Health + Wellness

Are Tattoos Safe For People With Psoriasis?

psoriasis and tattoos

Psoriasis patients can get tattoos. Considerations include location and greater risk of problems. Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disorder that develops in thick, scaly areas. Most people acquire tattoos without considering their health. This may not apply to psoriasis.


Getting a tattoo with psoriasis starts with where to get it. Approximately 80-90% of psoriasis patients have plaque psoriasis. This usually affects the knees, scalp, elbows, and back.

Plaques and lesions can appear anywhere on the body. This makes it hard to pick a tattoo site because psoriasis-affected areas are not suggested.

You may still face issues if you get a tattoo on an unaffected body region. Examples include infections, allergic responses, and the Koebner phenomenon.


The American Academy of Dermatology Association reports that 1 in 10 tattoo recipients develop complications. Tattooing includes repetitive needle punctures to leave ink. This procedure can cause bleeding and introduce germs or chemicals that cause infections.

A 2022 research indicated that individuals with psoriasis who are already receiving treatment had a greater risk of infection after having a tattoo. Immunosuppressive medicines may impair your immune system and make it harder to combat foreign invaders. Oral retinoids can also dry and thin your skin, slowing healing and increasing infection risk.

Cross-contamination, inadequately cleaned equipment, and tattoo ink can all cause infections. Below is a list of possible infections:

Bacterial Viral
• Staphylococcus
• Streptococcus
• Pseudomonas
• Clostridium
• tetanus
• commensal mycobacteria
• tuberculosis
• leprosy
• hepatitis B
• hepatitis C
• human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
• herpes
• warts
• molluscum
• condylomata

The FDA has warned about recalled tattoo inks containing pathogenic germs. Discuss inks with the tattoo artist before obtaining one.

RELATED: NEVER consider getting a tattoo if you don’t know these 4 things!

Allergic Reaction

According to a 2019 study, some pigments in red tattoo inks may induce allergic responses. Purple, violet, green, blue, and yellow tattoo inks may also do this, but black inks are less so. 

Nonallergic and immune-mediated skin responses are conceivable. Among a 2013 Danish study, researchers observed sun-related skin changes in tattooed sunbathers, including:

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