Where Should People with Diabetes Get Inked?

People with diabetes are advised not to get a tattoo. The high blood sugar levels diminish the ability of the body to recover from wounds that can lead to infection. However, this should not deter a diabetic from getting inked. But, before having one, you should be sure that your diabetes is in check.

High levels of blood sugar will aggravate the curing process and the danger of contamination. The blood pressures should be within acceptable levels. Remember that blood sugar levels may rise while you are getting inked.

Before popping into your tattoo parlor, keep these things in mind.

A1C Requirements for people with diabetes Getting Inked

The A1C is a blood test for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics every 2 to 3 months. This will determine if your management plan is working and the average of your blood sugar.

Each individual has their own target range, some run higher and others lower. An A1C of 7.5 for children is advisable. An adult has met their target range if their A1C is between 5 – 7, and ready to get tattooed.

Keep your doctor in the loop before the appointment, they know best whether your body can absorb the piercing of the skin with indelible ink or the process might affect any other underlying condition. Some tattoo enthusiasts will be given the green light with an A1C of 8.

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Learn more about your A1c.

Placement of Tattoo

So, everything’s good, your doctor gave you the thumbs for the tattoo and the blood sugar level is in check. But there are certain parts of the body where you must avoid the placement of permanent body art.

These are places with poor body circulation such as the feet, ankles, shins, buttocks, and common injection sites such as arms, abdomen, and thighs. Tattoos on these body parts will take a longer time to heal or a risk of infection.

Tattoos and diabetes type 2

See where people are placing their diabetes tattoos in the online gallery.

Choosing the Best Tattoo Parlor for your ink

There are certain things that are hard to find, and locating one of the best tattoo parlors for your body art is one of them, especially if you’re a diabetic. If you want it done right, there are certain rules to follow. Remember, you have only one body so take care of it

Take time to research. If you spot a tattoo you fancy, ask the bearer where they got the ink. Check out websites and narrow them down, see the place in person, and how they do their work. Ask for a personal recommendation to meet the people they tattooed.

A reputable tattoo parlor should comply with the licensing requirements of the state. The staff should be professional, practice health, and safety standards.

The inks should be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and should be free from metals and solvents.

A professional tattoo studio should require the client to sign a release form asking if you are diabetic before the artwork begins. They only serve clients 18 and above.

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Tattoos and diabetes type 2

About the Tattoo Artist

If you found the best tattoo parlor, they only hire the best tattoo artists in town. Don’t take their word for it, observe how their tattoo artists do their masterpieces.

If you are convinced that you are in safe hands, it’s time to set an appointment.

Tell your tattooist that you have diabetes and you need breaks to manage your blood sugar level during the process.

Make sure that the artist washes their hands before the process starts. They should wear a fresh pair of disposable gloves to avoid contamination.

Non-disposable equipment should be sterilized between customers.

The chair, countertops, drawers, handles, and sinks should be sanitized with a bleach-disinfectant and not alcohol.

They should remove needles and tubes from sealed packages as well as new trays.

The tattoo time depends on a lot of things such as; the skill of the tattooist, style of tattoo, detail of the design, and multiple colors among others. A tattoo session lasts from one hour upwards so be prepared.

Tattoos and diabetes type 2
Ask to see the artist’s portfolio

Aftercare for ink for people with diabetes

Non-diabetics should take about two weeks to heal, a person with diabetes with fresh ink may take double that or sometimes more. Follow your tattooist’s instructions for your ink to heal healthy, safe, and beautiful.

Clean your new tattoo with soap and water, and a tender touch. Avoid direct gush of water on the tattooed area, pat with a towel to dry.

Apply ointment, moisturizer, or whatever the tattooist recommends on the tattooed skin.

Do not expose the tattoo to sunlight for a couple of weeks. Bodies of water like pools, ocean, rivers, and lakes are a no-go while healing. Avoid clothing that will stick to the tattoo.

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The wellness bundle may help you to keep your A1c in a range perfect for your next tattoo.

Tattoos and diabetes type 2
Tattoos and diabetes type 2
Tattoos and diabetes type 2


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About the Author: Tung Chi