LisaBulman

ISN New Topic: Scleroderma and Tattoos

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ISN New Topic: Scleroderma and Tattoos. Topics covered in this new website section include: medical eligibility for tattoos, tattoos and blood donation, medical complications, social considerations, tattoo remorse, removal and concealers, finding a tattoo parlor, and temporary tattos and henna. People with scleroderma should consult their scleroderma expert prior to getting a tattoo. They may advise some precautions, such as taking antibiotics before the procedure. They may ask you to wait until your illness is stabilized, or your treatments (especially immunosuppressants) are ended. ISN. Posted 10/11/10.

 

This item was posted in the ISN Newsroom. Please check the newsroom daily for updates on scleroderma and other related articles.


Lisa Bulman

(Retired) ISN/SCTC List Coordinator

(Retired) ISN Sclero Forums Assistant Manager

(Retired) ISN Assistant News Guide

(Retired) ISN Fundraiser

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Hi Vanessa,

 

What a hoot! I'm sorry we rained on your tattoo parade with our new section on Tattoos and Scleroderma. But do read up there on alternatives to permanent tattooing, such as ways to make your own temporary tattoos.

 

Importantly, when we want a tattoo it often represents a desire to identify with a certain group, preserve memories, or express our creativity and uniqueness.

 

By recognizing these motivators, we can look into other ways to satisfy our underlying urge. For example, it might be worthwhile for us to identify with a certain group by acquiring special clothing or jewelry; preserve memories by arranging audio tapes, video tapes, scrapbooking, or journaling; and expressing our creativity through the design of any/all forms of artwork.

 

So don't just throw the baby out with the bathwater. Look at why you wanted to get a tattoo. What design were you contemplating, and for what purpose? So for example, if you wanted one with the names/birthdate of a child, for instance, you could preserve your motherhood memories by creating a lovely book of childhood memories for them, noting the progress of their first step, their footprints, and journaling your way through their life. To them, in the end, that would be far more meaningful than your body art as it would be something they could still cherish, after you were long gone.

 

If it's a desire to be more "in" with the In Crowd, then perhaps you could bond more by acquiring symbolized jewelry or clothing, or making an effort to become better friends with your favorite member of the crowd.

 

So don't diss your underlying desire; find a way to satisfy it and you will have no regrets about not getting a tattoo!


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.

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Vanessa, did you figure out what you can do, instead of getting a tattoo? I believe it's important to satisfy the underlying motive for wanting to get a tattoo, because it can be significant. Sometimes tattoos are just an easy answer to difficult questions, such as how to preserve memories or to feel closer to a group or cause we identify with.

 

So, have you figured out why you wanted a tattoo, and have you done anything to address the underlying issue(s)?

 

Just because scleroderma puts a sober dampener on tattoos, doesn't mean we still can't find ways to express our creativity, preserve memories, join groups, or remember our loved ones. However I can say that most other methods involve more time or even more thoughtfulness. Plus, the joys of flexible temporary tattoos are not to be overlooked, either!

 

So, for example, if we wanted just a little discreet butterfly on our hip, just to show we're playful and creative and part of the crowd. Then perhaps we could take a class in watercolors, and make a few dozen little greeting cards with butterflies on them. Mail them to our friends, with an invitation to a party inside. That would certainly express our creativity, help cement our status in the crowd, and the party would show that we are playful. We could take photos of the party and preserve them in an album. Perhaps we could take the silliest one, enlarge it, and hang it in a prominent place to spur discussion at our next party.

 

Not to mention that we could become a temporary tattoo artist, and have fun putting facial tattoos on everyone at the party. Then, by having not dissed our underlying motives, we have enhanced our life, built friendships, and have a memory that will stay with us always. That's certainly a lot more effort, but also more rewarding.


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.

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Hi Vanessa

 

Although I don't really do tattoos, it's funny this discussion should come up, as prior to getting Sclero I'd considered having my stomach pierced! :rolleyes: My husband was horrified and on reflection I think it was probably some sort of mid life crisis. Thankfully, having Sclero diagnosed put the idea out of my head, which is just as well as I think in my case the words 'mutton' and 'lamb' would probably come to mind!! ;) :lol: :lol:


Jo Frowde

ISN Assistant Webmaster

SD World Webmaster

ISN Sclero Forums Manager

ISN News Manager

ISN Hotline Support Specialist

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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O.K. - I admit it. I have a tattoo! I had wanted to get one since I was 18, a long, long time ago. But since I knew it was permanent, I wanted to really think about it, not only whether it was worth it or not, but what and where. So I waited until I was 40. Obviously, I don't make quick decisions. :) I love my tattoo and am glad I got it. I would love to have another one, but scleroderma made that decision for me. There is no way!!!!!! Great new topic Shelley!


