Psoriasis and Tattoos

Psoriasis is an autoimmune inflammatory, systemic disease that can last a lifetime and often occurs as a skin condition. Since this condition can affect many body parts, you may wonder if getting a tattoo is a good idea. Here’s what you need to know about psoriasis and tattoos.

Can You Get a Tattoo with Psoriasis?

The short answer is yes, you can get a tattoo if you have psoriasis, but there are a few concerns, such as the Koebner phenomenon. This phenomenon occurs when psoriasis plaques develop at the site of a skin injury.

As a person with psoriasis, you experience episodes. These episodes, also known as flares, occur for various reasons, including stress, meditation, infection, and skin injuries.

Getting a Tattoo with Psoriasis

Consider these factors if you are considering getting a tattoo and have psoriasis.

Consult Your Dermatologist 

Before scheduling a tattoo appointment, it’s essential to consult with your dermatologist. They can assess the current state of your psoriasis and guide whether it’s a good idea to proceed with a tattoo. If your psoriasis is actively flaring up, it’s generally advisable to wait until it’s under control.

Location of Tattoo

How your skin will react to a tattoo is difficult to predict, so choosing an area that doesn’t usually experience skin changes is best. You may participate in a flare when you get a tattoo.

Possible Rejection

Some tattoo artists may refuse to give you a tattoo because of your skin condition. However, some tattoo artists will agree to provide you with a tattoo when you are not experiencing a flare, but you will have to plan with your tattoo artist regarding the best way to get your tattoo.

How to Manage Psoriasis Itch with a Healing Tattoo

When tattoos heal, you’ll experience various symptoms, including redness, peeling, and itching. Common causes of itchy skin after a tattoo are:

  • Peeling skin
  • Growth of shaven hair
  • Allergic skin reaction
  • Existent skin conditions

The good news is there are different remedies you can use to help manage psoriasis itch with a healing tattoo.

Never Scratch

As tempting as it may be, don’t scratch a healing tattoo. When you get a tattoo, your skin is damaged by ink and needles, which sometimes causes itching. Grinding a healing tattoo can damage the tattoo and the surrounding skin and lead to infection.

Avoid Submerging the Tattoo in Water

During the healing process, you must avoid submerging your tattoo in water and avoid pools and bathtubs until your tattoo has completed the healing process. After you get a tattoo, your skin’s barrier is compromised and won’t return to normal until the tattoo’s healing process is complete. You are susceptible to skin infections when your skin barrier isn’t intact.

Create an After-Care Routine

Creating an after-care routine is the best way to care for your tattoo and skin to ensure they both heal properly. When you have psoriasis, it’s best to use an exfoliation cream or exfoliation gel that helps remove thick, dry patches of skin.

Keralyt 5 Cream is a topical medication used to treat psoriasis and other skin conditions. It contains 5% salicylic acid, which helps to soften and remove scales, plaques, and dead skin cells. This can lead to smoother skin and reduced symptoms of psoriasis.

When using Keralyt 5 Cream for psoriasis treatment, it’s important to follow these steps:
Apply to Affected Area: Apply the cream directly to the affected areas of the skin as directed by your healthcare provider.
Use as Directed: Use the cream according to the frequency and duration prescribed. It’s typically used once or twice daily.
Wash Hands: After applying the cream, wash your hands unless your hands are the treated area.

The Risk Associated With Getting Tattooed Over Psoriasis

While you can tattoo over psoriasis, due to some reason, it is not recommended. There are risk factors that accompany being tattooed, especially when you have psoriasis. 


One of the primary risks of getting a tattoo, especially when dealing with health issues, is the potential for infection. The tattooing process involves breaking the skin’s barrier, creating an open wound susceptible to bacteria. 

Individuals with weakened immune systems may be at a higher risk of infection. Ensuring that the tattoo studio follows strict hygiene and sterilization practices is crucial to minimize this risk.

Allergic Reactions:

People with certain health conditions may be more prone to allergic reactions, and the ink used in tattoos can contain allergenic substances. Allergic reactions to tattoo ink can manifest as redness, itching, swelling, or even more severe symptoms. Consult a professional for hypoallergenic ink options if you have allergies or sensitivities.

Delayed Healing:

Tattoos require proper healing for the best results and to minimize complications. Individuals with health issues may experience delayed healing due to impaired immune function or other medical factors. 

This can increase the risk of infection and lead to complications in the tattooing area. 

It is crucial to adhere to the aftercare instructions given by your tattoo artist and seek advice from a healthcare professional if any healing issues arise.

In addition to possible skin infections, you can experience an allergic reaction and even disease. It’s worth taking the time to take the necessary precautions to find a reputable tattoo shop.

Things to look for when finding an excellent tattoo parlor:

  • Locating a tattoo shop that has a great reputation
  • Ensure the tattoo studio is clean and follows proper sanitation procedures
  • Make sure all the inks that are used are used once and from individual cups and not a multi-use container
  • Ask questions regarding the tattoo shop’s staff’s experience, training, and overall operation procedures

Immune Response to Skin Injury

There are different theories surrounding the immune system’s response to skin injury. One evidenced theory states the Koebner phenomenon occurs when the middle and outer layers of your skin experience an injury simultaneously. When this type of injury occurs, your immune system sends cytokines and T-cells, your defensive cells, to the injury site to help repair the damaged skin cells, resulting in an inflammatory response.

Koebner and Tattoos

Koebner or the Koebner phenomenon is common if you have psoriasis. This phenomenon occurs after an injury occurs to healthy skin. Koebner is your body’s natural response to skin trauma. It’s common to experience a psoriasis flare a few weeks after getting a tattoo. The Koebner phenomenon is not contagious, and it’s not an infection.

Preventing Infection from Psoriasis Tattoos

It’s important to care for your tattoo once it’s done. Make sure you wash your tattoo at least three times a day and avoid being around people who are sick. You must also refrain from sleeping on dirty sheets, using dirty towels, and touching your tattoo before washing your hands. Remember that your tattoo is an open wound on your skin and needs to be cleaned and protected to heal properly.
Having psoriasis doesn’t have to control your life. We have products that can help you manage dry, peeling skin.

Can Tattoos Cause Psoriasis

Tattoos don’t necessarily cause psoriasis, but they can trigger flare-ups. A flare-up can occur because of an allergic to the dyes and inks. Trauma to your skin after getting a tattoo can also cause a flare-up. The severity of your allergic reaction can range from moderate to severe.

Why Might Tattoos Trigger Psoriasis Flares?

Injuries to the skin, including scrapes, cuts, insect bites, burns, sunburns, and puncture wounds, can trigger psoriasis— commonly known as the Koebner response or Koebner phenomenon. The Koebner response appears as lesions on the skin at the trauma site.


  • Michael Reed

    Michael Reed is a medical writer at Sumlab, focusing on dermatological studies and treatments. His articles help demystify complex clinical results for a broad audience.

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