Can You Get A Tattoo While Taking Aspirin Or Blood Thinning Medication?
Whilst all tattoos bleed at least a small amount when being created, 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. However, taking blood thinners or aspirin before getting your tattoo can cause some potential problems.
When taking blood thinners (and even alcohol to a lesser extent) before getting a tattoo, the blood thinning effects are going to make it much easier for the blood to seep through the tiny holes created by the needles, and the blood is going to be coming out in 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.
Below are a number of issues that can be presented if taking blood thinning medication or aspirin before/after your tattooing session.
Health risk due to 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.
Although very small tattoos shouldn’t cause too much of a problem, if you’ve got an all-day tattooing session booked in, then the potentially large amount of blood that you could loose throughout the day could cause many dangerous side effect that are 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.
Lack of tattoo visibility
When being tattooed, every so often (normally very frequently), your artist will have to wipe over the area that they’re working on with a paper towel to remove any excess ink and blood that is pooling on the surface of the skin and obscuring their view of the stencil that is being traced.
When taking blood thinners, your artist will have to wipe away the area much more frequently as the larger amounts of blood will be obscuring the area at a much faster rate.
This increased rate of bleeding can potentially affect the outcome of the appearance of the tattoo, especially if the artist is relatively inexperienced and cannot draw as effectively during these circumstances.
Poorer blood clotting capabilities
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 when compared to a normal tattoo that begins to clot up shortly after the tattoo is finished (that tattoo normally completely stops bleeding and oozing between 12-36 hours after the tattoo was completed).
You must also realize that continuing to take anti-blood clotting medication after the completion of your tattoo could further prolong the time in which it can take for your wound to begin to heal.
This continuous bleeding can also cause more of a mess on clothing, bedding, and sofas etc for longer periods of time.
Higher risk of infection
As mentioned above, medication such as aspirin 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.
More expensive tattooing 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 and ensuring that they aren’t constantly getting diluted 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 (if you're paying by the hour).
Getting turned away
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.
It's not all doom-and-gloom though. 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 - and they can turn you away for this reason.
Thinking Of Getting A New Tattoo?
REMEMBER - Tattoo aftercare is extremely important, and a good quality tattoo lotion is vital to ensure fast and proper healing of your new ink.
The best tattoo lotion I've ever personally used is a (vegan) tattoo aftercare product called Hustle Butter. This stuff works amazingly during the healing process - not only to keep your tattoo really well hydrated but it's also very good at soothing that annoying itching.
Many other users of the product also advise that when using it from the very start of the healing process it appears to decrease healing times and seems to reduce heavy scabbing.
Read more about Hustle Butter here. Have a quick look at some of the customer reviews and you'll see why it's one of the most popular tattoo lotions.
Here is a selection of my other favorite tattoo lotions and ointments that are currently on the market. Be organised and make sure that you have your lotion before you get your tattoo.
Taking any aspirins or blood thinners leading up to a tattoo appointment definitely isn’t ideal - it can have quite a few consequences as listed above, although this doesn’t mean that getting inked is an impossibility. Speak to your doctor, and speak to your artist (truthfully!) and go from there.
Hopefully you can get the perfect tattoo that you’ve always wanted - blood thinners or not.