ZocdocAnswersIs it okay to get a tattoo if I have psoriasis?

Question

Is it okay to get a tattoo if I have psoriasis?

Have it pretty much everywhere on my body, including my arms, where I want to get tattoos. Is it safe to get tattoos if you have psoriasis on your skin?

Answer

Fortunately, it is possible to get a tattoo if you have psoriasis. The main concern with psoriasis and tattoos is what known as "Koebner phenomenon," which refers to psoriasis plaques that develop at the site of a skin injury. However, not everyone with psoriasis has this type of reaction. Unfortunately, doctors can't predict for sure who will or who won't have it. But if you are a person whose psoriasis has been easily triggered by skin traumas (such as a cut) in the past, I would advise against getting a tattoo. Also, the Koebner phenomenon is likely to occur when you already have active psoriasis. If it is so, you might want to think careful about getting a tattoo during a flare-up. Another risk of getting a tattoo is the potential for an infection or allergic reaction after your skin is punctured and ink is injected into it. Studies have shown that people with psoriasis might be more susceptible to skin infections caused by an abrasion, such as getting a tattoo. As well, although allergic reactions to tattoo inks are uncommon, they can be serious. Otherwise, having psoriasis doesn't necessarily mean that you can't get a tattoo. If you would not have an adverse reaction to it, obviously it would not be a problem at all. While you can adorn your body and express yourself with tattoos, you need to consult with your doctor who can assess your condition properly in-person. That said, I would advise against getting a tattoo in an attempt to cover up your skin condition because it's not able to cover those raised, red, scaly patches of skin caused by psoriasis. If you are self-conscious about how your skin looks, I suggest a consultation with a dermatologist for treatment options of your psoriasis rather than having something permanent like a tattoo.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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