Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Psoriasis and Tattoos

Before I got my first tattoo, I went online, frantically looking for someone to tell me that it was okay for me to go okay - I would be fine. I didn't find that advice, and I'm not going to give that advice to you today.  What I will tell you is that I have several tattoos and I got them all since my diagnosis and since I started a biologic. And I haven't had any issues.

Tattoo by taybakerart
A few years ago and about three tattoos in, my mother-in-law asked me why I decided that I wanted them. I told her that they made me feel tough in control. But later, I realized that there is more to it. I live my life with chronic pain that I have very little control over. There are things that I can do to try to keep the pain levels lower, but ultimately, when pain is determined to be part of my day, there isn't much I can do to stop it. When I am in the tattoo artists chair, I feel pain, but it is pain that I asked for. I made the decision and I could also make the decision to end the pain by stopping in the middle or stopping after the outline. But alas, I am a badass.

While I still feel the effects of psoriatic disease in my joints and my fatigue level, medication does a good job of keeping psoriasis plaques off of my skin. For so many years, my skin was so unsightly that it feels nice to have soft skin now. Displaying beautiful works of art on my skin makes me feel even better about this part of my body that used to bring such shame. 

Tattoo by taybakerart
As I have learned not to be afraid of the process of being tattooed and of the stigma of having tattoos, I have also learned more about what I really like, and what I want to display. My first tattoo was a lesson in choosing the right tattoo artist. I found a design I really liked and told the tattooer not to let it be too big. I didn't know that, in just a few short years, my cute little bird would be just a tattoo blob on my shoulder. 
Fortunately, Taylor at Drawing Board Tattoo was able to do an amazing cover up and turn it into the most incredible tribute to my daughter. Taylor also captured a recent vacation by using some of the photos that I provided to her to come up with a super realistic design that will remind me of this trip for the rest of my life. She is the kind of artist I wish I had met before I got that first little bird! 

I have also been tattooed by a major creep in the Raleigh area. My advice, especially to young women, is to leave if someone makes you feel uncomfortable. You've got half a tattoo? Leave. Someone else will finish it. Do not stay with a creep. (This has nothing to do with psoriasis or my own experience, outside of what I heard him say to someone while I was there. Young women need to understand their rights.)

My tattoos are works of art that I absolutely love! I feel so empowered by them. I am a badass.

Please remember - this is not medical advice. It is my own experience. Both photos shows tattoos by taybakerart.

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Psoriasis and Tattoos

Before I got my first tattoo, I went online, frantically looking for someone to tell me that it was okay for me to go okay - I would be fine...