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Tan Tattoo

Tattoo That Tan Tat
  (+6, -4)
(+6, -4)
  [vote for,

Now you can have a nice tan and keep your skin protected!

Simple.. Apply a tattoo all over the body to provide a pleasant tan.

Possibly not just aesthetic, but offering some protection from UV damage (very useful for people with extreme sensitivity to UV).

Dyes should be carefully selected to not just have good color, but good UV resistance and hopefully a capability to absorb UV without degradation.

jmvw, Sep 15 2006

Cat tattoos for sunburn prevention http://www.ehow.com...ct-skin-cancer.html
"Vets are willing to tattoo a dark color on vulnerable, light colored areas, such as pink nose tips or the tips of the ears" [Shz, Sep 15 2006]


       It works to protect dog's noses. Not sure how well a tan colored tattoo would last, though.
Shz, Sep 15 2006

       Shz, it would last a lifetime given the right dyes.
jmvw, Sep 15 2006

       I know that some tattoo colors fade, which is why I question the durability of tan. It does seem it would work, but I can't bring myself to bun it as the thought of getting a whole body tattoo is quite unappealing.
Shz, Sep 15 2006

       My understanding is that the tattoo inks lie under the skin, making them entirely useless for protecting the skin against sun damage (although I can't find any links on this). Tattoo sites talk about the harmful effects of sunburn on new tattoos, so it is pretty clear that they offer no protection against sunburn.   

       So I'm thinking this is Bad Science.
DrCurry, Sep 15 2006

       can you get it in green? I fancy a stint as a lizard. +
xenzag, Sep 15 2006

       Having gotten a few tattoos, I can attest that the dye is in pretty much all levels of the skin. Certainly, the dye tends to spread, and fade to some degree, but a good quality dye can last 50 or 60 years, which is a significant fraction of most life times.   

       I'd imagine it could provide as much protection as a natural tan, which suffuses all levels of the skin, but would be far more long lasting. Depending on the UV resisting properties, it might even be far more effective, and getting sufficient vitamin D might become a question.   

       Certainly, the initial process would be extremely painful, and might lead to various infection risks, but if they can tattoo makeup on, they can do this.   

       You'll probably have to shade your new sunburn protection for a few weeks while it heals though... New tattoos must be shaded because the extensive piercing of the skin dries it out, making it more susceptible to peeling from such things as sunburns... and peeling removes some of the dye.
ye_river_xiv, Sep 15 2006

       [DrCurry] and [phlish]: aren't you being a little harsh to call this bad science? I suggested some possible protection against UV. Tattoo ink is placed in the dermis, just under the epidermis. I imagine it can protect part of the skin.[shz] pointed out that tattoos are being used to protect cat and dog noses. How can you be certain there won't be any beneficial effect for humans? Bad Science? I don't think so. There are some indications that it might work. Good Science would be to investigate it.   

       I'm not proposing this in the first place for the UV protection it might offer. I think people might want this because it gives them a pretty and durable tan. Vast crowds of people put themselves at risk of skin cancer by excessively exposing themselves to harmful sunlight *just* to get a tan. Look around, there's a tanning salon on every street corner! With a full body tattoo like this, this would not be necessary.   

       [shz], it seems old tattoos are often blue-ish. I don't know if modern dyes have become better. [ye_river_xiv] tells us they last very well. Come to think of it, I don't know if there are many dyes or pigments that withstand daylight for half a century or more. I think this is where we would need some good R&D. Perhaps a new dye or dyes can be developed that anchor well in the skin and do not fade. If that can be done, this might become popular. I think many people would be willing to undergo this tattoo even if they had to renew it every two decades or so.
jmvw, Sep 15 2006

       jmvw: I did note my ultimate ignorance about tattoos. What we need is for ye_river_xiv to go sit in the sun for an amount of time best described as "too long," and report back whether his tanned skin gets as badly burned as the surrounding pasty white bits. So, um, ye_river_xiv, you up for that?   

       (I'm always in favor of rigorous scientific testing to prove or disprove HB hypotheses.)
DrCurry, Sep 17 2006

       I think the idea has merit. Getting the right color 'tan' has proven tricky already, so I suggest you go for a light brown instead. Who would you rather look like-- Snookie and Jwoww, or Jennifer Lopez and Vivica Fox?   

       Would you get a reverse farmer tan as the more sun-exposed areas start to fade?
ender77, Mar 03 2011


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