If I Get a Chemical Peel on my Shoulders Where my Tattoo is What Will It Do?

I'm trying to decide where I want to put my tattoo, but I use to get chemical peels on my shoulders for scars, they arent bad anymore but idk if I will need to get more peels, so what will it do? Also is maintenance of a tattoo difficult on the shoulder because i wont have anyone helping me.. im thinking ill put it there or on my hip it won't be too big just big enough that after a few years it can still be legible

Doctor Answers 3

Will Chemical Peels Affect a Tattoo

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When a tattoo is placed in the skin, the tattoo pigments is placed in the deeper layers of the skin, known as the dermis. Chemical Peels are categorized by the depth of peeling they cause in the skin. In general, light or superficial peels affect the very top layers of the skin, while stronger or deep peels can affect the dermis. Superficial peels are the most common types, while mid to deep peels are sometimes performed for more severe scarring. Superficial peels should not affect the appearance of a tattoo. However, a deeper chemical peel can theoretically affect it's appearance. As well, laser resurfacing, which is another common way for treating acne scarring, can also affect the appearance of your tattoo. I would recommend speaking to your dermatologist to see what type of peels you had in the past, and see if these treatments could react with your tattoo.

Austin Dermatologic Surgeon

Chemical peel effects on tattoos

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Since tattoo pigments are placed in various portions of the dermis (the deeper portion of skin), most superficial and even medium peels should not have a significant effect on tattoos in the short term.  Deeper peels are likely to lighten and may even react to some tattoo pigments.  Long term, a process known as phagocytosis eventually causes the pigments to lighten and discolor.  Medium to deep peels aimed at causing an increased collagen activity and other regenerative processes will hasten the discoloration that all tattoos undergo over time.

Will chemical peel affect tattoo

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Chemical peels should not affect a tattoo. It would, of course, depend on the chemical peel itself; the actual chemicals and acids compounded to make the specific peel.  It would also depend on the intensity of the peel - superficial or deep.  In regards to tattoos, as we all age, the tattoo will lighten and the skin will lose collagen, so the tattoo over time, will also not look as “fresh” as you first get them.

Timothy Jochen, MD
Palm Springs Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.