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Tattoos And Skin Involvement


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#1 Clementine

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 01:35 PM

I am asking this question for a friend that has Scleroderma with skin involvement. I don't have skin issues so it was never an issue for me. Is it safe to get a tattoo on skin not effected? What happens to the tattoo if that skin becomes hardened?
Thanks,
Jennifer

#2 Sam

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 01:22 AM

Well I can't really answer that but I do know a few people with tattoos that has skin involvement and they got hem after they were diagnosis with sclero. I myself have two and I got them after being diagnosis too.

This something you need to talk to your doctor about and I'm sure he or she will tell you not to get one. but if you do get one make sure who is doing it that they have a a clean needle and has a clean place, also make sure you keep the area of the tattoo clean and use the antibotic ointment they tell you to get.

But like I said you should contact the doctor first. Good Luck!! Sam
Sam

#3 WestCoast1

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 04:42 AM

Hi Jen,
I would definatly take into consideration how your skin will heal. I would guess that because of scleroderma, our skin might scar differently than most. If we have too much collogen than it might heal thicker or with a tint. I have experienced this with all of my cuts and abraisions. I am never happy with how it heals.
*WestCoast*

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#4 barefut

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 10:00 AM

WestCoast,

I was concerned about that very thing so I cancelled my appt to have my ingrown toenails taken care of. They are not gross or infected or anything. I have just been battling with them for a couple of years, they get very tender now and then and I was tired of dealing with them.

The doctor said that in addition to cutting the nails she would kill the roots where they tend to grow inward and that I would have thickened skin there for up to a couple of years.

Well, my screen name isn't "Barefut" for nothing. I go from May - September in sandles or thongs and I didn't want them to look grotesque. I worried that if a normal person's skin would get thick and ugly what would sclero do to them?!

Also, I accidentally snipped the back of my hand while cutting my son's hair, it was just a little nip and it made an ugly lump of a scar.

Barefut

#5 Sweet

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 11:04 AM

I have one but I got it many years ago prior to sclero......
Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
ISN Support Specialist
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#6 jefa

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 11:08 AM

Barefut, I have suffered with ingrown toenails since I was 13 years old and have had several surgeries over the years. Surprisingly, in the last couple of years, there has been less difficulty after the removal of the root. In fact, the nail itself seems less inclined to hang on for dear life and comes right out. It takes ages for it to grow back in. On the other hand, the nail itself seems to want to separate from the toe a bit at the edge and I also get bruise lines across the nail whenever I have a nasty raynaud's attack. Get the surgery - the pain is not worth the bother.
Warm wishes,
Jefa

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#7 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 12:42 PM

Please keep in mind that I have no medical training at all and verify everything I say with a reliable medical source. As I understand it, tattoos are not advised for people with scleroderma for several reasons, including the risk of infections, excess scarring, and possible MRI complications. Here are some related links:

Tattoos and Permanent Makeup by the FDA http://vm.cfsan.fda....ms/cos-204.html

Body Piercings and Tattoos: More than skin deep by the Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclini...MC00020&si=1260

Generally speaking, they recommend people with scleroderma should avoid any elective or cosmetic procedures due to the possibility of excess scarring and strain on the immune system. My son, who has many tattoos, says that people with autoimmune disease should never get tattoos because of the effect on the immune system, but offhand I haven't found scientific studies to that effect on a quick search.

If you get a tattoo you can't donate blood for a year; however, you also can't donate blood if you have scleroderma, so it seems to me that issue would not be a concern. See: http://www.redcross....,0_557_,00.html

As an alternative, you might want to consider removable body painting. That way, you could enjoy a variety of designs for different occasions yet not put yourself at risk medically. You can even make your own body paint, using recipes available online (search "Face and Body Paint"). You can even add glitter for a special sparkle effect. Of course, "food coloring" is another whole topic, but in short, you would always want to be using safe ingredients on your skin.

But, I have saved the best for last! Have you considered do-it-yourself temporary tattoos, that you can make on your own printer? The fun thing about that is you do not need to be an artist, you can use the same image over and over without having to repaint it, it is a lot cheaper than a "real" tattoo and if you get tired of it, you don't need to go through painful or expensive removal procedures. Search online for "tattoo paper".
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#8 Sweet

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 01:29 PM

Shelley,

Thanks for all of that info. you make me smile!!! :D
Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
ISN Support Specialist
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#9 Piper

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 03:33 PM

Hi, This is not really the same thing as a tattoo but I have wanted to get my nose pierced like my daughters with just a tiny stone. I really don't think it would look too good beside all the red dots on my nose tho and I don't know how it would heal. Maybe a small tattoo would be better. This must be mid life crisis! :D lol
Hugs, Piper

#10 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 04:34 PM

Hi Barefut,

I have had several ingrown toenails removed, but they kept coming back. So I finally had one removed and frozen (killed) at the root. It was supposed to take 2 weeks or so to heal. Mine has been healing without any further infection, but it has been over five months and the pinkness still hasn't entirely subsided (but it is not painful or oozing, just a tad inflamed).

