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Sunburn Tattoos Are On The Rise

by / Friday, 10 July 2015 / Published in Fashion, Health, Tattoos, Trending



Once the stuff of pranks, many people are now purposefully taking to the sun with only select parts of their skin protected. The trend, which is being treated like a fun temporary tattoo, is receiving a lot of criticism from the medical industry. (Even more criticism then the body modification industry normally receives.) So what is all of the fuss about?


How does it work? 

Sunburn tattoos are achieved in two basic ways; either by placing a stencil on the body, or by applying sunscreen in a specific pattern, and then going out into the sun with the intention to burn.


What good is that? 

Once the stencil/sunscreen is removed, the pattern remains on the skin until the burn fades away. This leaves the sun worshipper with a temporary tattoo for a few days, a few weeks, or longer, depending on your skin, and the severity of the initial burn.

Like all tattoo fads, you can find many examples on Instagram.


So why dem doctors gotta hate? 

The Skin Cancer Foundation warns that too much sun can irrevocably damage the skins DNA. Damaged cells can trigger mutations cause skin cells to over multiply, resulting in melanoma (mean, nasty skin cancer). And that’s in addition to the guarantee of early aging.

Dr Deborah Sarnoff, the vice president of the Skin Cancer Foundation provided the following startling statistic; “On average, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns.” 



(Five sunburns? Who hasn’t had five sunburns?)


Clearly going out with the intention to burn poses a considerable and unnecessary risk. Especially when the reward is only a temporary tattoo.

If temporary is your desire, henna and airbrush are great alternatives. And if you really want a tattoo, just save up and leave tattooing to the pros, m’kay?