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Tattoos and Acne/Acne Treatments

Hello all. I am 24 and still suffer from acne...mainly body acne. I get breakouts weekly consisting of about 10 or so "pimples" on my arms, chest, and back. I find that BP does indeed work the best. However, I have a problem of which I have exhausted every source, asked people who told me they did not know and have also done research online and have not found the answer.

My problem is that I get acne on my tattoos. The tattoos are on my upper arms and I do not want the pimples to scar and damage the ink. I am one of those people who has "tried everything..."from Neutrogena body wash, to using Oxy BP Face Wash on my body to using Oxy's new SA body wash. Right now, I am using just Dial Antibacterial Soap, Clearasil Deep Cleanser and a BP spot treatment. I have found, like it seems most people do, that BP works the best. I would like to keep using BP but I have been told that it could possibly bleach my tattoos or fade them. I have also been told that it can't and I am wondering what the real deal is. I have heard that SA may also fade tattoos. I have used the BP spot treatment for over a year though and have not noticed any bleaching or fading (that isn't natural anyway) but I am wondering if long term use will cause this. Also, if it does bleach the tattoo...is this bleach harmful to your health as well due to it causing permanent bleaching on the ink (which is of course permanently embedded in the skin)?

If BP and SA could be damaging......what course of action should I take to ensure that the acne itself does not cause scarring (on my tats specifically)? I would like to continue using the BP just because it works so well....but I don't want the possible bleaching to be harmful to my tats or to me. Also, would SA be safe if I decided to use a wash or pads/wipes? I have discussed this issue with my doctor as well as several tattoo artists and friends and no one really knows for sure. Any help or advice given would be greatly appreciated.

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Hello all. I am 24 and still suffer from acne...mainly body acne. I get breakouts weekly consisting of about 10 or so "pimples" on my arms, chest, and back. I find that BP does indeed work the best. However, I have a problem of which I have exhausted every source, asked people who told me they did not know and have also done research online and have not found the answer.

My problem is that I get acne on my tattoos. The tattoos are on my upper arms and I do not want the pimples to scar and damage the ink. I am one of those people who has "tried everything..."from Neutrogena body wash, to using Oxy BP Face Wash on my body to using Oxy's new SA body wash. Right now, I am using just Dial Antibacterial Soap, Clearasil Deep Cleanser and a BP spot treatment. I have found, like it seems most people do, that BP works the best. I would like to keep using BP but I have been told that it could possibly bleach my tattoos or fade them. I have also been told that it can't and I am wondering what the real deal is. I have heard that SA may also fade tattoos. I have used the BP spot treatment for over a year though and have not noticed any bleaching or fading (that isn't natural anyway) but I am wondering if long term use will cause this. Also, if it does bleach the tattoo...is this bleach harmful to your health as well due to it causing permanent bleaching on the ink (which is of course permanently embedded in the skin)?

If BP and SA could be damaging......what course of action should I take to ensure that the acne itself does not cause scarring (on my tats specifically)? I would like to continue using the BP just because it works so well....but I don't want the possible bleaching to be harmful to my tats or to me. Also, would SA be safe if I decided to use a wash or pads/wipes? I have discussed this issue with my doctor as well as several tattoo artists and friends and no one really knows for sure. Any help or advice given would be greatly appreciated.

Hi there!

Like everyone else you've consulted, I don't really know how BP or SA will affect the life of your tattoos, but if you're as attached to your tats as I am to mine, you don't want to risk it. That being said, if BP actually does the tattoo, I doubt that it would be necessarily harmful to your health ... considering that when tats are lasered off, the ink is essentially "broken up" inside your skin and "floats away" ...

When considering this question, I thought the following, if you had to choose the lesser of two evils ... maybe you would rather have the ink be bleached than to have an actual scar damage the tat? If I had to choose one, I'd choose the bleaching effect, you can always get a touch-up later, right? And we aren't even sure it *will* bleach, whereas a scar will *definitely* damage the ink.

As for your products, I'd try something more a little more gentle/natural. Dial is very irritating and I am wary of anything labeled "Deep Cleansing" ... I wouldn't be surprised if you are breaking out because your skin is too irritated. Why not try Cetaphil cleanser or another product recommended on this site?

I have recently had great success using Fish Oil supplements to clear my skin, and you may want to consider trying a diet/lifestyle alteration to clear your acne rather than topical products, especially given that the quality of your ink is at stake.

I hope that helps!

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Hiya - I'm a part time tattoo artist. No, the BP and SA will not fade your tattoos. They may make them age sooner than would otherwise, but only to the point they would have aged in the first place. The ink is well into your skin, wheras the BP and SA only reach the uppermost levels. The biggest factor in keeping your tattoos bright is sunblock, then hydration. :D Good Luck!

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Hello all. I am 24 and still suffer from acne...mainly body acne. I get breakouts weekly consisting of about 10 or so "pimples" on my arms, chest, and back. I find that BP does indeed work the best. However, I have a problem of which I have exhausted every source, asked people who told me they did not know and have also done research online and have not found the answer.

