Tattoos are becoming more and more commonplace in society, no matter where you go. The insertion of pigment ink into the skin’s dermis, creating a work of art upon one’s body. But what if you could create a work of art upon your body without the pigment and without the permanency? Would you do it?
That’s where tan tattoos or sunburn comes into play. Burning one’s skin to get a suntan tattoo is the latest craze but dermatologists warn that although the tattoo is temporary, the skin damage could last a life time. People will take suntan lotion and squeeze on an imprint of their choice and then sit out in the sun until they have a tattoo burned in their skin. To achieve the look, some people cut out their favourite design in a t-shirt, use stencil or even pile of globs on sunscreen formed in a special shape and then they bake or tan until the cows come home.
While easy to achieve, sunburn art is harmful for people’s health. Whether inside a tanning salon or at the beach, 5 or more sunburns during your lifetime doubles your risk of skin cancer by 80%. A much safer sunburn alternative is getting a spray on tan, removable ink or a Henna tattoo.
The easiest way to repair you skin’s damage is by wearing daily moisturizer with sun protection and consulting a physician if you start to see spots. Sunburn art or tan tattoos have been deemed a ‘dangerous behaviour’ and have been picking up traction on social media, prompting the Skin Cancer Foundation to issue a warning about it. People are intentionally sunburning their skin for what they consider to be art and then they’ll tag their photos with hashtags like #sunburnart, #tantattoo or #suntattoo on social media.
While the practice has been going on for years, it’s recent gain in popularity among young people has more than a few concerned. While a sunburn is not only painful, it’s dangerous. Sunburns cause DNA damage to the skin, accelerate skin aging and increase your lifetime skin cancer risk. A complete sun protection regimen that includes seeking shade, covering up with clothing including a broad-brimmed hat and UV blocking sunglasses — in addition to daily sunscreen use, SPF 30 or higher, protecting you from UVA & UVB rays.