'Sunburn Tattoos' Are Trending and They Are a Derm's Worst Nightmare

Don’t try this at home β˜€οΈπŸ˜“

We might currently be in the throes of winter (brrrrrrr!) but the cold weather has us dreaming of the upcoming warmer months. Possibly the only downside to summer is that we have to be even more vigilant about protecting our skin from the sun’s super-harsh rays. One trend that is *burning up* on social media RN (soz, couldn’t resist) is sunburn tattoos, and we – and dermatologists the world over – are letting out a collective scream of the negative variety.

Here’s what they are, and why you shouldn’t try them at home. Or at the beach. Or anywhere.

Burn, Baby, Burn

Did you ever use your sunscreen to write words or draw pictures on your skin so that you would have a paler ‘tattoo‘ on your skin after a day of irresponsible baking? This is pretty much how sunburn tattoos are created. Except that now there is actually a company, FunTanTattoo, that is creating more intricate stencils that can be placed on the skin before heading outdoors to soak up some dangerous UVA and UVB rays. Just in case you were wondering, this self-destructive trend was born where all weird trends are born – social media. And here are some pictures of people’s attempts at burning themselves beautiful:

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#suntantattoo #afterhenna

A post shared by Amanda ZednΓ‘nreh (@miss_zednanreh) on

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Check out my COOLEST #suntantattoo ! 😜 Got an amazing #mehndi #mehnditattoo before I took my #diving course in #nilaveli #trincomalee . Only in 4, 5 days time, the #mehendi which supposed to sustain at least 2 weeks started to peel off and left me these #amazing #sunburntattoo !πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Then I was told by my diving coach that "oh of course, I mean 90% of the #ultravioletrays was absorbed by sea only 10% on the ground~" Nice after-sunburnt tip coach! πŸ˜… #sunburnedtattoo #sunburnt #sunburned #travel #travelling #traveller #traveldiary #travelblog #travelguide #travellover #traveljournal #travelgram #travelphoto #travellife #srilanka #srilankatravel #holiday #diver #divelife #divesrilanka

A post shared by Yalan Hu (@yalanhuever) on

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#suntantattoo #notthebest #iwasimpatient

A post shared by Arianne Kitty (@aridabs710) on

Consider us UN-impressed. Not just because of the basic designs, but because of the dangerous lengths people are going to to get these basic designs.

Of course, this type of behaviour completely goes against everything that dermatologists have been trying to instill in us when it comes to the health of our epidermis. Spending loads of time in the sun without using a broad-spectrum sunscreen, reapplying it regularly and tanning on purpose will not only turn you into a piece of biltong *well* before your time, but it could also lead to skin cancer. Just something to think about before you decide to try out this weird trend come summer.

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