Tattoos are so common in our society today that people often get them without thinking. There are risks with tattoos though, and we’re not just talking about a badly done image. People with certain medical conditions or who are taking certain medications face even more risks with getting inked. What your tattoo artist doesn’t know just may kill you. You may think only doctors need to know your medical history, but that information could be vital to your tattoo artist too.
Medical Conditions to Disclose
Certain medical conditions make a person unsuitable for tattoos or may require extra care by the tattoo artist. People often don’t disclose this sort of information because they are worried that they won’t be able to get a tattoo. In some cases, a tattoo shop or tattoo artist might turn away a patient if they view the risk is too high, but many won’t turn away a paying customer. They may request a note from a doctor saying a person is healthy enough for a tattoo, or they make take extra precautions when tattooing.
Medical conditions that should be disclosed include, but are not limited to:
- Heart Conditions
- Severe Allergies
- Pregnant or Nursing
- 6 Months (or Less) Postpartum or Post-Weaning
Again, just because you have any of these medical conditions does not mean that a tattoo artist will not tattoo you. It’s important to disclose these conditions or any other serious medical issue, as tattoos can pose serious life or death risks in these situations.
Medications to Disclose
It’s not just medical conditions that need to be revealed. Certain prescription medications can also make getting a tattoo more dangerous. If you take any of the following medications, make sure to discuss them ahead of time with your tattoo artist:
- Acne Medications: Acne isn’t a major medical condition, but if you’re taking certain medications like Accutane, Minomycin, or any other prescription drug for acne, you probably don’t want to get tattooed. These medications make the skin incredibly sensitive. Getting a tattoo on these medications can lead to pain and scarring.
- Antibiotics: Discuss all antibiotics you’re taking with your tattoo artist. Some are perfectly safe to get tattoos on, but others make skin hypersensitive or can cause unusual skin reactions when tattooed.
- Blood Thinners: If you’re taking any medication to thin your blood, your tattoo artist should definitely be informed and you should consult with a doctor. Depending on the medication, it may not be smart to get a tattoo, or it may require shorter sessions.
- Anti-Rejection Drugs: If you have had an organ transplant or are on anti-rejection meds, getting a tattoo may not be wise. Ask your doctor first to determine if it’s safe. Some medications may interfere with the healing process.
Concealing vs. Revealing
If you desperately want a tattoo and are worried that disclosing any medical information may prevent that, just know you are putting your life at risk. Tattoos are safe if done by professionals, in tattoo shops, and on a healthy individual. But if someone is not in good health, just know that there is a very serious life or death risk, even if you follow all the aftercare advice. Some individuals have actually died as a result of getting a tattoo because of medical complications from a pre-existing condition.
Always be upfront with your tattoo artist. In most cases, they are willing to work with clients to make sure it can happen safely. No tattoo, no matter how stunning, is worth your life. If you’re interested in discussing a new tattoo or have any questions, please feel free to contact us or visit us at our Toronto tattoo shop.