a badass sunburn tattoo
rule of thumb: no sunburn for 7 days prior to getting a new tattoo

A crazy trend: Sunburn Tattoos

There is a breeze coming in from the Pacific Ocean here were I sit at a beach near Panama City. While not the classical beach holiday destination, there are still many tourists particularly from the US but also from other places that spend way too much time on the beach as shown by their formidable sunburns.

Most of them will feel the consequences hours after their adventure in the sun. And it will keep them awake in the night.

Tattoos can get slowly destroyed by too much sun and especially new tattoos need special care and attention. If you have a recent sunburn, don’t get a new tattoo.

A new trend has emerged ever since humans have become fascinated by long beach holidays:

Sunburn tattoos.

What is a Sunburn Tattoo?

A sunburn tattoo is a tattoo formed by the change in skin complexion due to exposure to the sun. 

Basically you apply lots of sunscreen in a clear form or (better) cover a part of your skin with a sticker and expose that area to the sun. 

Depending on the skin type and solar intensity, within 10-30 minutes, the surrounding skin will start turning red or directly darker. 

The skin that was covered with the sticker or sunscreen still has the original color (i.e. white) and the contrast to the sunburned skin is striking.

Most people have already seen the marks that Bikinis or wrist watches make in the sun. But both movies and social media have opened up the imagination for sunburn tattoos.

Sunburn Tattoos in Movies

Not least through the proliferation of Hollywood movies, sunburn tattoos have become famous. One of the most well known examples from the 90s was the American Pie movie series that included a range of pranks including pranks about sunscreen. 

Or the iconic Captain Harris’ Hey Dork sunburn tattoo. Captain Harris in Police Academy 5, wakes up to be greeting with a delightful (for others) “Hey Dork” and only way too late realizes the sunburn tattoo on his chest. 

 

Sunburn Tattoo Social Media Trend

While there are a handful of movies, it has really been the hunt for likes and views on social media that accelerated the “sunburn tattoo trend”.

Especially Instagram has become infamous for its depiction of reckless sunburns and a wide range of creativity. 

Sunburn Art Instagram Compilation

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Severe Sunburn - it hurts just to look at it

Health Effects of Sunburn Tattoos

Sunburn has devastating effects on the skin and should be avoided under all means.

Skin cancer has become increasingly frequent, especially among very light skinned Americans and Australians that love long beach holidays.

The combination of alcohol consumption and sun can make matters worse. 

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