Sunburn Art: What Is it & Why Is it Dangerous for Your Skin?

Sunburn art is the newest trend in tanning and tattooing. It's currently discussed and praised through social media by those who practice it. But according to sources, this new form of body art has dermatologist worried about the health of their patients.

If you plan to express your individuality through sunburn art, you may want to reconsider. Here's what sunburn art is and why it's dangerous for your skin.

What Exactly Is Sunburn Art?

In order to create sunburn art, you protect a specific area of your body with sunscreen or sunblock but leave the rest of your body exposed to the hot sun for long periods of time. Some people skip the sun protection and use tape or some other material to create their sunburn tattoos instead. 

Other individuals create their body art by placing stencils, stickers and other prefabricated designs on their skin, such as hearts, stars and elaborate flowers. After they spend several hours in the sun, these individuals remove the sunscreen, tape or stencils to reveal their tattoos.

Although a number of dermatologists voice their concerns about the practice of sun tattooing, many of their patients continue to do it. Sunburn art may be one of the reasons skin cancer and other dermatological diseases and injuries increase in the United States.

How Does Sunburn Art Damage the Skin?

Sunburns can cause a host of complications in the skin, including first, second and third degree burns, depending on how long you spend out in the sun without the proper protection. The outer layer of the skin is very thin and delicate. It covers and protects the underlying layers of the skin, which contain various skin cells. Sunburning may severely damage or destroy these cells.

Skin cancer develops when the cells of the inner skin layers change or reproduce uncontrollably. Because sunburning kills skin cells, the skin may need time to recover from the damage. People who practice sunburn art all the time may not give their skin time to heal. As a result, they may increase their risks for cancer.

What Types of Skin Cancers and Medical Problems Does Sunburn Art Cause?

According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, people who receive over five sunburns may be more at risk for cancer than people who don't develop sunburns. In addition, sunburn art enthusiasts may also develop secondary cancers if their skin's irregular cells travel to other parts of the body, such as the lungs, ovaries and breasts.

Primary and secondary cancers often require ongoing treatment to manage or control. The treatments may include chemotherapy, skin biopsies and surgery. However, your dermatologist may offer different treatments to you based on the spread of your cancer, as well as the types of secondary cancer you develop.

What Should You Do Instead of Try Sunburn Art?

Temporary tattoos made with non-toxic paint or colorful stickers may be options for you. It's a good idea that you ask your dermatologist for recommendations on the safest cosmetic products you may use for your body art.

However, you should avoid getting permanent ink tattoos because the dyes used to create the art may be unsafe for your skin. Tattoo dye may penetrate the pores of your skin and cause infections and sores. The tattooing needles may also be unclean or previously used by other people. Being yourself may be the best way to express your individuality. 

Although some beauty and cosmetic trends may seem interesting or fun to follow, they may actually be dangerous for your health. If you have concerns about sunburn art, click here to find out more and consult with your dermatologist today.