No, you doofus! The last thing you want to do with a raw, exposed flesh wound on your body is to run out in the sunlight and go prance around.
Imagine snapping the bone in your leg for a moment here.
You do what any normal person would do: You see a doctor, he puts on a cast, and he advises you to give your leg plenty of time to rest and heal.
Clearly you’re injured and should take it easy.
But you don’t. No, instead you decide to go running. Why? Because you have a cast on. That type of thinking is the same as saying, “Oh, it’s no big deal that I have this giant flesh wound on my body, sunscreen will protect me!”
It won’t and it doesn’t!
Let’s face it, when your arm, leg, or whatever is broken or injured, you notice it. You can’t walk, you can’t lift things, etc. But when it comes to the skin, well, the injury is far easier to ignore because it doesn’t always get in the way of your day to day life.
However, that doesn’t mean even a minor injury of the skin like a new tattoo should be readily ignored. In reality, the skin is your bodies largest external organ. You must take care of it!
When is my new tattoo safe for the sunlight?
Think scabbing means your wound has healed? Think again! Even during and after the peeling process your skin is still healing.
While it may appear to be no longer abraded and have a slightly wax and shiny tone, the reality is, your new tattoo is not fully healed. To completely heal a new tattoo to the point where it is sunlight safe, you must wait at least six weeks! Again, that is a minimum.
Remember, a new tattoo lasts a lifetime. Six weeks of waiting in comparison is nothing!
Why can’t you put sunblock or sunscreen on a new tattoo anyways?
While your new tattoo is healing, your skin wound is going to have virtually no protection against harmful and destructive UV rays.
It’s like going out to the beach for hours on end with no sunblock, only that painful red sunburn is intensified dramatically.
Even if you elected to apply sun block or sunscreen, you can still negatively affect the vividness of the pigment and colors of your new tattoo. Colors like orange, pink, yellow and white are notorious for having issues when sun damage occurs. Yet, regardless of which colors your new tattoo features, you can be assured that all of them will appear faded after too much sunlight exposure. It’s not uncommon to see colors changing for the worse after exposure either.
Of course, beyond simply fading, exposure to sunlight can cause a whole heap of things such as making your crisp, detailed new tattoo look blurry and out of focus. When damage occurs and the peeling, cracking and blistering begins, the once sharp design on your skin can distort or develop missing spots.
Lastly and perhaps the most important reason of them all, is that sunblock does not magically protect you from infection! Let’s face it, bacteria is everywhere! If you need to wear sunscreen you’re more than likely exposing your flesh wound to places it shouldn’t even be in the first place. Tanning beds, swimming pools, and so on are hot beds for bacteria.
If you must wander outdoors into the sunlight, wear a protective cover to block harmful UV rays and choose your clothing wisely.
How long until you can put sunscreen on a new tattoo?
After waiting at least six weeks and completing the full healing process, you’re ready to apply sunscreen.
However, don’t just grab any sunscreen and call it a day!
Protect your ink investment and step up to SPF 50 or higher. While it’s truth that all tattoos fade in time, the right sunscreen can help limit that effect significantly.