Blood Thinners and Tattoos

posted in: Tattoos | 0

How Blood Thinners and Alcohol Can Affect The Tattoo Process and Overall Result

While all tattoos bleed during their application and during the healing process, the amount of blood that is normally produced during the tattooing process is no cause for concern and doesn’t negatively affect the outcome of the tattoo in any way. But when taking blood thinners, alcohol or aspirin before getting your tattoo can cause some potential problems.

When taking blood thinners before getting a tattoo, the blood thinning effects are going to make it much easier for the blood to seep through the freshly opened areas created by the needles at higher volumes than normal.

Taking aspirin before getting a tattoo can also present problems. Aspirin naturally decreases your blood’s ability to clot efficiently.

This means that during/after getting a tattoo, the area will likely continue to bleed for much longer than it would do under normal circumstances.


blood-thinners and tattoos

Health Risks from Blood Loss

This is the most important, and by far the most dangerous reason to not take any blood thinners before getting a new tattoo.

The potential large amount of blood that you could loose throughout the duration of your session could cause many dangerous side effects associated with blood loss.

Always consult a doctor before getting tattooed if you have a serious medical condition, and never stop taking any medication without your doctor’s advice beforehand.
Tattoo Bleeding

Lack of Visibility for the Tattoo Artist

When being tattooed, your artist will need to frequently wipe the area being worked on with a paper towel.  This removes excess ink and blood that pools to the surface so that the artist can clearly see their stencil.  If the artist tattoos someone who has taken a of blood thinner, this process will be much harder to complete.

This increased rate of  bleeding can affect the outcome of the appearance of the tattoo.

Poorer blood clotting capabilities

blood clot

Taking medication such as aspirin before getting your tattoo can mean that the tattooed skin is much less effective at clotting at the start of the healing process.

This means that your skin may continue to bleed for a much longer period of time compared to a normal tattoo that begins it’s clotting process shortly after the tattoo is finished usually this is between 12-36 hours after completion.

This can also make the tattoo much longer to heal compared to normal tattoo healing time.


Higher risk of infection

Medication such as aspirin and other blood thinners can prevent a tattoo from clotting as effectively. This means that the tattooed skin will remain open and more susceptible to bacterial infections for a longer period of time.

For this reason, you will have to be much more careful in order to ensure that your tattoo remains as clean as possible.

See the example below of infected tattoos….YOU DON’T WANT THIS TO HAPPEN!

infected tattoos

Expensive Tattoo Sessions

Bleeding more throughout a tattooing session means that it can take an artist much longer to complete a tattoo.

Not only will the artist need to constantly wipe away excess blood that is pooling on the surface of your skin, but they will need to take much longer to prepare the inks to ensure that they aren’t constantly getting diluted.  This is due to the higher concentrations of blood and plasma that will be seeping around the area and getting dropped back into the ink pots.

All of this stopping-and-starting is going to make the session last longer. Not only this but the longer your tattooing session takes, ​the more expensive it’s likely going to be when paying hourly.

Getting Told No

Many tattoo shops and artists have very strict regulations when it comes to tattooing people who have current underlying medical conditions which can be negatively affected through the process of tattooing.

Many artists require that you tell them of any medications that you are currently taking before they proceed to tattoo you so that they can make an appropriate assessment as to whether your current position of health is suitable enough for a tattooing session to go ahead successfully.

Artists will often ask you to list any current medical problems / medications being used before getting you to sign a waiver declaring that you have truthfully given all of the relevant information asked of you.

Just because you’re taking blood thinning medication or aspirin doesn’t mean that all artists will immediately turn you down.

Many artists will simply require a note from your doctor advising them that getting a tattoo will not cause you any ill health should you go ahead with it.

In many situations, this doctor’s note is enough for an artist to proceed with the appointment and get your tattoo started.

However, you must remember that this is completely at your artist’s discretion. They don’t have to tattoo you if they think that there are any potential risks.