My problem is that I get acne on my tattoos. The tattoos are on my upper arms and I do not want the pimples to scar and damage the ink. I am one of those people who has "tried everything..."from Neutrogena body wash, to using Oxy BP Face Wash on my body to using Oxy's new SA body wash. Right now, I am using just Dial Antibacterial Soap, Clearasil Deep Cleanser and a BP spot treatment. I have found, like it seems most people do, that BP works the best. I would like to keep using BP but I have been told that it could possibly bleach my tattoos or fade them. I have also been told that it can't and I am wondering what the real deal is. I have heard that SA may also fade tattoos. I have used the BP spot treatment for over a year though and have not noticed any bleaching or fading (that isn't natural anyway) but I am wondering if long term use will cause this. Also, if it does bleach the tattoo...is this bleach harmful to your health as well due to it causing permanent bleaching on the ink (which is of course permanently embedded in the skin)?

If BP and SA could be damaging......what course of action should I take to ensure that the acne itself does not cause scarring (on my tats specifically)? I would like to continue using the BP just because it works so well....but I don't want the possible bleaching to be harmful to my tats or to me. Also, would SA be safe if I decided to use a wash or pads/wipes? I have discussed this issue with my doctor as well as several tattoo artists and friends and no one really knows for sure. Any help or advice given would be greatly appreciated.

Hi there!

Like everyone else you've consulted, I don't really know how BP or SA will affect the life of your tattoos, but if you're as attached to your tats as I am to mine, you don't want to risk it. That being said, if BP actually does the tattoo, I doubt that it would be necessarily harmful to your health ... considering that when tats are lasered off, the ink is essentially "broken up" inside your skin and "floats away" ...

When considering this question, I thought the following, if you had to choose the lesser of two evils ... maybe you would rather have the ink be bleached than to have an actual scar damage the tat? If I had to choose one, I'd choose the bleaching effect, you can always get a touch-up later, right? And we aren't even sure it *will* bleach, whereas a scar will *definitely* damage the ink.

As for your products, I'd try something more a little more gentle/natural. Dial is very irritating and I am wary of anything labeled "Deep Cleansing" ... I wouldn't be surprised if you are breaking out because your skin is too irritated. Why not try Cetaphil cleanser or another product recommended on this site?

I have recently had great success using Fish Oil supplements to clear my skin, and you may want to consider trying a diet/lifestyle alteration to clear your acne rather than topical products, especially given that the quality of your ink is at stake.

I hope that helps!

Yes that definitely does help.......Yes I would believe so...I would rather have a bleached tattoo than a scarred one. I even considered this before...but then I thought about "what if the bleach could affect my health?" and then I thought "What if I am having too many what ifs?" lol....so I just figure a BP spot treatment was the best way to go especially since I find for me personally that it does work very well.

I have read that Dial can be very irritating and can even make your skin red and stuff like that...but truthfully ever since I started using that I have to admit I do have way less breakouts than I used to. As for the Clearasil Deep Cleanse.....well it lathers really well and it seems to help too but would the Cetaphil actually be better and not cause quite as much dryness? Speaking of dryness and irritation, I DID actually find that SA did make me breakout more after I used it everyday for a few days so that is why I stopped. But I might actually try the Cetaphil then since I have heard good things about it.

Fish Oil supplements....I guess I never thought about that. Where would I purchase that? Would they be safe to use for my oily skin?

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Hiya - I'm a part time tattoo artist. No, the BP and SA will not fade your tattoos. They may make them age sooner than would otherwise, but only to the point they would have aged in the first place. The ink is well into your skin, wheras the BP and SA only reach the uppermost levels. The biggest factor in keeping your tattoos bright is sunblock, then hydration. :D Good Luck!

Well coming from an artist that does make me feel more confident in my acne products.....

So pretty much...even though the ink is deep and the BP goes into pores...dries them out and reduces redness etc. it still doesn't reach (or bleach) the ink even though the pimples themselves go or start pretty deep (I assume they do at least)?

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Not really, and as you said - the pimple itself will scar the tattoo more than the product. Use the product regularly, there won't be any breaks (pimples) in the skin to allow the BP into the deeper layers of skin. Pimples generally only involve a superficial layer of skin - the inflammation caused makes them appear deeper. A properly placed tattoo is midway into the dermis, past the point of being sloughed off, but not deep enough to cause a hazy/blurry/bled-out look. BTW - if you ever see or get that (the most common complaint) the cause is almost always a heavy handed artist with a needle set too deep.

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I see. So as far as using the product regularly, well the cleanser and soap that I have seem to be working now as I have not had but two new pimples on my arms come up in the last week instead of the usual 10 or so (but I still have a few spots on my back). However, I am waiting to see if this effect is just temporary and hopefully will not start breaking out again. The cleanser that I am using now is not a BP or SA wash but just a regular cleanser. The soap and the cleanser I use every day, but the BP spot treatment I only use to treatment pimples that have actually formed. I spot treat (even the ones on my tattoos of course) and they go away after 3 days or so it seems. I don't use the BP spot treatment as a preventative measure, but rather when I actually get pimples. Is this method regular enough or should I use it everyday regardless if I have breakouts or not? I have used Oxy BP wash on my body before...but never a spot treatment as I am sure I would go through the tubes like crazy putting it on my body everyday. The Oxy BP wash was the product I used for quite some time. I found that it did help to diminish the acne I already had, but did not prevent new acne from forming. But then again I used it every other day and not every single day.

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