Sunburn tattoos are, incredibly, popping up on the web and gaining admirers. The dangers of this are particularly stark for hair loss sufferers, so we take a closer look. 

 

Sunburn Tattoos

Sunburn tattoos are created by layering a stencil featuring the desired design on the skin. Once thus prepared, they expose that skin to the hugely damaging ultraviolet rays of the summer sun. The stencil can be made of anything from paper, cut with scissors to create defined images, to the less accurate representations created by daubing factor 50 wherever they do not want the art. An image created in its negative form you might say. Instagram accounts are appearing with delighted posters showing off their sunburn tattoos, featuring everything from batman crests on the chest to more traditional tattoo designs.  

However you describe it, the practice is crazy and enough to move any self-respecting dermatologist to tears. For good reason. The UVB rays will inflame the skin and kill off the top layer of cells. Meanwhile, the UVA rays, which penetrate more deeply, actually damage the DNA at the same time stimulating the skin to produce more protective melanin. So, whether you end up with a tan or a burn, you are definitely causing damage to your skin. Damage that is directly associated with the development of a range of cancers, up to and including melanoma. 

Warning To Hair Loss Sufferers

If you have ever spent a summer in a hot climate you may have a better idea of just how damaging the suns’ rays can be. The fabric on a typical deckchair will last one season, by the end of which its colours will have been bleached and whatever material had been used to stitch it together would have withered. Those rays are incredibly powerful and do their work incrementally and in silence. 

When it comes to the skin on our scalp we are looking at the most vulnerable skin on our body. Unlike deckchair material, skin is capable of replacing itself. Something it does continuously throughout your life. Scalp skin, compared to elsewhere on the body, is thin, fragile even. The risks associated with sunburn are amplified because of that and because, at the end of the day, it is the scalp that is constantly and directly exposed. Hair, if you have it, can offer some security, but not as much as you’d think. But if you are losing your hair, then without the safety of a hat or a high factor screen, your scalp is extremely likely to burn in sunny conditions, it should be your primary concern when it comes to protection. It should never be considered as a location for a stencil and a deliberate sunburn tattoo. 

All of the above applies to HIS clients, of course, and their Scalp Micropigmentation treatment needs to be protected from those same rays. The UVA rays that can penetrate and damage DNA are more than capable of breaking down the simple molecules that the pigments are made from. 

HIS Hair Clinic

Dealing with a sunburnt scalp is straightforward enough, you can only treat the symptoms. Apply aloe vera directly to soothe and provide some relief. Ibuprofen is great at helping with pain and will also help with the inflammation. Keep hydrated!

Best is not to get burnt in the first place. This summer, make a conscious decision about how you will manage exposure, set up some simple rules for yourself. Then stick to them. 

If you would like to discuss your hair loss situation with one of our team of friendly experts, simply complete our contact form on this page or click here to find your nearest clinic.

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By Ian Watson

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