns, telling us: ‘You should NEVER purposely sunburn yourself. That’s the bottom line.
‘Sunburn causes sometimes irreversible damage. Sun damage can cause premature ageing, issues with your skin’s condition and elasticity and the well known one in extreme cases – cancer. Detrimental sun damage can cause cancers due to the changes in cells the over-UV exposure.
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‘Asides from the effects to your skin, burning in the sun can also cause issues such as heat exhaustion, dizziness, nausea and headaches. Not to mention, it can be incredibly painful. Your skin isn’t supposed to burn.
‘SPF helps to protect your skin against the sun and harmful UV rays, it prolongs the amount of time you can spend in the sun and should be used regularly ALL over the areas of your skin that will be exposed to the sun (it should not be tampered with to try and create a ‘tattoo effect’).
‘That being said, I would always advise staying in the shade when the sun is at it’s hottest and covering up accordingly.
‘It doesn’t matter how big or little the area of exposed skin is, any type of sunburn can cause issues of various degrees to your health.
‘In short, if you value your health, don’t adopt this trend. And stay properly protected in the sun too.’
If you have your heart set on a temporary tattoo, good news, as there are plenty of safe options to choose from.
You can order all manner of stick on temporary designs online, ask for an airbrush design from a tattoo shop, and if you’re really keen for the tan tattoo look, just put a sticker on your arm before rubbing on some fake tan. Easy.
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