It seemed to me safer to have the permanent procedure than to keep on having the ingrown toenail removed, as the whole nail grows back (in) again about every 8 months. And with me, they'd always get infected, too; and infection is a risk itself.

Discuss your concerns with your doctor, but consider the risks of NOT having it done, as well. I'd say, if it returns two to three times in the same side of the same toe (usually its a big toe, they are naturally more prone to it), then perhaps its time to cut your losses and get the permanent procedure done.

And for the sake of going barefoot, try to get the procedure done in the fall, so it has a lot of time to heal before summer. But it doesn't really look gross or anything, beyond the first few weeks. Possibly just a little inflamed; but it shouldn't be oozing gunk or anything; if it does, that would be an infection that needs treatment, pronto.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#11 Clementine

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 05:07 AM

Thanks everyone for the valuable information. I'll pass it on. It really is a friend I met on the Internet that asked me about tattoos and Scleroderma. I did get a tattoo about five years ago and I completely regret it, so I always tell people not to get one, period, disease or no disease. I absolutely hate mine but I'm not going to go through the agony of removal and at least no one can see it.

I made another major mistake...about 4 years ago, I got permanent lip liner. Of course, I had NO clue I had Scleroderma. I had NO lips and was desperate for them. So what do I do? I run out and get my lips tattooed. Big mistake number two. You cannot even tell anymore, as the color was my lip color. I just wonder if it had anything to do with aggravating the autoimmune disorder. I remember the artist that did my lips was puzzled that I had no lips. She actually told me "You have no lips".


I have also gotten various body parts pierced...LOL. Can you say mid life crisis?
Jennifer

#12 jefa

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 07:00 AM

oh, my lovely ladies, with all of the inner beauty that shines through, I see no need to decorate your skin. :)
Warm wishes,
Jefa

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#13 ChefKat

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 05:07 AM

Hey everyone! I'm that friend that Jen was talking about. Man you guys have some great answers! I usually stick to my other online scleroderma support group but I couldn't believe what great advice you all had to offer! I'm still pretty iffy about the tattoo thing, as I've always been more of a piercing gal myself, and I think I'll hold off for now. I was only DXed in Jan. of this year and I need to get a better grasp on this whole skin-changing thing. Someone mentioned that the smallest cuts can turn into the biggest, weirdest scars and that is SO true. I'd hate to see what a tattoo could do to the skin of someone with Scleroderma. The other thing is simply that a tattoo is PERMANENT. While I may think I know myself well enough as a person to have something inked on my skin right now, who's to say I'm gonna like it when I'm a little old grandma!! (I'm 22, by the way...)
I think I'll stick to the piercings for now. The scleroderma hasn't caused any problems and I've had many piercings over the past 8 years... Belly button top and bottom, 2 inches above the belly button through the skin, 2 inches below the belly button through the skin, one on my chest (looked kinda like a necklace without a string- it was cooler than it sounds), my nose, my lebret (below my lip), both sides of my bottom lip, both eye brows, 11 in my ears, and one through the bridge of my nose. HAH I guess I sound like a weirdo but I never actually had all those at the same time; they're just something I had at one point or another when I was younger. All I have now are the bottom of my belly button, my ears, and the bridge of my nose. I sure could do without the little scars they left but when you're really itching for a change, a piercing leaves MUCH less of a permanent impact on the skin.
Sorry I guess I'm kinda talkative today but all I'm getting at is this- my hubby can stick with the tattoos and I'll stick with the piercings for now! Thanks for all your great answers!! :)
Elizabeth

#14 jefa

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 07:43 AM

Welcome to the Sclero Forums, ChefKat. I am glad you found us, but sorry about your recent diagnosis of scleroderma. I don't want to sound like a wet blanket, but I do think there is a bit more to discuss here. First of all, as you mention, you have had the piercings much longer than the scleroderma, so they have presumably healed before the autoimmune process was triggered. Existing piercings may not be a problem for you, but new piercings might prove to be quite a different story. Keloid formation could exaggerate the appearance of a scar. Something as simple as a paper cut could form a relatively larger scar. Cutting out the keloid can result in a new one forming in the same location. Please read this article found on the site about keloid formation.

In my opinion, there is as much risk from piercings as from tattoos.
Warm wishes,
Jefa

Carrie Maddoux
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