People are flocking to tattoo parlors to get large swathes of their skin covered in black ink— an emerging trend dubbed “blackout tattoos” on social media.
In photos posted on Instagram, people are showing off their tattoos, which cover everything from the chest and arms to the legs, often deceptively appearing to be fabric sweaters or leggings.
On Instagram, more than 84,000 posts have been posted with the hashtag #blackworktattoo.
Like all tattoos, large tattoos like these run the risk of infection from the needle itself or the actual tattoo ink, said Dr. Eric Schweiger, founder of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City.
“The healing can also be delayed in large tattoos, which makes scarring more likely,” he told FoxNews.com via email.
Schweiger added that uneven coloration is more common for blackout tattoos and that individuals should seek reputable tattoo artists. If someone changes their mind with their large tattoo, the removal process becomes more difficult, he said.
Tattoos done in darker colors also run the risk of making it more difficult for dermatologists to detect skin cancer.
“Fifty percent of melanoma come from a pre-existing mole, which is why it’s important to ask the tattoo artist not to cover up any moles,” Schweiger said. “It’s also essential to get a skin cancer screening from a dermatologist every year to check your skin carefully for any signs of skin cancer.”
Chester Lee, a tattoo artist based in Singapore whose Instagram posts have gone viral, has been doing the blackout technique for about five years, he told People.com.
"Slowly the new generation is appreciating the cleanliness of this kind of work, and the art of looking at just shapes and lines that emphasize the contours of the body,” he told People.com.