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Tattoo artists trained to spot signs of skin cancer

Tattoo artists spend an incredible amount of time studying their client’s skin and getting up close and personal with the art they print onto it.

In an ingenious campaign move by sunscreen brands Sol de Janeiro and Ogilvy Brazil, sun damage experts have enlisted the help of over 450 tattoo artists in a bid to train them to identify signs of skin cancer.


Although they may seem like a rather unexpected bunch of people to be advising others on skin damage, after a week of instruction and training the tattoo artists-turned-diagnosticians checked more than 18,900 people in a week for the signs and symptoms of skins cancer. Some even helped the patrons spot some of the earliest signs of the disease.

As young people seem to be the least concerned about the sun’s effects (younger people have been shown to be less worried about skin cancer and are therefore less likely to visit a dermatologist), it is a clever move by the brands as younger people are also among the most likely to get tattoos.

Skin cancer awareness is pretty low, with people preferring to fit in with trends of being tanned and having the ‘healthy looking glow’ as opposed to thinking about the long term damage that the sun’s UV rays can do to your skin. With this new campaign from brands who clearly care about the state of their customer’s skin, it’s bound to raise awareness about the disease and what damage sunbathing without protection or for too long can do – no matter how good it feels or how great your tan is.

Now campaigners are insisting that this idea is rolled out around the world, as if just 450 tattoo artists in Brazil can check up to 6 clients a day, a total of 18,900 people can be checked for skin cancer a week – a number which could half diagnosis time and potentially save lives.

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