Tanning With Tattoos – Spray Tanning and Tanning Beds Covered

woman tanning with tattoo

Getting a new tattoo and tanning afterward may seem like something you wouldn’t think of twice but it is a key concern for many. The skin is very sensitive after tattooing and usually needs time to heal. 

During and after this time, many people think of getting a tan. However, it is important to know the effect of spray tans, sun tanning and tanning beds on the tattoo and skin. Here’s all the important details:

A Guide to Tanning After a Tattoo

If you’re considering tanning after tattoos have been engraved in your skin, you will need to be careful to make sure the tanning process doesn’t do any harm to your tattooed skin. Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you plan on tanning after getting a tattoo:

1. Don’t Be Harsh in Prepping Up Your Skin

It is important to prepare the skin before a tan by exfoliating to remove any dead skin cells. However, it is not advised to exfoliate the tattooed area too much. Over-exfoliation may damage skin as the lower layer might still be sensitive. 

2. Use SPF When Tanning in a Tanning Bed

Since tattooed skin has recently been irritated/damaged by the tattooing process, it is more prone to burning. Even when using tanning beds, it is important to use SPF to protect the skin around any tattoo to help prevent any damage.

3. Use a Moisturizer When Spray Tanning

The last thing anyone wants is for their tan to cover up the tattoo they have. 

It is important to consider using a thin layer of moisturizer to prevent absorption of the spray tan on the tattooed area.  Make sure you apply the moisturizer only on the area of the skin with the tattoo, avoiding the surrounding skin. It’s important to note if the moisturizer is mistakenly applied on the skin around the tattoo, it may be left lighter than the rest of the body.

4. Always Perform a Patch Test Before Starting

Make sure to do a patch test 24 hours prior to any spray tanning session near a tattooed area to check for any unwanted allergic reactions. This will save a lot of trouble in case the tattooed skin is prone to get affected by the tanning spray. 

Can You Get a Tan After Getting a Tattoo (spray tanning, sun tanning & tanning beds)

Many people want to tan their skin after getting a tattoo. The skin tanning options one may consider include naturally tanning in the sun, using tanning beds, and spray tanning. 

Although it is acceptable to get a tan after getting a tattoo, there are many things to take into consideration when doing so. It is safe to tan any tattooed area as long as it has had the time to heal completely because tattooing makes skin very sensitive.

According to Healthline, visible skin can take anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks to heal.  However, the skin below the tattoo can take up to around 6 months to restore completely. If you do not allow the skin to mend itself before getting a tan, it may lead to skin complications such as redness, irritation and swelling.

Furthermore, spray tanning is considered to be a safer option as compared to tanning beds and sun tanning, after getting a tattoo.  The healing time needed before one can safely tan tattooed skin is less for spray tanning as well.  In comparison, one must wait for longer periods for their tattooed skin to heal, before they can opt for tanning beds or sun tanning.  This is because the UV rays in sunlight and tanning beds can damage skin that has become fragile due to tattooing. 

Once the time period of 6 months or more has passed after getting a tattoo, it is completely safe to tan in the sun or in a tanning bed. After the initial healing phase a spray tan is allowed – usually after 1 month is allowed.

Does Spray Tan Cover Tattoos?

Spray tans do indeed cover tattoos and bring out the skin’s glow. Although most tattoos are safe to spray over once they have healed, your design may be affected depending on its colors. 

Moreover, tanning may darken your tattoo, making it stand out even more. As the tan fades, the color of your tattoo should go back to normal, nonetheless.

Tanning Beds and Tattoos

Nowadays, many people opt to use tanning beds to get beautiful, evenly tanned skin, without having to sit in the scorching sun. The benefits of indoor tanning make this a popular choice among many, including those who have recently gotten tattoos.

However, as mentioned above, it is best to follow the recommended after care to ensure tattooed skin has completely healed before heading towards a tanning bed. Furthermore, to protect your tattoo from fading as you tan, it is a good idea to apply high SPF sunscreen only on the area of the skin with the tattoo. Not doing so can fade away a freshly applied tattoo.

You can safely use tanning beds for indoor tanning after getting a tattoo as long as you follow the 24 hour tanning rule. According to this rule, the FDA has set guidelines prohibiting anyone to tan under a sunlamp more than once in 24 hours.  

This restriction is set to protect indoor tanners from skin complications arising from overexposure to the UV lamps in tanning beds.

Related Questions

Can I Tan in a Tanning Bed After Getting a Tattoo?

You can tan in a tanning bed after getting a tattoo once you have healthy skin that is protected against burning and rashes. The combination of a tanning bed and tattoos is a less advised method as compared to spray tanning with tattoos. 

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