Janey Willis

ISN Support Specialist

(Retired) ISN Assistant Webmaster

(Retired) ISN News Director

(Retired) ISN Technical Writer for Training Manuals

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Hi Shelley

 

I have only just found your kind replies to my "Tattoo" posting.

 

I have to confess- I was kidding!

 

We have an English advertisement which often makes me chuckle. It shows a smattly dressed lady of about 90 years old with one of those gothic style tattoos encircling her none too firm bicep. That would certainly be my worry although I do think discreet and thoughtful tattoos placed in areas which are not going to seem daft in later years can be very lovely.

 

My 23 year old daughter has a small serpent on her hipbone.

 

Anyway thank you for your ideas on the subject and I agree there is usually a lot more to the whole process than initially meets the eye.

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What a hoot, Vanessa! And here I was totally worried about having burst your wanna-getta-tattoo bubble. It's about time the joke's on me, as I am always pulling other people's legs to the point of snapping.

 

You made me chuckle with both your messages! :emoticons-yes:


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.

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Hi,

 

Interesting...

 

I have scleroderma sine scleroderma and am on tattoo #2, which is a huge piece covering arm and most of my back. All healed up no problem. I would not describe my sclero as stable but all my issues are internal. I am on oral dexamethasone for lichen planus practically every month also.

 

My rheumatologist (she was terrible!! She quit since and this left me without a rheumatologist as of now) did not want me to get it done. I did anyway since I figured that I might as well live my life the way I please as my medical issues restrict things already (fatigue, Raynaud's, intestinal issues to just name a few).

 

My first tattoo -- the size of my hand -- healed up perfectly in 2 weeks. Number 2 (the big one) has healed too. I just got the outline done so far, and have to wait a few weeks to get the shading started.

 

Of course it is mandatory to find a good tattoo shop who practices sterile technique. My artist uses a new needle for every client, every time and takes other precautions to prevent infections. Plus there is a lot of aftercare involved for weeks after the tattoo was done.

 

I guess I would not do it if I had skin involvement. I wonder what skin art would look like after the thickening?

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Hi Eos,

 

I hope things continue to go well with your second tattoo. One thing you might want to look into, is that lichen planus can be caused by tattoos, specifically, the red ink in tattoos. So you might want to research that, and discuss it with your dermatologist (for lack of a scleroderma expert at the moment).

 

I don't know if there's anything you could do about your first tattoo (if it contains red) but perhaps you could work around any red in your tattoo #2 if it contains red or hasn't been done already. Since lichen planus is a skin disease, and since it can overlap with other skin diseases too, like vitiligo and scleroderma, it would be worth asking your (next) scleroderma expert about it, and bring along copies of any online research you find too in case that's not a particular area of expertise for them.

 

Also, I didn't get all that terribly far into researching about tattoos, just enough to remember that I came across lichen planus and the red ink in my travels, so perhaps there are also alternate versions of red ink that might be available to help with tattoo #2.

 

In any event, I hope it all goes very smoothly, and turns out well for you!


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.

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Thank you Shelley.

 

The lichen planus is oral actually. Travels around my mouth. I remember I had it even back in my teen years and I thought I burned myself, but still had no idea why this weird pattern would appear after a burn.

 

I do not have any color in my skin art. I prefer black and white. I am actually thinking of getting some pale yellow to highlight the pattern in my snake images. Thank you for the info on red though. :D

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Hi you all,

 

I've got to say that I actually have three tattoos today, and the day after tomorrow I will have five. I've taken them all when I haven't been on any medication and my sclero is pretty much stabilized: Slow progressing going on all the time. The first one, really small wasn't too easy to heal but it took only like a week. The second one that covers my right side from under arm to the hip healed very quickly and well, like the third one too. The second one actually tells about scleroderma.

 

I love them and I've asked few doctors beforehand. They just said that it's my own decision and I could try. They just said that I shouldn't take them on sclero-areas of my body so I have them on sclero-free areas only.

 

Emmi

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I asked my scleroderma expert about tattoo's just in case the idea ever crossed my mind.. He said it was fine, I had all those concerns about scarring and the immune system.. Now I'm wondering what the right answer is?

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I have one small one, just in black, and it caused no problems at all. I guess it is a question of just how much do you want one - I really, really wanted mine. :lol:


Jeannie McClelland

(Retired) ISN Director of Support Services

(Retired) ISN Sclero Forums Manager

(Retired) ISN Blog Manager

(Retired) ISN Assistant News Guide

(Retired) ISN Artist

International Scleroderma Network

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