Can You Get A Tattoo If You Have Diabetes?

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Tattoos are well known and most anticipated form of body art which involves the use of needles to inject ink under your skin.

Can a Diabetic Get a Tattoo?

If you have diabetes, it is fine to have a tattoo. But before having one, you should be fine and make sure the diabetes level is well monitored and controlled. For example, high blood sugar may cause complications, affect healing, and add to the risk of infection. You also have to keep blood pressure under the target range.

Also remember that blood sugar level may increase when you are getting tattoo. This process can be painful, long, and stressful, especially if you prefer complex and large design. It is another reason why you should keep it stable before starting the procedure. They must get back to normal tomorrow. Here's what else you need to keep in mind before getting a tattoo –

Where to Place?

You can apply permanent tattoo to virtually any part of your body. If you are diabetic, you need to avoid certain areas, especially those with lower circulation like –

  • Shins
  • Buttocks
  • Feet
  • Ankles
  • Thighs, arms, abdomen and other common areas of insulin injection.

Usually, tattoos take longer time to heal in these areas, which may cause complications like infection.

Tattooist Expertise

Before you proceed with any tattoo, be sure to choose accredited and licensed tattoo studio. To get rid of the risk of any issues arising from applying tattoo, you also need to research the hygiene, reputation, and safety procedures of the company. This research is vital when getting tattoo in festive season.


Usually, tattoo designs are based on things important to the person or something meaningful. If you are a diabetic, it could be anything which covers a text which indicate your condition or/and clear medical symbols. These days, you may choose from different 'diabetes tattoo' designs. Several diabetics use them as permanent identification and remove medical jewellery.

Safety and Risks

Be sure to tell your tattooist or tattoo studio regarding your health condition so they can plan aftercare details and procedure to meet your condition and needs. Before you proceed further, be sure to consider the major risks of tattooing in diabetes –

  • Skin Infection – Tattooed area may get infected if the tattoo equipment or studio is not hygienic and they don't apply proper aftercare.
  • Allergy – You may suffer allergy to the equipments used and substances added in the inks.
  • Blood-borne diseases – If tattoo ink or needle has not been sterilized yet, it could cause blood-borne illnesses like Hepatitis B or C and HIV.
  • Scarring – Applying tattoo can cause oversized scar formation, keloid, which can be slightly painful and irritable.
  • Delayed Healing – If your blood glucose level is extremely high, it could delay healing of skin after tattooing and raise the risk of infection.

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